Recent reports from Google regarding the most-searched terms and phrases by country provide an interesting perspective into the minds of the Greek people throughout the year of 2020.
And, as expected, Covid-19 influenced nearly all of the most frequent searches in the country.
In terms of news events, the coronavirus pandemic dominated the list, ranking as the number one most-searched term, followed by the US presidential election, reflecting the world’s interest in what many consider one of the most consequential in recent US history.
The conversion of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque, a highly controversial move that garnered near-universal international criticism, was the third most highly searched term.
The three fastest-growing search terms in Greece were “e-class,” Greece’s online learning platform introduced in the wake of Covid-19, “Covid-19 cases,” and “coronavirus.” The recent US elections ranked number seven on that aspect of the list.
Dr. Sotiris Tsiodras, an epidemiologist and the pre-eminent figure on Greece’s coronavirus response team, was the most searched-for public figure in the country, followed by Greek Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Chardalias.
US President Donald Trump ranked third on the list, and President-elect Joe Biden fifth.
Of all those who passed away in 2020, Kobe Bryant was the most searched for on the internet. The basketball legend died on January 26, 2020 in a tragic helicopter crash in Los Angeles, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.
Following Bryant was Kostas Voutsas, the Greek film star, writer, and director who passed away on February 26, 2020. Voutsas was an important figure in Greece’s “Golden Era” of cinema, and one of the most famous actors in the country.
George Floyd, an African American man killed in Minneapolis during an arrest over a counterfeit $20 bill on May 25, 2020, was the sixth most-searched in this subcategory.
Protests erupted around the US and internationally after a video showing a police officer, currently charged with crimes relating to the killing, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes went viral.
In the list of searches for certain locations of events, the top-ranked question of the year was “Where did the earthquake happen?”
On October 30, an extremely powerful earthquake rocked the city of Izmir (Smyrna) in Turkey and the Greek island of Samos, causing widespread destruction and loss of life, especially in Turkey, where 116 people died.
The earthquake, now dubbed the “2020 Aegean Sea Earthquake,” was the deadliest of 2020.
Next on the same list were questions related to the Greece’s situation regarding Covid-19: “Where is it mandatory to wear a mask?” ranked second, followed by “Where were covid-19 cases diagnosed today?”
In a glimpse of life before Covid-19, when going to the movie theater was one of life’s simple pleasures, not a health hazard, the fifth-most searched “where” question in Greece was: “Where is Parasite playing,” referencing the critically-acclaimed South Korean Film Parasite, released in 2019.
The film is widely considered one of the best of the decade, and was the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
As Greeks spent much more time at home during quarantine, the number of searches for recipes went up in 2020.
The most searched-for recipe was Dalgona coffee, a foamy South Korean coffee drink that resembles the classic Greek frappe, which went viral in the Spring of 2020.
Mirroring the international baking craze that was born out of lockdowns and quarantines, “How to make bread from scratch” followed the queries regarding the coffee drink on the list of most sought-after recipes in Greece, followed by a recipe for tsoureki, the traditional Greek sweet bread.