My husband and I were honoured to be koumbari for John and Anna last weekend. We did all of the things that koumbari are expected to do: organise the stefana, the lambathes and the bomboniere (all beautiful products that I purchased from The Greek Wedding Shop).
We planed the pre wedding parties like the Kitchen Tea, the Hens Night and of course the boys had their Bucks Night too. We paid our fees to the Church, to the Priest and to the Pslalti. We pinned money on the bride and groom during their first dance and we prepared our speech for the night. The role of Koumbari carries with it a lot of responsibility (as well as a lot of expense). But it is all worth it, because as koumbari you hold an important part of the couple’s life. It is a role that is life long and one that you must be worthy of.
Just after the Church ceremony, the Bride and the Groom along with the whole bridal party waited in line at the alter for the guests to come up and give their greetings. Each guest kissed us on both cheeks and then they would say “Panta Aksii”.
I didn’t know what this meant as I don’t speak much Greek and it had not been translated to English. It was the first time that I have heard of the saying. After a little bit of research, I discovered that the saying Panta Aksii (πάντα άξιοι) means:
‘May you be worthy as Koumbari’
My husband and I replied with ‘Thank You’ and continued to kiss each guest on both cheeks as they went down the line.
Koumbari have an important role in the couple’s life together. It is a role that one must be worthy of.
In your opinion, what makes a koumbara/os worthy?
Please post your comments. I’d love to hear from you!