Greeks love traditions. Some are slowly fading away and some are still pretty going strong. Naming your child after the father or mother of either falls into the latter category. Especially if your parents or in laws are very tradition oriented, it is the ‘proper’ thing to do. After all, Greeks are extremely family oriented. They would literally do anything for their children. The least we can do is honor them by naming our children after them, right?
My mom (being German) never really understood this tradition and since my father didn’t really mind, she gave us names she really liked. Now that I think of it I prefer Tatiana to Eleftheria, thanks mom 😉 Hence, I wasn’t really intending on keeping that tradition either.
When N.’s father got sick, he asked me if we could name our child Yiannis. Since I had a great relationship with him and thought very dearly of him I agreed. If we ever had a son, he would be called Yiannis. By the way Yiannis is the Greek equivalent of John and is one of the two most common names in Greece (Yiorgos or George being the other).
Unfortunately my son never met my father in law. He died two months before I gave birth to him. I am sure he would have loved him to pieces.
Today is his name-day. We will celebrate (together with half of the Greeks) as this family knows best. My sister and kids will come, pastitsio will be served and unlimited TV and junk food is allowed. I will try to overlook the fact that I am sleep deprived & cranky and make the best out of this day. After all it is HIS day!