With March being this years month of diversity I thought I’d share with you my Anglo-Hellenic story…
I met my husband back in 2009 whilst studying and working as an EFL tutor in Greece. We both hung out with the same parea (translates directly to ‘company’ as in the company you keep, something very important in Greek culture) and so we were aware of each other, but didn’t really, directly hang out as friends until some years later.
Fast forward to 2012 and well there’s a whole other blog post on how we got together, but by June we were firmly cemented and inseparable as a couple, further set in stone by ‘the proposal’ a month later- no I wasn’t pregnant! But that rumour resurfaced regularly throughout the following months;
I remember my friend saying once (in response to the gossip),
“…to the world of the multi-culti!”
You see multicultural living is great from the perspective of being able to pick and choose all the best bits from both sides to make you’re own self catered, hybrid way of life, but and well there’s always a ‘but’, you can suddenly find yourself on the outskirts of both sides of the river, dipping your toes and never really feeling fully submerged or accepted by either bank. That’s why for us diversity month is so, so important.
We live in the UK now, but you see it’s not a matter of switching one side for the other, or having a dominant culture. Our children are 50/50 with each half of their heritage being of equal importance. We live in a bi-lingual household, full of love and pride in who we all are. We celebrate Easter/Pasxa, Christmas/Xristougenna, Karnivali/Hallowe’en, Panageri, St.Georges day and all the rest. We have name days as well as birthdays and we write using two very different alphabets. But the glue that binds us together is the fact that despite our culturally different backgrounds mine and my husbands key values and upbringings are extremely similar. We are both from big, traditional families, have an immense passion for food and home cooking because of our mothers, we’re extroverted introverts, who are fiercely loyal to a fault. We’re small city kids with country roots who love nothing more than to have any excuse to celebrate every moment of life with our perfectly picked Anglo-Hellenic (Greeklish) parea and that translates into infinite languages and cultures.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences so, please comment below. In the meantime why not see what your name looks like written in Greek.