Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2013 Semester 1 Week 3: Love and marriage in Greece

Traditionally Greek : StefanaHello everyone!
Today we are going to learn about love and marriage in Greece.
Last week we learned about dowries. Dowries are a part of Greek culture too. It's interesting that two very different cultures, China and Greece, can share a cultural tradition, isn't it?
You can learn more about Greek wedding traditions by clicking the link: Ten Greek Wedding Traditions.

Vicky Loras, a Greek Canadian teacher of English told me the following about weddings in Greece:
In many parts around Greece they still celebrate weddings in a traditional way. Some traditions still kept are:

- The families of the couple pin paper money on the bride and groom (which they can then keep of course!)

- Single people (usually women!) write their names on the bride's shoe soles. As she walks and dances throughout the day, some names get erased. Tradition has it, that the people's names that are erased are the next to get married!

- In some villages, the bride and groom each go to church on foot, accompanied by their families. A relative walks in front and holds a Greek flag on a pole, which has a cross on top. They attach three apples on each point of the cross, which symbolises fertility.  
- Towards the end of the ceremony, the guests throw rice at the couple, which symbolises fertility and food. It can be a pretty slippery situation though, with all that rice on the floor!
If you would like to ask Vicky more about Greek culture, you can follow her on Twitter - @vickyloras

Today's article is about μαντινάδες (Mantinades), which are love poems sung at weddings on the island of Crete. Crete is the largest island in Greece. It was once the centre of the ancient Minoan civilization, which was the oldest civilization in Europe, so Crete has a rich cultural tradition. This rich cultural tradition has given the people of Crete some wonderful wedding customs, including the Mantinades.

Before we learn about the Mantinades, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Crosscultural awareness and English Vocabulary

Now let's listen to a mantinada. The song is called Ο ΥΜΝΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΜΑΝΑΣ - ΓΙΩΡΓΟΣ ΖΕΡΒΑΚΗΣ . Please click the link:

Vicky tells us that the title means, "Hymn to Mother". The singer says that there are many kinds of love in the world but the one kind of love that stands out is love for one's mother. Why do you think that a man might sing a song about his love for his mother at his wedding?

Ok, now please turn to p. 142.
What do you think of Mantinades? Are there any similar types of poetry in Japanese culture, or in the cultures of other peoples? Post a comment below.
See you next week!

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