|Greek Lighthouse Pastel|
The Greek parent’s code
I was born in the United States. My parents were born in the United States. Their parents were born in Greece. I’m not crazy about apple pie so I guess I am as American as Baklava.
Since my parents were both born in America they spoke English but being the children of immigrants, they also spoke Greek. My mother attended Greek School and could also read and write in Greek. My father spoke “Greekish” a combination of Greek and English.
You would think that they would teach their children to speak Greek since it is always a boon to be bi-lingual. In their defense, I do understand that having four children who are always listening in to conversations can be a bit daunting. So they shrewdly came upon the solution. Use the Greek language as a code. Teaching their children to speak Greek would be counter-productive.
Whenever they wanted to discuss something and not include us, they spoke Greek. My brother and I being the two oldest and the most curious, broke the code. Dad’s “Greekish” turned out to be our Rosetta stone.
Voila! We could understand Greek and Mom and Dad would just have to devise another plan, American Sign Language perhaps?
The downside to learning a language in self-defense is that we can understand but to form actual sentences takes a little more time. And most Greeks speak a blue streak. As a result, when I am in the company of fellow Greeks, I cannot answer a question I totally understand.
Practice they say makes perfect so I will go back to the basics and work on my language skills…so when I visit the land of my ancestors I will answer…efcharisto very much.
Please note: The pastel painting above was photographed under glass and there is some distortion to the color when posted online.