Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

                                                            LIVING NOV 2008           

        
IT’S ALL IN A NAME!!!

I adore the range of names here in Greece. My sons have friends with names steeped in history, such as Hercules, Pantelis, Aristotle, Alexander, Sophocles, Nektarios..to name a few.Likewise, my daughter’s friends are called Antonia, Anastassia, Evangelia, Ephemia…… Names are a serious matter here and can easily cause offence if not bestowed properly on an heir. It is customary to name a first-born son after the husband’s father and the first daughter after his mother. Subsequent children are then named after the wife’s parents.

Tact, rational reasoning and empathy are essential ingredients if one wants to deviate from this expected tradition…but if followed, it will explain why there are so many Giorgos and Marias in one family. In our family, there are many males named Nektarios (after Aegina’s patron saint) and females named Ephemia. This is only problematic during family gatherings when, on asking Nektarios to pass the salt, one can end up with 3 pots of salt in front of a plate.

People are identified by their family name; not just the surname but also the name of the father. I hypothesise by assuming it is related to the clannish nature of Greek families, who previously set up colonies in an area from which families expanded. Here on Aegina island, some of the most common surnames are: Lorentzos!, Roditis, Marinis, Bessis, Bitros, Kalamakis Marmarinos, Kritikos, Hatzinas, Papadopoulos… the island is peppered with them. This causes great confusion in every-day life, such as in banking and commerce, education and health. Bureaucracy has been designed though t o further identify individuals by asking for the name of the father and sometimes the mother too. So on shopping at Ikea for example, should I want to claim V.A.T, I have to inform the assistant that my husband is actually Lorentzos, George, tou Dimitriou (of Dimitri ). I am Alison tou Aaaalan ( of Alan )

Name Day celebrations are far more serious than birthdays. Individuals are expected to stay at home during the evening to receive any random visitors and it is traditional to have a supply of nuts and a box of cakes to offer alongside a glass of Triantafilou, a bright pink liquor tasting of roses and alcohol, a slight reminder of cough syrup Guests are not invited; they simply turn up, usually bearing a gift.

In our household, Saint George’s day is perhaps the biggest day in our calendar. We celebrate in a big way by having a party in the evening, during which friends, neighbours and family call in and feast, drink and dance for as long as they like. Our children particularly enjoy the occasion as they are usually on holiday and despite having to endure my barking orders to help set the scene for the evening, they generally enjoy watching the grown-ups get a little bit drunk and behave foolishly.

If one doesn’t have time to attend a friend’s Name Day celebration, it is necessary to at least telephone to wish one well. To completely ignore this occasion is quite an insult!!!!

Visit: www.symivisitor.com/greek_name_days.htm               
for more information about Name Day celebrations.

Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2008

 

OCTOBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JULY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JUNE ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MAY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

APRIL ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MARCH ISSUE

CLICK HERE

FEBRUARY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JANUARY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

DECEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

NOVEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

OCTOBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

SEPTEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

AUGUST ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JULY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JUNE ISSUE

CLICK HERE

APRIL/MAY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

FEBUARY/MARCH ISSUE

CLICK HERE