Tuesday, September 1, 2015


For many years in my life I didn't know exactly what I was.  I don't mean to imply that I was necessarily searching for meaning or purpose.  That came much later and is worthy of a separate post.  Instead, I wanted to know about my background. What was I?   My parents were born in rural villages that are now in Northwestern Greece, speaking a language they called Romanian.  I always wondered why my mother's maiden named ended in the letter U, like many Romanian names, while my father's ended in OS, like most Greeks.  The spelling of these names added to my confusion.  My father drank thick black coffee that came from Turkey, and to complicate matters further, my favorite uncle called me Pamela, the Great and said we were Macedonians, the land of Alexander.  As I've written in a blog post entitled Self Acceptance, I know that while my parents identified themselves as coming from Greece, our family really belongs to an ethnic minority group called Vlachs, who migrated as shepherds to Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, and while there are very few of us left, I'm hoping to find some in Romania.   

Yes, in a few days we will set off for Romania, where we will spend ten days exploring a country that in some ways is part of my multi-ethnic heritage.  There might be some sad moments if I let myself dwell on the stories my mother told about her sister and husband who were executed in Bucharest during war times,  and the fact that my father's brother was a prisoner of war in a camp there as well.

Romania is a country that is just beginning to reveal its history, beauty and charm to travelers who are interested in exploring the Balkans. And for me, wouldn't it be great to connect with some present-day Vlachs! 

Stay tuned.  The adventure will soon begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment