Re: Long fingernails-and-growing up w/Greek parents

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Posted by merimou on January 26, 2001 at 14:15:06:

In Reply to: Re: Come on... posted by Cessie on January 23, 2001 at 13:03:40:

: I have read in a book of Greek customs that it is a sign of being a gentleman when a Greek man has a longer nail on his pinky finger. My Greek boyfriend at the time, he had this and he was very handsome.

merimou replied:
I am a 29 year-old Greek-American with Greek born parents who moved here in the '60s. A few months ago I noticed, for the first time in my life, that my father has a long pinky finger nail. I asked my mother about it and she was surprised that I didn't notice before. She said a lot of Greek men do this.

I didn't ask about the reasoning for it, but maybe now I will! It may be one of those things that men used to do in parts of Greece but don't anymore.

I have found that many of the beliefs and attitudes possessed by immigrant Greeks can be much different from those of Greeks living in their native land.

It seems as though people like my parents are stuck in a kind of "cultural time warp." They came to the US with the traditions found in their homeland at that time period. Then they continued to hold on to them while people in Greece moved forward with the times. At the same time, it is hard for them to adapt to the ways of the "Amerikani."

For instance, my parents never wanted to talk about dating or sex. They don't like men with earrings or long hair, even though I'm engaged to one. Sure, they like him, but I still get comments that he would be better if he cut his hair and got rid of the earrings. They reject foods and/or cultures that are different from their own. I could go on, but I think you may understand. You may be saying that this is true of a lot of people, regardless of their culture or birthplace, and that is probably true. Just my own experience...

Do any of the children-with-immigrant-Greek-parents out there have similar experiences?


p.s. I just stumbled upon this site and felt I finally found a forum in which to share my thoughts about "growing up Greek," however I am disappointed in the defensive sounding, flaming emails regarding the pinky nail question. It was an honest question and did not deserve the "hotheaded Greek" response we are so well known for ;-)

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