If we weren’t so blooming’ loud you might be surprised to find out that we’re an Anglo-Hellenic family. Think Nana Mouskouri meets Led Zeppelin, the Queen meets Zorba, mixed together with lashings of tzatziki on Yorkshire puddings (go on, try it). Yep it’s a weird yet strangely beautiful mix! You see our countries might not be a million miles apart but, our cultures couldn’t be any more different.
Giannis (Booberritdad) grew up in a port town, with a small immediate family; just one sister and his parents, but a huge extended family all living within the same neighbourhood and regularly attending church. I, on the other hand grew up in the city with a large immediate family (6 siblings) who were all anything but ‘traditional’.
It’s all Greeklish to Us
So, what does it mean to be married to a Greek? Well mostly it means having a surname no one can pronounce or spell, buffered ever so slightly (ok quite a bit) by the fact we get lots of great, cheap, fun, family holidays. It also means raising bilingual children lavished with the nuances and treasures of multiple cultures and countries, but with the fear (especially in current times) that they may never feel they 100% belong anywhere! And that’s why for us it’s hugely important that both sides are always represented and nurtured.
You Know Your Anglo-Hellenic When
- You celebrate Hallowe’en twice!
As well as Hallowe’en we also celebrate Apokreas; a period of fancy dress and Carnival celebrations, which traditionally begin ten weeks before Greek Orthodox Easter and culminates on the weekend before “Clean Monday” (Ash Monday), the first day of Lent.
- You eat everything including a full English roast with tzatziki!
A yummy yogurt dip made with garlic and grated cucumber. It literally goes with everything!
- You sack off Xristougena for an English winter wonderland and palm off English Easter for Pasxa!
Not even going to lie, Greek Christmas is ants! They decorate boats instead of trees (what’s that all about) and they open their gifts at New Year rather than Christmas Day. However, they’re completely forgiven as their Easter (Pasxa) absolutely dances all over ours. It’s definitely one to add to your bucket list.
- You speak both English and Greek poorly at times but are 100% fluent in Greeklish
Not only are the alphabets different, you also can’t directly translate from one to the other and make any kind of sense. So, we often end up with hybrid words and phrases.
- You have a name day and a birthday and both are as equally important
Most Greeks are named after one of their grandparents with whom they share the name of a saint. On their saint’s day they celebrate their name day and receive gifts and throw parties the same way you would for your birthday.
- Half of your family can’t pronounce and/or spell one or more of your names
My maiden name is Jenkins, which is impossible to pronounce in Greek due to the fact that there is no ‘J’ in the Greek alphabet. And yet my married name is no better. Said “Eco-no-mo” and obviously spelt: Oikonomou!
Food plays a massive role in our family. In particular fusion food that marries both traditional English and Greek dishes. We always make time to cook and eat together as a family. I especially enjoy posting our ‘What’s on Your Plate?’ Instagram Stories.
However, what I love the most about being a part of an Anglo-Hellenic family is how diverse our own family culture is. We’re eaters and feeders, we’re loud and we’re proud, we celebrate twice as many days a year than most people, but above all we embrace differences and the way they enrich our lives.
(με πολλή αγάπη) Much love,