Tips for a Ksenos – How to Meet the Family

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Meet the FamilyAre you in a relationship with a Greek? If so, the next logical step after you become fairly committed to each other is to meet the family. Greek families are fairly unique and if you haven’t had a lot of exposure to people within this culture, the first meeting can be overwhelming. These tips will help you survive this pivotal event in your relationship.

Watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Before you are introduced to your significant others’ family, it helps to watch the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In this movie, a Greek woman falls in love with a ksenos, which in Greek means foreigner or “non-Greek”. Their relationship is initially met with resistance from her family. Of course, everything eventually worked out.

For you, watching the movie can help prepare you by giving you a fairly accurate example of how a Greek family interacts. There are some who believe this movie to be an exaggeration. However, most Greeks believe this is a fairly accurate portrayal.

Consider Giving a Gift

Most Greeks are taught to arrive at someone’s home with a small gift as a gesture of thanks for having been invited. If you are invited over for dinner, appropriate gifts include a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. However, don’t be offended if they don’t open it. Since it is a gift, it is perfectly acceptable for them to serve them at a later time.

One of the things the family will judge you on is if you show up with a gift or not. This is an easy way to make a great first impression. For a Greek, showing up at someone’s house without a gift is considered disrespectful.

Make an Effort With Your Appearance

Another great way to win points with the Greek family is to remember that first impressions really do matter when it comes to appearance. You don’t necessarily need to be clean cut and preppy, but being clean, well groomed, and fairly well dressed are important.

Wear something you would wear to work if you’re having dinner at the family’s place or simply visiting with them in their home. However, if you are going out to dinner with them, obey the restaurant’s dress code.

Always be Polite and Sincere

Greek families respect people who are polite but who are also sincere. Your main goal is to make them feel as if you respect them. If they somehow get the impression that you don’t, they won’t like you. However, if you are overly polite, you won’t look sincere.

Meeting the family for the first time can be stressful. However, if you are a ksenos, the initial meeting can be even more of a challenge. Remember to dress well, give a gift, and be polite and sincere at all times. Most of all, relax and have fun. Greeks are warm and friendly and if you make a great first impression, your chances of being accepted by them are really good.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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