Here’s the deal, people. My lovely husband’s (D’s) parents are immigrants from Greece, so there is a huge part of his family that lives in Greece. His father comes from Kryoneri, a village in Central Greece near Karditsa and his mother comes from Corfu, a greek island. When D and I first started dating, I made an effort to learn greek. Not to better communicate with him or the rest of his family that lives close to us, but because I think that language is a huge part of culture. Even if he wasn’t born and raised in Greece, it’s still part of him. In 2009 I knew enough greek to do an internship on Crete. But – here it comes – if you don’t practice something regularly, you lose your skills (my english used to be better as well). I guess that in the meantime life just happened, we were busy (I know – who isn’t) and I can communicate just fine with D and my close in-laws.
This year we visited our family in Kryoneri for the first time after we got married and I felt really bad for letting the ball drop. They’re so unbelievable friendly and open-hearted people and it irked me that I couldn’t really talk to them. We basically exchanged pleasantries and then D or his dad had to translate. Epic fail on my part.
If you wonder what we did while in a small village far away from any typical tourist destinations, wonder no more: we ate! Both lunch and dinner were always a huge affair and the food was so good! It mostly consisted of vegetables that were homegrown and even the meat that we had could basically be found on the pasture the day before. You know that joke in My big fat greek wedding (“He’s vegetarian.” – “Eh, I’ll make lamb”) – there is some truth to it as you can see.
Should D and I one day have kids, it would be great to convey the greek culture to them. To make a more conscious effort I’ll start to learn the language again and try my hand at some greek recipes. It’s a long-term journey – one of the cousins told me it took her ten years to learn how to make the phyllo dough the right way (uff). A lot of the recipes take time to make and D and I both work full-time with irregular hours, so I’ll probably adjust the recipes to the ingredients I have on hand and to make a few short-cuts. But I have to start somewhere, right?
So this is what you can expect in the greek culture section: I’ll talk about things I noticed while there, language skills and recipes. It’s a great culture that I’ve really come to love and I hope you will as well.
all photos by happyelsewhere