“Η δε γυνή να φοβήται τον άνδρα” (i de gini na fovite ton andra)
“Let the wife fear her husband”
This phrase is heard at the end of the apostolic reading St. Paul addressed to the Ephesians. This is the moment in a Greek wedding everyone is waiting for, as traditionally, many wives step on their husband’s foot to show in a playful way that they will not be going down easily!
In older days many mistakenly believed that the Apostle Paul with this phrase advise every woman to “tremble” and obey without objection their husbands. This is how the stepping of the foot of the man by the woman has become a tradition, as a way of the new wife to state that she will not succumb. In fact this phrase means that the woman should respect and consider her husband, besides earlier the priest gives instructions to the man and how he should love his wife as to be himself and to sacrifice for her if needed.
Today it is just a funny moment, were the wife steps on the man’s foot giggling, or sometimes even the man steps on the wife’s foot just to catch her off guard!
This is a caption of Antonakis k Elenitsa at the old Greek movie “Let the wife fear her husband”, at the scene where Elenitsa steps on Antonakis foot.
The story of this movie is about a couple living together without marriage for many years and the man plays the dominant role in the relationship. But once married, power relations reversed and the woman claiming equal or more dominant role, responding to the model of a married woman who manages the “household” and social relations. The reversal is however very sharp, to be readily accepted by her husband, and within a few hours the marriage ends in divorce. No, no, it’s actually a funny movie and yes, it has a happy end!
Take a look at the movie’s advertisement on TV! You may not speak Greek but you can understand Elenitsa’s tone of voice before and after the wedding! Listen to the priest on 0:20 telling the wife to fear her husband. 😉
Would you step on your husband’s foot if you were in a similar position?
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