This time last year, we were roasting in 100°F weather on the other side of the world. I could barely remember what we did over Labor Day weekend in Cyprus. Even the events leading up to our departure was a complete and utter blur. But before our departure, I remember attending our local community’s Greek festival. It commemorated our last official weekend in the U.S.
Our Greek language instructor had invited us to the festival so that we could get a flavor of Greek food and culture, as well as meet a Cypriot-American who knows a lot about Cyprus. This year, we attended the festival again to see our Greek instructor and his family, as well as enjoy some good ole’ Greek-style comfort food.
The inflatable slides and games that Piano Man loved so much, I remembered all too well. It looked like so many of the inflatable slides at the indoor playgrounds in Cyprus.
Watching our local community come together and perform traditional Greek folk dance looked so novel a year ago, but watching it again in the U.S. felt like a little piece of Cyprus was with us here. I could tell Piano Man watched with fond memories of his friends back in Cyprus, and Linus intensely listening to all the familiar traditional Greek folk dance songs from various events we attended on the island.
And let’s not forget the refreshingly good coffee frappe’. It’s strong stuff, but I just couldn’t get enough of it.
Vendors also sold souvenirs, such as costumes and handmade jewelry. Some of the items reminded me of the vendors in Athens, as well as in Cairo.
I think the kids’ favorite part of the festival would have to be eating the desserts. They tried the powdered sugar almond type cookies. Linus looked intrigued by the idea of powdered sugar on his hands and face.
But of course, Greeks are famous for baklava, which sold like hot cakes at the festival.
On Facebook, I read that many of our friends in Cyprus are ramping back up for the fall or traveling back from their home countries to Cyprus. We miss them and think of them often, even though we are on the other side of the world. Attending the Greek festival in our hometown was a reminder of all the wonderful experiences and friendships in Cyprus.
Finally, did you know that you can find a Greek festival in your community? Greek festivals are held almost year round from January to November in the U.S. You might find one nearby and enjoy some Greek food and culture right in your backyard. So go ahead and plan a family or group outing!
From my hometown to yours,