Growing up Greek outside of Greece sets you apart from others, like it or not. There are just so many things that define Greeks and growing up in a big, fat Greek family. Here are the top 10 things that make you Greek.
1. Wearing Black After a Death
Greeks have a tradition of wearing black after a death of a spouse or close loved one. Some people will wear it for the entire year immediately following the death of someone close to you like a parent, while widows often will wear a black dress every day for their entire life!
2. What’s for Lunch?
Greek moms would never be satisfied sending their kids to school with just a sandwich, bag of chips and an apple. If you have ever been sent to school with dolmades, stuffed vine leaves, and tzatziki or a huge honking piece of moussaka, you’re Greek.
3. The Cat’s Meow
If your family pets understand Greek, Greenglish and English (and cat and dog talk as well, of course), your Greek!
4. A Family Get-Together
You know you’re Greek when you have gone through the difficult yet typical process of cramming 200 of your closest family members in your 70 square foot backyard during a family cookout. This probably occurs every Sunday when you see your entire extended family during the summer months.
5. Spitting is Good
People spit on you for good luck and to get rid of negative forces that might be at work in the Greek culture. It’s more of a “ftoo, ftoo, ftoo” always in a succession of three.
6. Eating is a Way of Life
What do you mean you are supposed to eat only three meals a day? Tell that to your yiayia and watch her pull something out of the kitchen, place it in front of you and tell you to eat your fifth meal of the day!
7. Inviting Non-Greek Friends to a Family Cookout
Something that will remind you that you are Greek is inviting non-Greek friends over for a cookout, or any meal. If you just watch their faces as you place the lamb on the spit of the rotisserie over the fire pit you’ll know you’re Greek, and they are not.
8. Paying Cash Ensures a Discount
You can’t haggle prices outside of Greece the way you can inside of Greece. Cash is king in Greece so often you can get a discount on anything that you can imagine! So if you grew up thinking no goods have a fixed price and anything is negotiable, you’re Greek.
9. Eye to Eye with Yiayia and your Great Aunts and Uncles
You know your Greek when by age 9 you stand eye to eye with every relative over the age of 70.
10. Stock Piling Money
Of course, you know you’re Greek when your uncle owns a business, has maybe $500,000 in the bank, but still drives a ’76 Monte Carlo or better yet, doesn’t drive at all and walks everywhere to save money that would otherwise be spent on gas!