Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Name Day-- to me.

There are several name days for Joseph in Greece. But the Cretans, according to my Uncle John, celebrate the name day for Sifis on Dec 30. Now that I think about it, I remember a late night phone call my cousin Adonis made to the priest in Paleochora about it. He promptly said "Dec 30" as if it were a routine question, hung up the phone and no doubt went back to sleep.
I wasn't called "Sifi" as a boy and to this day there are folks who don't know that is one of my names. I use it mostly in my inner circle and among Greeks. But every once in a while I will get asked, "Who is Sifi?"
The name is very common among the Sfakiotes, not so much in Selinio or Gavdos, where we are from, or so I'm told. I feel fortunate to have it, for it is an instant conversation starter in Crete, especially among the hospitable elders in the villages. I've had many thimbles of tsikoudia while straining to understand bits of lore about some local Sifis.
My late and lamented, ever-loved great-Uncle Christos, when asked if the name appears elsewhere in our family, said, "We don't need another Sifis, we have you!"


Mediterranean kiwi said...

happy (belated)nameday sifi
and happy new year
let's hope 2009 won't be as bad as 2008
love from crete

Sifi said...

Thanks, Maria. I took my friends to coffee last night and Georgos brought me a nice scarf. (Name days are sometimes an excuse to slip in a belated birthday gift--I don't mind!)I agree with you COMPLETELY. 2008 was not the best, but onward and upward, hope springs eternal, etc., for 2009. LOL. Chronia Polla to you and yours!