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Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Prodigal Son

Tou Asotou..The Feast of the Prodigal Son, the second Sunday before Lent

  Most know the parable of the younger son who demanded his inheritance and then went off and squandered it on wine, women and song. He returns home with his tail between his legs and instead of being cast out is welcomed by his father who 'kills the fatted calf'.

Greek men, the ones in my neighbourhood, celebrate this day as the Feast of all 'naughty boys'.  Just one day in many of their celebrations.  K says prodigal sons celebrate for 6 months before their fiesta and six months afterwards.




I say he's too old to be a prodigal son and should leave it to his grandchildren.  Yet he's never too old for celebration and jubilation.

This feasting always falls on a Sunday, aha, but the next day is Monday, a working day.  Does that really make any difference here?  Of course Not.  The men gather to drink wine, gossip (men gossip so much more than women!), argue vehemently, consider, debate and debilerate.  Talking makes them thirsty and very hungry.  And you never drink without eating something to soak up the alcohol.

The meze  today is usually meat, a piece of fatty roasted pig or a rooster, especially if it has been slowed boiled and then stewed with fresh tomatoes, a big stick of cinnamon and served with that long, fat, pipe like macaroni which has to be sucked up and dispatched between great gulps of the local rough white.

They don't each have a big plate in front of them.  A meze is a communal plate with chunks of meat from which they cut small fragrant mouthfuls and smother in mustard or tzatziki.  Some aromatic feta cheese, bread, a tomato doused in olive oil, a jug of wine, and no wives around to nag,  makes for happy boys.




At the end of it all they stagger out to their motorbikes and weave their way home, as is the custom here

















23 comments:

  1. You really do have a awful lot of celebrations there, don't you? The food sounds wonderful. The drunken motorcycle driving, not so much. -Jenn

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    1. Too darn many celebrations. This week we had another big fiesta/feast, a big meat eating day which you'll all hear about soon. It is carnival at the moment and there are a lot of party/church celebrations/ceremonies. Next Monday is Clean Monday and the beginning of Lent. No parties for 6 weeks, no meat eating and strict fasting days. Not all follow the rules but most of our family do, even the older children.
      We SHOUT at our party-goers if you drink YOU DO NOT DRIVE. Most of the time they dont thank goodness. We live up a long winding hill road ...

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  2. No wonder the men enjoy it. I bet they don't do the dishes, either!
    We have one of our sons and his family up from London this weekend, not the prodigal, but we celebrate as though he is! So it has been a weekend of feasting, luckily this has been offset by hours spent running around after our grandchildren.
    Exhausted Granny, Lincolnshire.

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    1. Dear Exhausted Granny, grandkids keep you fit....whether you like it or not. Cooking, cleaning up, washing all those darn dishes, being inventive, making sure you're the Lincolnshire Granny of the Year, smiling, walking the dog, writing a blog, arranging the next village fete, cleaning all those muddy gumboots...phew, I got tired just listing all that! No wonder you're exhausted. Time for a break? You do remember what that word means?
      I've lost track of this reply.
      Men get up from the table and disappear.

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    2. Gosh, it all sounds rather impressive the way you write it!
      ps The men tend to do the same in this family - melt away before they can be called iin to help.

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  3. Yup. Sounds about right lol
    Lots of drinking and eating and merriment
    Then lots of snoring and sore heads lol

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    1. That's exactly the picture. Same the world over I guess

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  4. Peter says "don't they have any work to do?"

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    1. Yeh, GOOD question! Schauble and LaGuarde have been asking it for the last 8 years! What with early retirement, unemployment and seasonal tourist work, half or more don't have jobs to go to....ummm and Greece has a problem??

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  5. got to admire a culture that has so many celebrations that include family and friends constantly. Maybe that is why Greeks live longer. They always have something to look forward to... We are so fractured here. I live far from my family as do most of my friends as we all scattered to the wind for work.

    It is something to think about.

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    1. All that family/social stuff sure does make a difference. The island if Ikaria is one of those places where people live much longer and it is known for its festivals where all the village takes part, eating and dancing together and families live together and work together.
      Not all cultures have this though. England and nz kids leave home, go away to work and meet once a year at Xmas maybe. It's just not possible

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    2. I wonder also if all of the fasting and so many holy weeks with out meat also attribute to it, as the other places in the blue zones as like Loma Linda are areas with a high concentration of Seventh Day Adventists, who are vegetarians. Although lots of wine must also help, as in Italy they also have areas of people over 100 in small pockets.

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    3. I wondered how Loma Linda came into the equation. I must read the book on those zones one day. You're right about going without meat. Even here in a normal week meat won't be eaten more than three times a week. We eat a lot of legumes, and vegetables can be a meal on their own.

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  6. I love your celebrations, a bringing together of people, good food and good times xx

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    1. Too much! At least I have two girls and they help a lot. Don't know what I would have done with sons!

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  7. The little shrines on every corner in Poros are a sobering reminder not to touch the krasi then wobble home on a moped.
    Perhaps after a while you don,t notice them though.

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  8. Looks like you have a true community on your island LA. Most of the young seem to emigrate or move to the cities here in rural Ireland.

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  9. KIRRIE, I was thinking about that as I wrote those lines. I'll post about those shrines very soon. Getting it ready. As you know, they are everywhere, but there are surprisingly few fatal accidents due to drink. If the cops did a few breathalyser tests they would be a bit more careful..but they don't. Very few even wear helmets still unless it is mid winter. Hell even the police don't wear seat belts. I keep trying to photo them! No belts and talking on their phone.
    The wild west lol

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  10. Dave, it's tradition. Just carrying on the customs of their fathers, just a bit more subdued now.
    Quite a few of the young have gone to Australia, England, Germany to work, even just to Athens, but they all come back. that is what makes the Greeks different I think. They might go elsewhere to make some money, support a family but very soon they return to their village or island.

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  11. Ah Poros Police, I seem to remember there being a small Police station/ room on the waterfront, not far from Malibu.
    Boys in blue chatting animatedly drinking Amstel, n smoking cigs.
    Rumour was as little crime and what crime there was locals dealt with in their own way.
    May all be myth of course.


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    1. That's our police!! The police station has moved up the back streets now and the whole lot were replaced after a shooting incident in a bar.
      But actually there is very little crime. Unfortunately there are a few burglaries now. We used to say any crime or robbery was commited by tourists on other tourists. Not like that anymore. Unfortunately I have to say it all changed once the borders of Albania were opened. Sounds rascist but its true. Still, Poros is a quiet place. Kids can run free.
      Our house was broken into one winter while we were away. A very neat job. Just cash taken. Someone knew we were away...a local, a neighbour? Not a nice feeling for sure

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