Today is my name day and it is also my yiayia’s name day too. You see, I was named after my yiayia (my grandmother). It is Greek tradition for your children to be named after your parents. So I was named after my mother’s, mother… Aspasia.
Although my yiayia was born in Greece, we both live in Australia now and true to Aussie style, my yiayia shortens her name to Aspi and my name gets shortened to Sia. Yiayia takes the beginning of the name and I take the end of the name. By doing this, people don’t mix us up and we always know which “Aspasia” is being refered to in conversation.
This is a little bit harder for my sister, who is named after my other yiayia, my father’s mother, Anthea. There are more than eight Anthea’s in our family and everyone is alway’s confused about which “Anthea” is being talked about. It is also very difficult for my brother Nick who’s named after my papou Niko (my grandfather). The name Nicholas, can’t be changed too much… only to Nic, Nicki, Nicko and Nick.
In the movie, my big fat Greek Wedding, when Toula’s dad introduces the family, all of her cousins names were Anita, Dianne and Nick. Nick, Nick, Nick and Nikki! Now you know why… it is because all of Toula’s cousins were named after the Grandfather.
Watch the ‘Meet The Family’ clip from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding:
The Greek naming tradition goes back years and years. Each person is named after a Saint in the Orthodox Church and your Name Day is celebrated sort of like a birthday (but different).
Today is my name day and of course, it is also my yiayia’s name day. To be honest I didn’t know that I had a name day. But according to the Greek Orthodox Name Day Calendar the feast day of St Aspasia falls on the 1st of September each year.
Here’s hoping not too many people remember to pull my ear!
* Who are you named after? *
Other topics you might like:
- Celebrating Your Birthday Before the Date ~ Greek Superstition
- Praying to St Anna for a Baby
- My Greek/Cypriot Wedding