Welcome to The Greekish Life!
Kαλώς ορίσατε*! I'm glad you found your way here! This is a place for anyone who is even a little bit interested in Greek culture, whether you have Greek roots or not. Pull up a virtual blue chair at our digital taverna by the sea here and hang out for a bit.
The point behind starting this whole thing is that I just love all things Greek; the music, the history, the food, the quirks of culture (The Koutala!* The Pantofla!*), and of course, the glorious country itself.
I'm also a genealogy geek, and digging into my roots these past few years has been a revelatory experience, as well as setting an extraordinary series of events into play. Greek genealogy can be a challenge, especially if A) you're on the other side of the world, and B) your third grade-level Greek school Greek isn't cutting it with those spidery handwritten documents. Assuming you can find the documents. Which mostly you can't. Because of Point A.
But it's been great fun nonetheless. A perfect Saturday afternoon for me is drinking my third cup of coffee in my pajamas and digitally scanning old photos of some black-swaddled, 147 year old lady from the horio*.
I am married to a terrific guy - not a Greek, but I can work with that. He's actually a great Hellenophile, despite the conversations you might hear if you eavesdropped on us on a typical day.
ME: listening to music with a particularly long maneh* while getting ready for work
HIM: Why are they murdering a sheep?
He's used to my...let's call it uncommon...taste in music of all kinds, which I listen to almost constantly, and is generally very tolerant of the random ululations coming out of my iPod speaker. While we had both been to Greece separately in our youth, we traveled there together for the first time in 2016. He was utterly smitten.
HIM: Greek culture is so amazing! My British culture isn't anywhere near as interesting.
ME: Nonsense. You have Morris Dancing.
HIM: pained look
ME: AND CHEESE ROLLING!
HIM: hangs head
So pour yourself a καφεδάκι* or a nice glass of wine and poke around a bit. Please know that I am not an expert on anything here except being a 2nd generation Greek-American. I love to cook, so I'll share recipes, although there are plenty of far superior Greek cooking blogs out there. I love travel and culture, though there are more thorough sites across the intertubes. There are more in-depth genealogy sites. This site is a more meze* than three course meal...a nibble of this and the odd bite of that.
Barbara *Kαλώς ορίσατε - Welcome! *Koutala (κουτάλα)- A spoon; particularly a large wooden spoon used by Greek grandmothers across the diaspora as a motivational device for unruly grandkids. *Pantofla (παντόφλα)- A slipper. Either dainty and embroidered or sturdy and plastic, this has been weaponized by yiayias* to be propelled with sniper-like precision when the koutala just didn't get the message through. *Yiayia (γιαγιά) - Grandmother. But you probably figured that out already. *Horio (χωριό)- A village. Typically, one's ancestral village. *Maneh (μανέ) - A type of lament that is generally is just the word "aman" (hard to translate - kind of like "woe is me") sung highly-ornamented and strung out over several bars. An acquired taste.
*Kαφεδάκι - a little coffee *meze (μεζέ) - Appetizers and small plates