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!