A few days in Greece has me reconnecting with my heritage and the richness of it. From the ancient ruins, to the amazing gastronomical feasts, to their beautiful use of words and emotion.
The Greek vocabulary is so full and expressive – English feels so bland after hearing a conversation between Greek people.
My favourite conversations are when they are exchanging wishes for each other. Like the Greeks themselves, the expressions used are so passionate and full of love, wonder and awe. You can’t help but leave the exchange with a smile and happy thoughts.
They take some of the most basic greetings like Happy Birthday and turn them into the most gorgeous, heartfelt wishes.
“Xronia Polla” – Many years to you
“Na zisis” – Here’s to a long life
“Na ta ekatostisis” – May you love to one hundred.
“Na zisis hillia xronia” – Here’s to 1000 good years
“Oti epithimis” –May you have whatever you want and dream.
“It’s my family member’s birthday”
Response: “Na ti/ton xerese” (“Celebrate her/him. Here’s to her/his health and her/him bringing happiness to your life”)
Wishes for the couple before the ceremony:
“Ee ora ee kale” – Here’s to the marriage being good and lucky
Once the couple are married:
“Seehareeteeria” – Congratulations
“Na Zisete” – Long may you live in happiness, love, and joy.
Na sas Zisi – Here’s to a long and healthy life for your child.
Yero ke dinato – Here’s to your child being healthy and strong
Silipitiria – Condolences
“Zoi se sas” (Life to you)
“Zoi se mas” (Life to Us)
“Na zisete na ton/tin thimaste” – May you live and remember him / her!
This world can be a scary place. Instead of spouting hate, why don’t we take a leaf out of Greek’s books, and wish only the best for those we come across in life.
In the words of the Greeks – “Na Zisame”! (Long may we live in happiness, love and joy!)