Posted on 19 Jun 2019

Being born and raised in the uk, not london but manchester, i was good friends with georgiou s mother as we both went to greek school on saturdays together!

Feeling nostalhic now as i think of the greeklidh wr spoke, life was hard linguistically when i eventually moved to cyprus. My mouth needed some getting used to, trying to bring out and express the cypriot language.
Betwern us growing up as kids wr where taught to speak greek to our parents yet between us we developed a mixed sort of grammar and language, even on our use in sentence structure. We where the third generation, whereas the first first generation, with little spoken english experience, usually added words specific to job employment.
Second generation in my family spoke cypriot and also knew english. Created words to use within the context of their cypriot sentences whereas we created mixed full sentences using a mixture of both languages and grammatical inclanations...

Of course the biggest obsticle was the refusal of our parents to deal and befriend people outside the cypriot community as they saw it ad an invation to our cypriotness. Cyprus had moved on since the fiftys yet they held onto outdated ideas including strictly arranging our mariages.
As a university graduate it was difficult to balance an educated open mind with what I understand now was Cypriot racism towards their host country. Many suffered as i did during this time as i ran away to cyprus to escape a false culture created by cypriot immigrants to the uk, yet still Cyprus needs to move on as my educated open minded britishness is who i am more than any other culture and certainly i do not fit in here in Cyprus.
I have due to family cypriot pressure, been suffering from post traumatic stress due to family forsed ways of living...

I truly do not wish to return back to the uk and become a part of the cypriot society there as my memories of it where so entrapping yet i would return to the open minded creative and intellectual culture as an independant person in the uk...

Of couse there are the phrases used like drink cigarette - πίνω τσιγάρο, εχάρτωσα το κκιchουι - which does not mean I got kitchos engaged but I wallpapered the kitchen.

As children we also had fun making new words up and used them between us to communicate!

We would say flumps for φλαούνες for example and rename our cypriot elderly neighbour κυρία Αντιγόνη as Kriki (creaky with a cypriot accent) )Mac Bony!' ' (but don t mention this out of respect)

Sentences we structured where for example, Let s go and testarei my new car. Lets go and test out my new car.

Of course as i now live in cyprus i have learned both languages properly and in my head keep them seperate.
English still remains my strongest language especially on intellectual subjects yet i use greek for poetry ad i find it beautifully expressive.
And now with the help of spellcheck on mobile phones i have greatly improved my written greek, with greek characters rather than english which i had been using in the past for writing.
Most of my reading however is still in english as i feel is a simpler and shorter language to read.