Passing on the family name from generation to generation.
In Greece tradition has it that we pass on the names of grandfathers and grandmothers to the next generation, and that, to the first-born child. It represented respect for the loved ones, but also a strong family bond. Some families are super strict about it, some are more lenient. Not passing a name on can result in misunderstandings and let-downs. It can be a first quite crucial decision a newly married couple has to make, and it is not always an easy one.
My great-grandfather was called Nikos, which resulted in his grandchildren, my uncles, being nicknamed to: Nikos, the tall one, Nikos the brother (as in my dad’s first-born brother), Nikos from Paris, Nikos from Messina, Nikos “the beautiful” etc. It was a way of easily telling them apart. My great-grandmother’s name Sevasti – Augusta – was also passed on to the first-born girls in her descendants’ families, but in variations: Seva, Teta, Savvina etc. There was no beating around the bush, descendance was given the importance it should have.
I must admit that since I lost my father, I appreciate, and I am glad that my son Palvos is carrying on his grandpa’s name. Like my cousin Tassos told me, “It is nice to hear the name still echoing in the house”.
Here’s to my great-grandparents, Nikos and Sevasti, who in 1877, started the dream we, the fourth generation, still live for today.