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We could learn to speak Greek easily because our early years were spent in households where Greek was the only language.This was reinforced by extended family and the wider Greek community our parents socialized within.
There would be a large barrier between him and his grandparents who spoke English as a second language. However, at 2 years of age, he stopped responding to the Greek language.
My husband and I both speak good kitchen Greek, another impediment. The rate at which he was learning English – from television, childcare, friends, and admittedly from us, outpaced the rate from which he was learning Greek. Both my kids go to Greek school on Saturday mornings and are now learning to read and speak. My son can now read in Greek, although he doesn’t understand everything he reads.
My parents were Greek migrants and I was being raised in a Greek household.
Once I started primary school, I spent several years doing special English classes. I grew up in an area where a large majority of the population had migrated from Greece post World War II.
In Greece, there were times where I struggled to be understood but my parents would have been able navigate their lives with ease.
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They would have been part of the majority, living in the country of their birth, where they had a historical link to the land. The country your parent’s came from, its culture and beliefs?Although I was born in Australia I was unable to speak English by the time I started school.I figure, if it is possible to learn a language other than your mother tongue, like French or German, then they can learn to speak Greek. Although we know people who have succeeded in teaching their children a little of their cultural language, most people we know haven’t.Without speaking the language, could I call my kids third generation Greek Australians? She’s surprised how many of her third generation students do not speak Greek.Negotiating the line between playful flirting and creepy Pepe Le Pew can be difficult at times.Americans don't have much of a reputation when it comes to chewing the fat with potential sexual partners.Will they feel like tourists in what may seem like our culture, not theirs?My husband and I are not the Greeks our parents are, and our kids will be less so.My kids are also learning to speak Italian, but don’t feel Italian because of it. Now, in his third year at Greek school, he calls himself Greek. We are not only connected through the biology of mother and son, but through the shared history and culture of several countries. Sadly, I’m not sure if my kids will continue these traditions and whether they will send their own kids to Greek school.Cultural identity comprises race, beliefs, history, connections to a land, music, food, and traditions shared with others. Will these traditions inform them, the third generation, the way they inform my husband and I?