By Ada Leivada
Every New Year’s, we try to think of our resolutions for the new year. “This year I will join the gym,” “This year I will get promoted,” ”This year I will eat better,” “This year I will travel more,” “This year I will do better at school.” Most years we think of ten or more resolutions and we end up disappointing ourselves because most of us forget them after February!
Well, this New year also stands for the beginning of a new decade, and that’s why our resolutions should probably be more special. So instead of thinking of ten things we would like to do in 2020, how about this time we find a theme for our resolutions like “health” or “professional life,” or “lifestyle”. And how about we have 3 or 4 things in mind around the theme we choose to keep our resolutions more flexible and easier to be achieved?
Our suggestion for this year’s resolution is to boost our Greekness! And to help those interested, we have thought of five ways that could help you do so. Here are the things that made the top 5 of what you can do to boost yours or your children’s Greekness. What do you think made it to number 1?
5. Cook and eat more Greek food! Let’s begin with something that you can start doing tomorrow. Greek food always makes every list with the best cuisines around the world. It is more healthy than you imagine and is simply one of the most important parts of Greek culture. Greek families celebrate, reunite — and even mourn together — around a table. That’s why cooking more Greek food will definitely bring you closer to your Greek roots. Ask mama, thea or yiayia, even better, for your favorite recipe — but maybe also consult a website for the measurements and time it takes to cook something, because they will probably say “you will know when you see it.”
4. Learn Greek! “Learn” might not be the most appropriate verb here because even if you don’t know Greek, it is still in you. All you need to do is to simply “remember” it. Greek has a very long history dating back to the 15th century BC and it greatly influenced all the European languages in the realms of the sciences, arts, philosophy, and medicine. The popular conception is that it is really difficult to learn and speak but we believe that all you need is the right school, program, and teacher to help you or your children learn to love Greek.
3. Speaking of speaking Greek, another way to boost your Greekness would be to speak more Greek! Some of you might already know Greek, but you never speak it. Or maybe you start worrying that your children are gradually forgetting it because you speak less and less Greek at home. Maybe this year you could try to speak more Greek at home with them. Or maybe you could join a Greek conversation class individually or find a friend to do it together. You will see how much more confident and fluent you will get without even realizing it.
And if you do not have the time to join any classes, maybe you need a course that will refresh your Greek and help you improve your speaking skills by completing it whenever you have the time to do so. All you need to do is enroll and you will find everything you need from videos to an online instructor who will always be there for you, from exercises to fellow Greek learners to chat with — just one click away from your mailbox.
2. Visit Greece! Of course, nothing can boost ours and our children’s Greekness like visiting this wonderful country. Whether it is to visit family, to show the kids where their grandparents originally came from or simply to relax in the summer, visiting Greece is always a great idea. Greece is amazing at any time of the year but it displays its true beauty and character during its glorious summers. How would you feel about learning Greek by the sea, in a beautiful Greek town in the heart of the summer by interacting daily with locals and being involved in cultural activities that will give you a better understanding of the Greek lifestyle?
1. Make Greek friends! The most important step that would truly boost anybody’s Greekness, would be to make more Greek friends. Greeks value family more than anything. This means that they value the people who become family even more.
If you have recently moved from Greece and are feeling homesick and lonely, try contacting your local Greek community. They will welcome you with open arms like they have known you for years. If you have recently moved to a new country with your family, try enrolling your children in a Greek school or contacting other Greek families that live there. And if you would like for your children to meet Greek friends and share an experience that will bond them for life have a look at the Greek LOL’s Summer Camp which takes place in Greece. They will play, learn, eat, and make friends. All in Greek!
Greeks are truly everywhere and they tend to make strong, indivisible communities that act like families who support, love each other and have fun together. Whether your community can be found next door or online, just make sure you contact them. Nothing boosts your Greekness like being around Greeks! Let’s make sure this year’s resolution is not forgotten after February, or after 2020. Let’s make sure we never forget it! Happy New Year!