The other day one of the Munchkins and I were chatting, and he said, "I went to the library and took out some books and CDs, and I have decided to teach myself Greek." What a character. He was describing to me the Greek alphabet, and what each letter does, and I found it so interesting. I would think Greek would be a particularly difficult language to learn because the Greek alphabet is so different from the English alphabet. Well, it's all Greek to me -- but it's fascinating. I love languages, and the more languages a person learns, the easier it is to learn other languages. They're all inter-connected, and reflect the flow of humanity across the globe.
After a few minutes, our conversation sort of went off on a different tangent, as our conversations often do, and we began talking about the similarities between the Greek and Russian cultures. I have always found them to be similar. Can you tell me in this picture, which costume is Russian and which is Greek? I have always found them to be similar. Their religions are Greek and Russian Orthodox, their music and musical instruments are similar, many of their foods are similar, some of their ethnic costumes are similar, and even some of their dances. I believe the answer to the similaries lies in the Byzantine era, which was the beginning of Orthodox Christianity in Greece, the Balkans and Russia. Now my curiosity is piqued, and I might pay my own visit to the library to learn more about this.
Here is the wonderful Igor Moiseyev Ballet company from Moscow performing the Greek Sirtaki. The dance is not a traditional Greek folk dance, but was created specifically for the movie "Zorbá the Greek" in 1964, and it is also called Zorbá's dance. Now more than anything else, we associate it with Greece. Have you ever gone to a Greek restaurant, had just a wee bit too much Ouzo and danced the Sirtaki? If not, you should try it sometime -- it's lots of fun.