Thursday, 14 August 2014

It's party time back in Greece, the land that invented hospitality

I'm up here in shorts, a floral top and Birkenstocks. New shorts and bright pink Birkenstocks, it's true, but I'm feeling rather under-dressed.

Up in the plateia, in this heat, this death/life defying heat (it's said Greece will reach 42 degrees at the heatwave's peak on Saturday), and the women are dressed up to the nines. Immaculately coiffured hair, sleek and shining, teetering in strappy sandals and glammed up in off-the-shoulder dresses.

Beside me, the village president tops up Mr Grigg's glass with retsina, while my husband queues at the barbecue, desperate to buy some souvlakia to repay the villagers the hospitality we have been shown since arriving in Corfu late the previous night.

Plates of souvlakia, feta cheese and briam are plonked on the table in front of us.
'Go on,' the people say. 'You eat.'

Xenia is a concept from Greece's ancient past. And it's still practised to this day.

And you can never, should never, outdo a Greek when it comes to giving gifts. If they present you with a gift, just accept it with a gracious efharisto poli. Don't try to top it. It's not a competition. And if it was, you'd still never win. The Greeks will always have the last word. Whatever you give, they will give you something bigger, and better.

It's festival week here in the village and the plateia is packed. We've only just arrived and already we're made to feel like old friends.
'Where you been? On your holly-days?' says Nikos the Dancer, resplendent in Che Geuvara T-shirt.

The musicians play Zorba's Dance and he's off.
And then the young boys and girls dance in friendship around him.
Oh, those Greeks.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. I LOVED the video - felt like I was peeking in on such a fun time!

  2. Such a lot going on in that video - the children, the card game, the music. Lucky you!!


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