Monday, May 19, 2014

Cross Cultural Awareness and English I Spring 2014 Week 4: Love and Marriage in Greece

Photo by Louis Konstantinou
Hello everyone!
Today we are going to learn about love and marriage in Greece.
Last week we learned about dowries. Dowries have been 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.

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 Loras, a Greek Canadian teacher of English in Switzerland 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?

Here is a mantinada shared by Christina Markoulaki,  a teacher in Heraklion, which is the capital of Crete:
Σιγά-σιγά μη βιάζεστε κι η πόρτα μας θ’ ανοίξει, γιατί έχει η νύφη αδέλφια και γονείς να τσ’ αποχαιρετίσει. 

Christina says, "...this mantinada warns the guests not to hurry because the bride will take her time to say goodbye to her family." This matinada shows the very strong connection between the couple and the family, which Christina says is,"... an entirely Greek phenomenon!"

Let's listen to this mantinada now. Please click the link: 

Ψαρογιώργης - Aνωγειανές κοντυλιές-Πεντοζάλης

 That's all for this week. See you next week!

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