Saturday, 29 October 2011

Oxi Day

Yesterday, 28th October marked the anniversary for OXI DAY! Our twitter followers did a great job in spreading the word and raising a bit more awareness on this special day for the Greeks.

A quick run down of what it is for those of who you maybe are a bit unsure or want to know more...

It's a massive celebration in Greece and Cyprus each year and is marked as a national bank holiday where there are parades and Greek flags everywhere!

It all started back in 1940 during the second world war, when the Italian dictator Mussolini, gave an ultimatum to the Greek prime minister Metaxas, to surrender or face war with the Italian army of 44 million against Greece's 7 million.

Ioannis Metaxas

Metaxas being the true proud Greek he was, said "OXI" meaning NO! Even though they were much smaller and didn't have as big an army as the Italians (since when has that ever stopped us!) the true Greek spirit came through and everyone echoed "oxi" hence "oxi day" celebrated on 28th October. This was a massive courageous act but also proved to the world that the Greeks would fight to the end to defend their country and their honour.

How it ended:
After a few weeks of battle, the Greeks managed to push the Italians back into Albania. The Italians were struggling against the Greeks despite their massive army and defenses, so they called in Hitler to intervene. 

The Greeks then fought the Germans for 5 long weeks; this delay is what ended up determining the outcome of WW2, woo go Greeks! Whilst the Greeks were giving the Germans a run for their money, the British were able to defeat Mussolini's army in North Africa and secured Cyprus too, opa! Because of the Greeks fighting so hard and delaying things, the Germans were also never able to gain control of the British or Russian forces which ruined Hitler's whole plan.

American 1942 poster supporting Greece.

Although this was an amazing thing the Greeks did by saying "oxi" that day, it came at a price and about 1 million Greeks lost their lives. Winston Churchill got it spot on when he said "Today we say that Greeks fight like heroes, from now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks."

Hope you all had a wonderful "oxi" day and never lose that Greek fighting spirit!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Greek Glossary

Right, this is for all my special "3eni" readers and maybe even for the Greeks whose parents never forced their kids to go Greek school (shame on them!)

I am aware I throw in the odd Greek word in my posts and I feel it would be best to include a little glossary that you can refer back to, to help you follow along and impress your mates with your Greek-abulary. Also if you feel I have left out some vital words then please comment below and I will update this post regularly with new additions to keep this up to date!

OK so here we go:

3eni = (pronounced kseni) foreigners/non Greeks
Ade = let's go
Agapi = darling/love
Antropi = rude
Bouzoukia = an all night party with Greek music and drinking
Bravo = well done
Enen = isn't it
Fae = eat
Frappe = iced coffee
Gambro = husband
Icones = religious icons
Kapira = translated means toast. But can be used to mean plain, boring
Koukla = gorgeous girl
Koumera = best woman (what brides and best women call each other after the wedding)
Koumparo = best man (see above)
Levendis = gorgeous guy
Mafiozo = mafia member (most likely your family)
Malakas = idiot
Mangas = cool guy
Mati = evil eye
Mikakon = God forbid
Mish / mishimou = yeah right (sarcasm)
Nifi = wife
Opa = wahey!
Pantofla = slipper (usually worn by yiayias)
Pappou = granddad
Poushtis = gay boy
Poutana = whore
Poutos = p***y 
Ptu ptu ptu = spitting to avoid the 'mati'
Re = an informal/rude way of calling someone 
Skase = shut up
Stavro = cross
Tempela = lazy girl
Tempelos = lazy guy
Thea = aunty (can be used as a respect thing for non family members too)
Theo = uncle (see above)
Tsigaro = cigarette
Vouti = the act of dipping bread into juice
Yiayia = granny
Xorkati = villager
Zoumi = juice

Erm apologies for the crudeness of some of these but hey, I'm just keeping it real/Greek for ya! Will update this post at regular intervals when new words pop into my head! 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Typical Greek Guy

So... the Greek "dude". You can usually spot him a mile away! If he's not shouting "re malaga!!" at his mates/idiots cutting him up on the road, then he's identified in many other ways too!

He probably has his ears pierced. (Disclaimer, no idea who he is or if he is even Greek but he has that #Greekswag)
As I mentioned in a tweet recently, yiayia would tell him straight that he looks like a "poushtis", but he doesn't care as he thinks his a "manga". (sidenote, I am going to create a blogpost with a quick glossary of terms for these slang words so my "3eni" readers can follow along too!)

If he's not shaved his head (note: not bald, but shaven head.) then he has some long floppy hair thing going on, or of course the classic gelled spikey look. Again, yiayia will only approve of the natural curly look and continue to blunty insult his mullet. But don't worry, mama will think he's the most handsome son in the world whatever he looks like so it's all good.

Speaking of his mama, it's clear he loves her. Why wouldn't he? She cooks for him, cleans for him, washes his clothes and practically worships him. However, in her mind that gives her the right to stick her nose into his entire life and deem no girl good enough for him. In fact she would prefer to remain the only woman in his life! If one slips through the net she will spend her life insulting the girl and showing her up in the cleaning and cooking department. (It's a hard life having women fighting over who can look after him the most).

A Greek guy loves the gym and works on a clever rotational system of working the arms and then the chest. Sometimes he will even do the chest first and then the arms. 
When no one is looking he will actually kiss his bicep. When at the gym you'll probably find him checking out the odd girl in her boob tube running on the treadmill, but more often than not, he'll be sneaking a peak at the bigger guy working out next to him whilst envying his big muscles... But he will never admit that of course...

Finally, a Greek boy is usually well groomed on a night out on the town, with the top few buttons of his shirt open (well he spent ages shaving his chest, so it makes sense to show it off enen)
Don't know who this dude is either by the way, but I thought it was a classic example of showing off.. sorry of it is you or someone you know (very likely!). Anyway as this mangas is demonstrating, there is usually a big silver chain being sported as well. Finally, the Greek guy will pick up his mates rolling around in his bimmer/benz, and make sure his fancy car keys are on display when chatting to girls. Does he mention his dad paid for the car? Na, of course not!

The Typical Greek Girl version coming soon...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Greek Bonding...

When Greeks meet another Greek in a crowd of non Greeks, there is an immediate bond between them. Even if you're in the supermarket and suddenly hear someone talking in Greek, you whip your head around to see who it is and smile! Sounds silly, but it is instinct; especially if you don't live in a Greek speaking country, obviously..!

Sure enough, if your name is on display somewhere or 'mikakon', is called out by a 3eno... (let's use the fun example of the doctor's receptionist struggling over how to pronounce it) then you know straight away who the Greeks are and I bet you find yourself looking up to spot them! Why do we do that? You find you give a chuckle to yourself and the fellow Greek watching on as your name is read out slowly like a 3 year old child. After a painful 30 seconds of struggling to read your name, the receptionist looks up so proudly that they think they managed to say it. You politely nod and smile even though they totally butchered your name, because we're nice people like that. Oh and yeah, we probably mumble a typical Greek curse under our breath on the way out...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Typical Greek House?

So... having seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a few hundred times of course) and cracking up at the sight of the infamous house, I honestly thought they were just being a bit melodramatic for the sake of the film...

I enjoyed it; thought it was a funny touch! But, having been driving merrily down a road today I stopped at some lights and looked out the window... To my shock/delight(?) I found a very typical Greek house! People must have thought me slightly mad for grinning and pointing at this house to my passengers yelling, "wow look how Greek it is!!". I swear, this house was fantastic. It had the traditional massive Greek columns, it had the blue and white garage, it had the fancy ornaments and stained glass door (sorry if this happens to be your house I am describing by the way...!) I loved it!

I came home and decided to actually Google "big fat Greek house" for fun, and I found this and wanted to share it:

OK so the house I saw was a bit more toned down than this, but I still thought it was funny how it stands out so obviously, especially to the Greeks! And even funnier at how excited we get over it, or is that just me..?

So, what does your house have about it that makes it "Typical Greek?"
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