Posts Tagged ‘Funny’

Common Sayings in Greece (in Greek)

I am teaching myself trying to learn Greek on my own, and it is going at a very slow pace. I have made progress since being here, and I would say that I can understand and speak at a low level in everyday conversation. My kids (who I am teaching English) usually giggle a bit when I try to translate the directions for a game into Greek so they can understand. Most of the kids are very helpful in correcting me, but there are a few smart-allecs that mock me a bit. Overall, even with being mocked, I think teaching has helped me learn a few new words each day or so and I continue to be amazed at the Greek expressions or sayings that just don’t make sense in English. We call it Greek-lish, speaking English but with the Greek way of thinking.
Greeks talking Common Sayings in Greece (in Greek)

Some common greetings and responses: 

Superstitions

The Greek culture has many superstitions, and although the majority claim to not actually believe them, there is still a lot of evidence around that some are believers. Some of the more common stories are as follows:

blueye Superstitions
The Evil Eye
Some Greeks, especially in villages, believe that someone can catch the evil eye, or “matiasma”, from someone else’s jealousy, compliment, or envy. A person who has caught the evil eye usually feels bad physically and psychologically. To avoid the matiasma, those who believe in it wear a charm: a little blue marble glass with an eye painted on it or a blue bracelet. Blue is believed to be the color that wards off the evil eye but it is also believed that people with blue eyes are givers of the matiasma.Garlic is another way to ward off the evil eye, and one can sometimes see it hanging in a corner of some houses. Garlic, as well as onion, is also considered of having a great healing power by many Greeks. If someone is feeling ill, they will advice him to eat garlic.

Knives
Greeks never hand knives to someone who asks for it for they consider that if they do that they will have a fight with the person. Therefore they set it down on the table and let the other person take it.

Spitting
Some Greeks believe that spitting chases the devil and other misfortune away. That is why when someone talks about bad news (deaths, accidents, etc…) the others slightly spit three times saying “ftou, ftou, ftou”. 


It is still very common to spit on the devil during a baptism service! Although, it is never actual spit, it is more of a gesture. 

Tuesday the 13th
Unlike the western belief, in Greece the unlucky day is Tuesday the 13th.

“Piase Kokkino”
When two people say the same thing together they immediately say “piase kokkino” (meaning literally, ‘grab red’) and both have to touch any red item they can find around him. This happens because Greeks believe that saying the same thing is an omen and that the two persons will get into a fight or an argument if they don’t touch a red thing. Nowadays, it is merely done for a game. 

Garlic+Braid+09 Superstitions



These are only a few of the many but probably the most commonly believed. Sometimes I am surprised at what people believe, other times, I am just really embarrassed for them! Overall, I think it is interesting what superstitions have arisen from various cultures. 

Related posts:

Church-goers

I have grown up in church.

When I say church, I literally mean many, many different kinds of churches. For background purposes let me explain a little more. My first memory of being in church was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I played the lead in Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. It sounds like a sweet story until I tell you that it was a tap dance performance, and it was my very first one. I must also mention that I am a huge momma’s girl; so much so that I slept by her bed for as long as she would allow, and then I continued to sneak down in the middle of the night and sleep outside of her door. Pathetic. Endearing. Annoying. Sweet now, not then.

Moustakalou…

What can I say, except that I have seen more women in Greece with facial hair than men! Almost every woman over the age of 60 (sometimes they even start earlier) have a hairy chin-chin, a mini stache, or BOTH! I pray it is just their genetics and not in the water here. I pretty confident that I could not sport a full-man chew or rather any other kind of unwanted facial hair.

Here is an older woman from a festival…

Mustakalou Moustakalou...

Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)

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