When I was at the school in 1968-78, many students were being brought up by Yiayia because parents were in Germany or Sweden working in factories to save and get ahead -- good economically at the end of the day, but difficult for their kids meanwhile. Germany wanted Greek workers until they didn't, not unlike the fate of Mexicans in California. Greeks mostly wanted to be in Greece, and many returned at some point. There are many songs lamenting life in a foreign land. But there are many Greeks who went and stayed, like our friend Rosa '69 (from a previous post).
And then there is Soula '76. After a difficult marriage in Athens fell apart, she moved to Thessaloniki with her 2 small boys even though she had been doing very well sewing for a designer boutique. Why did she leave for Germany in 1990? She couldn't make do here: "I was hungry" (literally and figuratively). She left an extended family that included 3 priests. Her sister Anna went with her.
|Soula front and center!|
She loves living in Germany primarily because her boys are also ensconced there. Her one grandson goes to "Greek School" (just like I did in Stockton, California once-upon-a-time) and plays soccer for a team called "Thessaloniki." AND she admires the German people for following the rules and being disciplined. Soula came to Greece for 10 days with a long to-do list and in whirling dervish mode. She is very organized on many levels.
Soula clearly loves her homeland. But like I said, she is very organized...and says that she will be buried one day in Germany.