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CarrieKaterina

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Hello,

I'm Italian-American, married to a great Greek boy and expecting our first child in August of this year! My husband's family is wonderful but very traditional and "old school" as my husband puts it. Recently, my. mother in law told me that after I have the baby I have to stay home with the baby for 40 days and not leave the house until his 40 day blessing!! I'm all for tradition but no-one can really explain to me WHY we would do this? My OB told me I would have to take the baby in for a checkup at 2 weeks and I'll have follow-ups as well so how is this even possible? After a year in lockdown I don't want to be trapped indoors for over a month, but also want to respect my in-laws culture.

Anyone know the roots of this tradition and how important it truly is? Is this a battle I pick to fight?
 
I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
 
Congratulations!! I haven't heard about this, but I googled it and apparently it's common in other cultures as well. https://elenigage.com/fabulous-at-40-days/ Hopefully they don't pressure you too much and you don't do anything that you're not comfortable with
 
I'm Armenian and we do this too, it's a time for the woman to rest and make sure that she's being taken care of and not putting too much stress on her body. It's a little archaic lol, but I think some parts of it are valuable
 
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It's the non scientific way of people recognizing that a new mother needs the time, space and focus for her body to heal, to bond with her baby, to deal with the the trauma of breastfeeding, and to allow the baby's immune system to develop a bit more before meeting the hoards of people wanting to snuggle him/her. People came up with 40 days kind of arbitrarily and to give it credence, attached a religious meaning to it. It's a time for new mom and her baby to be pampered-- and relieved of all other household chores (that's the silver lining). I did it, more or less, for all my kids, because I was able to and I wanted to (be pampered), and to make Yiayia happy. But I also had the support from my mom who slaved over me and the newborn by cooking, cleaning and taking care of my other children, etc. It's not meant to feel like a punishment, but it can if you feel pressured and judged. Being a new mom is so hard (lack of sleep, pain from breast feeding, hormones), sometimes all you need is some fresh air and to get away from others to get your mojo back. Admittedly, after about 10 days, I started taking the baby out for walks in a covered stroller. And when I needed to run errands or felt like I needed some normalcy like getting to a restaurant with a friend, grandparents told me "you go, but baby stays here". Personally, I welcomed getting away from the baby for an hour or two. If your in laws are willing to help you, milk it! If they are not nearby, what they don't know, won't hurt them. Do what you need to do to preserve your mental health, I hope you have all the support and understanding you need from your extended family. Good luck!
 
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Hello,

I'm Italian-American, married to a great Greek boy and expecting our first child in August of this year! My husband's family is wonderful but very traditional and "old school" as my husband puts it. Recently, my. mother in law told me that after I have the baby I have to stay home with the baby for 40 days and not leave the house until his 40 day blessing!! I'm all for tradition but no-one can really explain to me WHY we would do this? My OB told me I would have to take the baby in for a checkup at 2 weeks and I'll have follow-ups as well so how is this even possible? After a year in lockdown I don't want to be trapped indoors for over a month, but also want to respect my in-laws culture.

Anyone know the roots of this tradition and how important it truly is? Is this a battle I pick to fight?
Well, I never heard this one! All 4 of my grandparents were from Greece, and no such tradition was ever mentioned to me.
 
I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
Ah, the "mati". I would think mother and baby would still be susceptible to the mati after 40 days too. We know, from My Fat Greek Wedding, to spit at people not to "matiasi" us. However, we know the biggest deterrent would be to wear our cross.
 
I tried to do this with my first born but lasted 7 days. It was summer, the weather was beautiful and I felt trapped :)
Luckily my parents and in-laws weren't too opinionated on this particular topic!
 
I tried to do this with my first born but lasted 7 days. It was summer, the weather was beautiful and I felt trapped :)
Luckily my parents and in-laws weren't too opinionated on this particular topic!
If you're giving birth in the summer I would say going outside would do you some good! Fresh air and some vitamin D can really cheer you up! I would recommend you stay away from other people though, your immunity might be low and you want to be careful because of covid.
 
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I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
Thanks we are super excited! I'm sure it's the mati it seems like everything is somehow rooted in the mati with my in-laws haha
 

Advice about making Greek coffee

I've developed a fascination with Greek culture and cuisine, and one aspect I'm particularly eager to explore is Greek coffee. I've heard that it's a unique and delicious brew, but I'm not quite sure how to make it at home.

I understand that Greek coffee is traditionally prepared using a special pot called a briki, but beyond that, I'm a bit lost. What type of coffee grounds should I use, and how finely should they be ground? Are there any specific brands or blends that are favored for making Greek coffee?

I'm also curious about the brewing process itself. Is there a particular technique for achieving that rich, foamy texture that Greek coffee is known for? And what about serving suggestions? Are there any traditional accompaniments or customs that I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance!

Navigating Greek Lenten Fasting - Advice?

Lent is here and all my friends and family have been asking "what are you doing for lent this year?" They're all "giving something up" but I decided I wanted to fast. I would love your help and advice because this is the first time I am doing things in a stricter way. I resolve to see it through!

It's supposed to be a a time of reflection, purification, and preparation for the celebration of Easter, and the diet plays a significant part in this spiritual journey. I don't want to get so obsessed with the "rules" that I lose myself in them and forget why I am fasting int he first place.

Thanks in advance!

Thinking about the Greek way of hospitality...

I thought I would ask your thoughts oh Philoxenia - or the Greek way, or art, of hospitality. I noticed this when I travel in Greece. People are so kind, they often go out of the way for us, when I feel that they don't have to! How can one describe this to someone?

From what I understand, Philoxenia is not merely a practice but a deeply ingrained value within Greek culture that extends far beyond the simple act of hosting. It reflects a genuine, heartfelt welcome to strangers, treating them with the same respect and generosity one would show to a dearly beloved friend. This beautiful tradition, passed down through generations, turns the act of hosting into an art form, embodying warmth, respect, and a profound sense of human compassion. There have been so many stories I can think of...

This thought process was triggered because we were watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 - someone in the village had taken on a Syrian refugee. Is this a Greek hospitality thing? Philoxenia?

Where did plate smashing come from?

When Greeks feel happy and are dancing and have a good time, they've been known to smash plates. I've seen it! It's not just a tourist thing - but they don't do it much because I am sure they won't want to smash their expensive dish wear.

I was just at a wedding and they had purchased plates to smash - so basically they were cheap throwaway plates that actually smashed really well. I almost wonder if they were made for the purpose...

It got me thinking - where did this tradition come from? Does anyone know?

Greek family customs - Personal related

Hi there. Not sure if this is the right forum, but I've got some personal issues with my family. My brother in law (73) is Greek. His wife (my sister) is not. They have a daughter (34) (my niece) that "sides" more with the Greek culture.

My niece has never left home, and has never paid rent or paid for food. She's been mostly jobless although she has worked a few jobs here and there. My sister is fed up with it, but when she confronts my BIL, he says "Greeks don't do that". And what he is implying (I guess) is that Greeks take care of their family in this way.

My BIL had a stroke many years ago and his health is declining rapidly. I am advocating for an attendant to come into the house every day and get him dressed, showered, make him meals, etc. My sister is 73 and she can't physically handle this. She also doesn't want to devote every waking moment to keeping an eye on him. When she suggests an attendant, again, "Greeks don't do that".

Now I'm pretty sure this is all BS, but would love to get some input from any Greek people in this forum.
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