I love being Greek. I love the culture, the history and the beauty of Greece. I loved spending my summers in Greece as a child, and next summer, my children will hopefully visit Greece for the first time. Except for the 8 hour plane ride, I'm excited to show them their roots.
Let me tell you a little bit about being Greek.
Greek people love to eat. Everything is about food. Meal times are NEVER missed and dinner is a huge event. Every night, it's like Thanksgiving. We consume a lot. Then, at around 10 p.m, the night begins. That is when people start getting ready to go out, coming back home at around 5 a.m. Greeks know how to enjoy life! Their passion for food, music, drinks, shopping, sex, and everything—is evident. Just ask anyone who has been to Greece!
Even though a lot of people in Greece still smoke, the life expectancy is very high. You know why? Because they are so chilled about life. They eat healthy—fresh fish, olive oil, Greek salads and delicious fruit, every day. They are surrounded by the beautiful sea and gorgeous mountains, and they don't have to scrape ice off of their car for 6 months out of the year. They nap EVERY DAY. Greece is doing something right!
Greek people are also funny and set in their ways. Nothings gets my grandfather worked up like a conversation about Greek politics. Greek people have been known to go into cardiac arrest over topics like politics and soccer. If you're on the wrong 'team', don't even think about entering my house. I can't deal with the yelling! Oh, yes... Greeks are very loud, too. And VERY dramatic.
Greek people also have some crazy 'superstitions', like:
If you put your child's shirt on inside out, it will keep away the evil eye.
If your child crawls across the room, it means you'll soon have a visitor.
You shouldn't bring your wedding dress back to your parents house because it's bad luck.
If you have an itchy hand, you're going to come across some money.
To get rid of the evil eye, Greek people sometimes spit on themselves three times. (Not actually spit, more like, pretend spit. This, my friends, is the cure to the evil eye. Now you know!)
On New Year's Day, Greek people eat vasilopita, a Greek desert bread, covered in icing sugar. The person who finds the coin in their piece of cake will have good luck for the entire year.
Don't hand someone a knife—let them pick it up, or you will get into a fight with that person.
Shoes that are overturned are bad luck and can even mean death. Yeah. Make sure your shoes are upright!
Greek parents also loving getting mad at their children. And, oh, the things we heard...
"Tha sou alaxo ta fota sou." Translation: I'm going to change your lights!
"Then eimaste kala." (I've heard this one the most!) Translation :We're not well. As in, you're clearly not well in the head.
"Tha fas ksilo!" Translation: You'll eat sticks. As in, you're about to get your ass kicked!
How about my personal favourite, said to children when they leave the house:
"Ta matia sou theka-tesera!" Translation: Your eyes, 14! As in... um? Make sure all your eyes are open and be really careful!
These are just some of the funny things I remember growing up in a Greek household. Greeks are certainly entertaining!
How about you? Do you have any funny superstitions from your culture, or anything your parents would say to you that strikes you as funny now?