My Year of Jubilee – Celebrating a name and a NO!

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in My Year of Jubilee | 0 comments

Photo on 2013-11-08 at 12.19 PM #3I’ve been here on Crete for two weeks today – exactly half my stay.  And in that time I have participated in two celebrations that are near and dear to the Cretan heart.

The first.  According to the Greek Orthodox tradition (and the taxi driver assured me 99% of the Cretans in Chania are), every day of the year is dedicated to a Christian saint or martyr. When someone is named after one of those saints (or a variation thereof), that day becomes their “Name Day” and is celebrated.  Yesterday was the ‘name day’ of the owner of the restaurant where I’ve enjoyed getting to know the staff.  I was invited to sit and then served a special drink to celebrate his day since they proclaimed that I am no longer a tourist.  I’m not a local either, obviously.  There isn’t a name for a long-time tourist who isn’t a local.  Perhaps there should be?  I propose: Tourcal?

When people come to Crete to work they almost all take on a Greek name.  There is something about a name that anchors you into a culture.  I have met a plethora of non-Greek born men who have legally taken on the name “Nikos” which means ‘victorious people’.

Ah the freedom in victory.  What’s in a name?  A proclamation.  I imagine in some ways choosing a Greek name when you’re an adult is a little like getting a tattoo.  You decide what you will be called because it means something to you.  Well that, and chicks seem to like the name and it’s easy for tourists to say.


P1070255The second.  The Ochi Day (pronounced O-hi) Parade remembering how in October, 1940, Italy, backed by Hitler, wanted to occupy Greece and General Metaxas responded with a simple but definitive “Ochi!”.  No! in Greek. It was a No! that some argue ended World War II much earlier.  One theory suggests that had Greece agreed to surrender without resistance, Hitler would have been able to invade Russia in spring, rather than making his disastrous attempt to take it in winter.

Knowing your No! will change history.  Often more than just your own.

No!-ing what you know needs to end opens doors to freedom.

A definitive No! opens the space for a bigger brighter YES.









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