Monday, 30 May 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway - Greek family lifestyle in the UK by Kelly Florentia - Greek Week

When most people hear the words Greek family they immediately conjure up a world bursting with well-meaning aunties sticking their oar in, parents demanding that their offspring bring home a nice Greek girl or boy, and the entire clan sitting around a table every Sunday eating Souvlaki or Moussaka, maybe even breaking a plate or two once they’ve necked enough Retsina to do the Zorba on the kitchen tiles. In fact, the Greek stereotypical family sounds as if they’re having one big fat party, 365 days of the year. But is this what it’s really like?

In my debut novel, The Magic Touch, I had to explore what it’s like to be in a relationship with an Anglo-Greek Cypriot partner from the viewpoint of Emma King, a 39-year-old English divorcee. Having first-hand knowledge of Greek family life in the UK, writing about Emma’s partner Harry Georgiades and his clan was a fun and pleasurable experience. Here’s my insight into Greek family life in the UK:

Food: Let’s start with food. Food is the equivalent of a cup of tea. Bad day at the office? A nice plate of dolmades will sort that out. A family crisis? Chuck a couple of red mullets into the frying pan. A celebration? Let’s get the barbecue going. If you’re ever invited into a Greek home you will undoubtedly be accosted with a plate of something savoury or sweet. ‘Have you eaten?’ ‘Are you hungry?’ ‘Oh, have something small, then.’ And don’t dare refuse it. It’s the essence of their lives, a comfort, a blanket, it brings family and friends together, and Greek food is incredibly delicious.
Family: While family values are still very strong within the Greek community in the UK, things have changed, moved on, particularly where marriage is concerned. Although some Greek parents would still prefer their children to marry a Greek, it’s very common and acceptable to marry outside of the Greek spectrum. 

Marriage: So, will a Greek family welcome a non-Greek with open arms? Well, yes, of course, why not? However, because of their strong sense of family ethics and morals, marrying a Greek comes with a set of conditions. In The Magic Touch, Harry’s parents, an older Greek couple, have welcomed their sons’ partners with open arms. But because Harry and Mas have been instilled with the Greek culture, an ethos that spans generations, Emma and Caroline are expected to accommodate some of the Greek traditions, which, fortunately, they quite like.  

Religion: Religion is a very significant part of family living, and you will find that if you want to marry a Greek, the family will expect you to marry in a Greek Orthodox Church, and children to be christened likewise. Of course, this isn’t compulsory but you’ll have very disgruntled in-laws if you refuse.  

Children: Traditionally, children are named after their grandparents, which does make picking names a bit easier, I suppose. But then they could end up with a very old-fashioned, dowdy name. So, while many British Greeks still hold onto this tradition, they may alter the name slightly; Mas instead of Marios, Harry instead of Haritos, Demi instead of Demetria etc., but increasingly couples are choosing names of their preference, so you will often hear English first names with Greek surnames, such as Kelly Florentia.

About Kelly Florentia

Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband. Her debut novel THE MAGIC TOUCH was released on 24th March 2016. Her second novel BROKEN will be published on 20th August 2016.

Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before writing her first novel, she wrote short stories for women's magazines. To Tell A Tale Or Two... is a collection of her short tales. Kelly is currently working on her third novel

Giveaway - Win an eBook of The Magic Touch  (Open Internationally)

An eBook of The Magic Touch is up for grabs!

Giveaway open Internationally, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 4/6/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Win an eBook of The Magic Touch (Open Internationally)


  1. I already have a copy of Kelly's book on my Kindle so won't enter the draw, but really enjoyed reading about the 'Greekness'and rather like the old-fashioned names!

  2. I lived in Cyprus for 3 years in a small village amongst the aging locals. I absolutely love the Greek way of life and meeting Kelly on Twitter has been an absolute delight. With so many good books on my reading list winning the magic touch would take my next read to top place. Thanks for the write up Rachel and well done Kelly.


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