Rebetika [Rembetika; Rempetika] (sing. Rebetiko) (Gk.)
- Gail Holst-Warhaft
The rebetika are Greek songs associated with an urban low-life milieu frequented by rebetes, or manges, streetwise characters of shady repute, many of whom smoked hashish. The genre occupies a similar place in Greek culture to that of the tango in Argentina or to flamenco in Spain. The origins of the term remain obscure. It first appears as a description of certain Greek popular songs recorded in the USA and Turkey in the early decades of the 20th century. Influenced by the popular music of the late Ottoman Empire the ...