There are variations in how people view Tradition. This post will briefly consider what may be two major views, although undoubtedly there are a number more and a range of nuances.
The first suggested view is that Tradition is some form of living thing that grows and develops over time and place such that how Tradition is manifest at the present time and place is how Tradition should be manifest. This means that the Tradition as presently practiced by churches in Greece is the Tradition of the Orthodox Church as it should be and this also applies in Russia, Serbia and all nations with an established Orthodox Church. While the Roman Catholic church, which sees Tradition somewhat in this manner, has centralised control over this, at least in theory, the Orthodox Churches do not have such centralised control and so Tradition becomes varied from place to place, as it has from time to time. Each variation in each place/time is seen as legitimate Tradition, even if it may be contrary to the Tradition held elsewhere because it is a continuation of that living Tradition foundered by the Apostles. An aspect of this view is that past expressions of the Tradition are no longer legitimate expressions of Tradition because they are not the expression of Tradition now. To revive such expressions becomes an innovation because they are not part of the living Tradition which only encompasses those practices/believes held now and there. This is also true of regional variations. A legitimate practice in one region is not necessarily legitimate in another because it is not the Tradition as it is in that region. The only question to legitimacy of this type of Tradition is whether one can remain in communion with other Orthodox regions. Mission is passing on the particular Tradition of the missionary in its full local form. This is because there is no means to distinguish a Church Tradition from a local custom; the two are almost synonymous. Authority, in this view, resides in the decisions of a recognised hierarchy, or the whole people, in itself. The authority is not constrained by the past, if though informed by it.
The other suggested view is that Tradition is a fixed set of teachings and practices that are passed on from generation to generation without change. This Tradition is the same in every time and place and variation from this Tradition due to time and place is not legitimate. The test for legitimacy is that of St Vincent:
This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.
This view requires continuance of the Tradition to continue to be orthodox; churches retain vigilance with each other and challenge the legitimacy of change and break communion should the change be considered a breach of Tradition because the one changing is effectively denying the unity of faith. While regions can leave orthodox Tradition, they can also repent and return to orthodox Tradition. This view does not reject variation in practices unless they are contrary to the fixed practices of Tradition. Thus, a legitimate practice in the past remains legitimate at any time, excepting pastoral reasons otherwise. Legitimate ancient practices can be revived and given life again because they are expressions of the Tradition, which lives above any particular local continuance of the Tradition. Missionaries pass on the fixed Tradition, which can be distinguished from local customs, and can permit local variation in expression among those receiving the Tradition. Authority, in this view, must always be exercised in conformity with the past. Since nothing new is added, authority is always exercised in faithfulness to the past and it can be tested and judged by such.
Both views can overlap and so one with the first view can recognise a continuity with the past and one with the second view can see temporal and spacial variation.