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He needed Ariadne’s help to get out of the labyrinth but when his use for her was done, he abandoned her, pregnant no less, on the island of Naxos after getting her drunk on the way back to Athens from Crete.And of course we all know the sexual exploits of the cunning Odysseus.But all too often I see the sacrifices to self and self worth, especially in terms of respect and equal division of house work and child rearing, that many of my Greek women friends have made for the sake of keeping comfortably Greek.To be treated with respect and a fair division of the work in both sex roles are non negotiables in a marriage arrangement.It was important for me that my daughters grow up Greek, but with all the benefits of feeling like empowered American women.I have tried to replicate I them what I have hoped to accomplish in myself as a hyphenated American.
While everyone assumes that Greek men will cheat, that is not the case for Greek women.
Since it is the mothers who transmit the culture, the drive for endogamy is very sharp in Greeks of the diaspora. It depends whether the Greek or Greek american has absorbed the mores of a more egalitarian sort of marriage and can respect the woman.
“ti tha pei,” the middle-aged ladies of the Philoptochos will chit chat, “tha parei xeno? It is considered a desperate measure, a settling for seconds should a girl marry a xeno someone outside the Greek golden race. But I believe that if the saying “a good man is hard to find” is true than the chances of finding a good Greek man are even slimmer.
I have religiously adhered to Greek food and traditions in the home.
I can safely say that both “feel” more Greek even if I had to become über-Greek so to speak in an effort to keep them from going “Greek lite” as I felt holding on to Greek culture extremely important.