Day 17: Green is Not for Greeks

What do you have against the Irish? asked my Instructional Coach as I walked into PLCs today. She obviously noticed my all black outfit.

Oh, Greeks don’t wear green.

Being Greek was something I have always been proud of from a young age. I was never embarrassed when my parents would ask me a question in Greek in front of my friends or when they would listen to my teacher during conferences and then look at me to translate what they just said. My parents were conversational in English, but they really didn’t understand the academic terms used by my teachers.

I was never shy to take out my pastitsio (a Greek dish made with thick spaghetti, ground beef, cheese, and bechamel sauce) or gemista (tomatoes stuffed with rice and spices) out of my lunch bag. I actually looked forward to the questions from my friends. What is that? Is it good? What does it taste like? Can you get that at Jewel or a restaurant?

I didn’t enjoy going to Greek School (no one did – it was on a Saturday from 10-2), but I loved teaching my friends the Greek alphabet and saying a few words like how are you, I’m fine, and hello and goodbye. My friends loved asking me how to say their name in Greek, but many American names don’t translate into Greek.

I still have that Greek pride. I love taking my American friends to Greek restaurants or making Greek food for them to try. I love talking to them about the many traditions we have. I love sharing my love of Greece and being Greek with them.

And I love seeing that Greek pride in my kids!

18 thoughts on “Day 17: Green is Not for Greeks

    1. Some of it was stereotypical, but some was spot on. For example, my dad was one of 6 boys and they all had a daughter, so each brother named their daughter after my grandmother – which means there were 7 Helens (my grandmother, my sister, and my 5 cousins) in our family. It really was a great movie.

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  1. You are so right to be proud of your Greek roots. I love greek food, can’t get enough of it. This has nothing to do with March 17 and St-Patrick’s Day. I am proud of my French roots! I am proud of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge! I also like to be Irish one day in the year. Are there Greek festivities on March 25?

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    1. In the past, we have our Independence Day parade in Greektown (downtown Chicago), but with Covid they cancelled it last year and I am assuming they would cancel for this year as well. In Greece they celebrate a lot more since it’s the entire country celebrating.

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  2. I love this! I didn’t know I was Irish til 5 years ago. Now I’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for. You know I would have been just as excited to find out I was Greek 🤣. I’m happy to have a close Greek friend to make me all the yummy food and teach me all the traditions. I will say that since I met you your Greek pride has taught me so much about Greek culture!

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    1. I love that! But to be fair, I don’t wear blue on Greek Independence Day. I always dress appropriately for funerals, head to toe black, even when I am not at a funeral. But that’s as far as I go for matching my clothing color with a day/event.

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  3. Lets make a deal. You start getting a little green in your life on my day, and I will do it for your day. Start small. Maybe some green in your socks. Then maybe a tad green in your shirt. Baby steps. Then maybe a full out green leather jacket. Who knows?

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