I love Greek music. It's in my blood. Even more than listening to Greek music, I love Greek dancing. I come from a family who loves to dance. I don't get the chance to Greek dance as much as I used to, most of my dancing these days is plugged into my iPod, dancing around my living room. At the moment my favorite is "Xekina Mia Psaroboulla", it's actually on the soundtrack of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". When the music starts, I close my eyes, and I am back with my beloved family, some still living, some have passed.
The band starts to play a song we love, we all start moving onto the dance floor from various spots in the room, pulling along those who don't love to dance as much we do, in a few minutes they will be smiling too. The memories come flooding in, in the long winding line I see my grandparents, my mom and dad, my brother, and cousins, lots of them! I am dancing with my aunt, who loved to dance as much as I did. Who up until the time of her passing at the young age of 56 would still get up and dance while going through her chemo treatments. My grandmother, who outlasted all of us everytime! Dancing into the wee hours of the morning until the band stopped before she did. My uncle who is the best Greek dancer of all times in my opinion. I haven't danced with him in more years than I can count, and would give anything to see him dance again.
Everyone dances together, you learn to walk, you learn to dance. That's the way of Greek dancing, the leader of the line with the white hanky, ending with the youngest, holding on and learning the steps. It is a great comfort to me, that through this modern technology of my iPod I can play this music anytime I want, that this simple thing can awaken my memories, and in the middle of life today, I can go back to a time on a simple dance floor, in our church hall, that was magical. Greek music is wonderful, I am always looking for the songs of old, "Maria me ta Kritina", "Kira Georgena" and new music that makes me want to close my eyes and dance.
On vacation on the Greek island of Kos, my husband and I went to a local village festival. I remembered that some of the best dancers I knew from back home were from the islands. I wasn't disappointed! It was fabulous. Early evening, in August, in Greece. I joined the line, with these familial "strangers". After a couple of songs, the person at the front of the line offered me the hanky. I took it.