Here’s a recent article on suicide in Greece:
Before the financial crisis began wreaking havoc in 2009, Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world – 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. There was a 40 percent rise in suicides in the first half of 2010, according to the Health Ministry.
There are no reliable statistics on 2011 but experts say Greece’s suicide rate has probably doubled to about 5 per 100,000. That is still far below levels of 34 per 100,000 seen in Finland or 9 per 100,000 in Germany.
. . .
Another important factor behind the low suicide rate is that Greeks have extremely close knit families as well as a highly communicative and expressive culture.
“Greece is a country where everyone will talk to you,” said Sideris, the Athens psychoanalyst. “You’ll always find someone to share your suffering with and someone’s always there to help.
“It’s not only the good weather. It’s the powerful network of support that has made the suicide rate in Greece so low. It’s still there but this crisis is still too much for some people.”
I’ve previously argued that there is no such thing as inferior and superior cultures, just cultures that evolve to adapt to different needs. I don’t doubt that culture plays some role in Greece’s economic problems, perhaps by contributing to high rates of tax evasion. But this article is a reminder that cultural attributes (such as “close knit families”) that are a drawback in one area of life might be an advantage in another.
I think some people fail to see this because they are (naturally) attracted to their own culture, and see different cultures as being objectively “wrong.”