Our family is now even richer

The Greeks have a special word that describes a family joining a Greek family as a result of a marriage. It is a wonderful term that explains the joining of two families through marriage.
We hadn’t thought of the expansion of our family to our Brendan’s wife family when they became engaged.
We hadn’t even given it any thought on our trip as we kept saying pethera (feminine) mother-in-law or pethero/e (masculine) father-in-law. When the syn is placed in front of the term, it means co-in-laws.
Eleni, Brendan’s bride to be, had sent us an e-mail to help us understand what we might be called by her Cypriot Greek family who were arriving for the wedding.
In Greek culture, our families–the Cumming and the Sofocleous-Timotheou families–were being joined in the wedding ceremony.
We have come away overwhelmed by our new relatives. Even though we did not share a common language, we found we shared a great deal of love of our children and our found friends, Maria and Mario Sofocleous.
In typical Cypriot fashion, they have opened their homes to us and we to them.
They have shown us great hospitality and the relatives who travelled to Canada from Cypress and England created the most wonderful feasts of Greek Cypriot foods.
We knew we would be treated at a special Thursday Greek barbecue of spit-roasted lamb, souvla cooked over charcoal, sheftalia (special home-made Greek sausages) and a myriad of other phylo appetizers, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopia, and teropita (Greek cheese pies).
But prior to the Greek barbecue that drew more than 60 people from both sides of the family, we enjoyed a wonderful evening of food, music, and dancing on the patio of Maria and Mario’s home. We shared a wonderful evening with our new family as we got to know each other.
It was all a part of becoming a larger family. We had not expected that.
On the Friday, it was our turn to return the favour and our new relatives joined our families for an evening to return the hospitality. Almost our complete family of Fosters, Cummings, Plumridges, and Klevens joined with the Sofocleous and Timotheou families for an evening of getting to know each other better.
Marriages often bring families together and new bonds are created, not just with the married couple but their families, as well. We experienced that during the week of celebrations. We experienced the joy and love of all the families and have made lasting new friendships.
With the marriage of our son to a Greek Cypriot, we have been able to experience the wonderfulness of a different culture.
Our younger son, Adam, in marrying Meesun Shin, brought the Korean culture into our home and now we enjoy many of the foods from Korea.
Our world has expanded and our families have become richer as a result.

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