What is the Meaning of Kefi for Greeks?
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It’s no secret that Greece has had its share of hardships. Whether looking back at history or the present day, the people of Greece haven’t had it easy. Foreign occupation, world wars touching Greek soil, and economic difficulties have all been part of the history of the country. You may look at the news and feel that the current events of the day may impact your trip while in Greece. Yet, when you arrive in the country, you realize that this simply isn’t the case. People in Greece are laughing and smiling and enjoying themselves, and this something that is a contagious feeling that trickles down to all the country’s guests.
This feeling is described in the Greek languages as kefi, and it is something that has no direct translation into English because it is such an important part of the Greek culture. Here’s a look at what kefi really is:
Trying to Define Kefi Isn’t Enough
The word kefi (κεφι) is a word that when directly translated from Greek to English means (according to Google’s translator), “fun” but that doesn’t even come close to what it really means. When asking Greek speakers what kefi means, they say that it means you are joyful, spirited, passionate, happy, and in general, that you love life. Although this is more descriptive than what the definition of kefi is according to the language translator, it still doesn’t tell the whole story.
Kefi Is a Way of Life
As mentioned above, kefi isn’t a simple word that can be easily translated and defined. To the Greeks, kefi is a way of life. Many describe it as the “Spirit of Greece” because people are able to have fun, relax, and enjoy life no matter what is happening. In general, kefi is the way Greeks express their positive emotions. It is the art of being in a happy mood and letting that shape your experiences. It is possible to be in a good mood even if times are tough. In fact, this offers a healthy and balanced approach to living life.
On some level, the Greeks understand that they can’t necessarily control what is happening around them economically and politically. However, they do know that they can control whether or not they are happy and in a good mood, which is why they’re able to have fun, even if they’re experiencing hardships. For many, kefi goes far beyond being happy and finding joy when times are good. The true feeling of kefi is tested even when times are tough.
How Greeks Express Kefi
There are different ways that Greeks express kefi. There are actual, tangible moments that we all witness or even experience ourselves. It is the simplicity and joy of sharing a meal with our loved ones and eating delicious food. We can find our kefi when dancing and creating music. Mostly, though, people who have truly found their kefi are able to relax and enjoy the good moments of life, no matter what.
The spirit of kefi is something that anyone can have. The immigrants from Greece who traveled to other places, such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States have kept this feeling alive. In fact, everyone who has ever visited Greece is no doubt impacted by the affect kefi had on them while in Greece, and it stays with them always.
Categorized in: Modern Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston