Amarandi Barrett's Greece 4 Kids

Thea Pam's Aravona


 This summer my aunt Pam became engaged to my Dad's best friend: Peter. We had the engagement party in the village of Vatoussa in Lesvos, where half my  mom's family is from. Since we have a lot of relatives there we invited them and some of the neighbors in the village up to Pam's house at the top of Vatousa. One of our cousins is the Archbishop of Lesvos. He came to perform the ceremony that made them officially engaged. Theys tood at the table and he asked my soon-to-be Uncle Peter wheter he wanted the long ceremony or the short one.
"The short one" said Peter.
"OK. You are engaged" said the Archbishop.

After the ceremony a few of the girls (including me) came around to everyone and gave them a Greek sweet and some pink liquor made from roses and some citron liquor we brought with us from Naxos. Vatousa is a small village, but it was surprising how many people came to see the ceremony, crammed into Pam's courtyard, some of them gasping for breath after climbing the hill. When the archbishop walked through the gate everyone stood up and kissed his hand. ( My Dad said having the archbishop there was like a Catholic having the Pope at his bachelor party. )                                   

 After the ceremony at our house we all walked down the mountain to a taverna in the square for dinner and a party or what they call in Greece, a glendi. There was a little  band (a girl who played keyboards and a guy who sang...not much of a band actually) playing everybody's favorite Greek songs. The restaurant served chicken, salad, sadziki, fried zuccini, stuffed grape leaves and koukia, which are large beans that they say are poisonous to kids. The adults had wine and ouzo and went wild. Even my mom danced.  

 This is my new Uncle Peter dancing the hasapiko all by himself. I think that it's sort of a tradition for the groom to get up and do a solo dance like this. Peter is a Greek-American but my dad says he became a real Greek that night. If the engagment party was this much fun, I can only imagine what the wedding will be like! (20 years from now, if they even have one.)

After the last of the guests had left the party my Dad turned around and saw all the people who worked at the restaurant, dancing to the little band.

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