I attended a super special birthday this weekend. My friend Greg, who is Greek, had invited a few of his family and friends to a well-known Greek restaurant, on Saturday night – Lemnos Tavern (amazing). I rocked up on my own and it was full of people who knew each other. I thought that I needed to make the effort to wriggle my way in to these established groups. But nup… these Greeks man.. they welcome you with open arms. I sat on the family table. Mind you everyone is a cousin in this community.
The love and loyalty that was shown to each other was palpable. We talked like we’d known each other for years. And then the stories began…
Stories of their heritage, the wars they fought, the ones they lost and won, the beauty of their country, the stories of their ancestors. Greg’s family are Spartans. They are known as the warriors – for being tough and proud. There was so much passion I thought I was in a real life documentary. I could see the colours when they talked landscapes, smell the foods they were describing and feel the vibes in the stories. Their passion was infectious.
I told them that Niki, who is our Business Manager is from Greece and was given the nod of approval. Then the next question which always follows; Where is she from? It’s very important to know which region you are from. Niki is Cretan. The Cretans are also fighters. Niki tells me the Cretans are the ‘Texas’ of Greece. Rebels that have their own rules. She says the Cretans don’t dial 911. They deal with their own s&^t! They are the crazy ones. No wonder she works with me 😉
When Greg and Niki get together they start talking about their history and ancestors. They teach me. It’s like I am fresh prey. Someone new to tell their stories to.
They talk about this stuff with conviction and passion and I ..am.. in! They talk less of themselves and more of their culture. They are so proud – without showing pride. They show off their culture – not themselves. There’s a difference and it’s a pleasure to be around.\
What do you talk about that draws others in? Find something! It’s an easy way to draw people in, not draw them down.
Thanks for listening to my musings. I’m off to find out more about my 4th generation history. I know we stole something. But no idea who from or where we come from before that.