Warm Kastania welcoming- YiaYia’s Village

After two consecutive nights of partying in Athens and Chalkida. The Boukis boys caught their flight back to the states around 3am and the following day I caught the bus to continue my nomadic travels. After saying by to my Ralph Lauren Polo attire and dusting off my Nike dri-fit shirt, cargo shorts and anti-blister socks it was time to head up north to Kastania, where my Yiayia was born and raised.

Within the first 5 minutes of arrival, before I could even get a drink of water I was rushed up to the the panagia (festival) where there were a little over 200 greeks watching dance performances, clapping and screaming with energy levels far beyond the energizer bunny! It was a trip! I was being bombarded by greeks drenching my cheeks with kisses starting from right cheek to left! It was an authentic Greek welcoming to say the least.

After watching performances for a rough 15-20 minutes and meeting family, I was told that there was going to be an announcement for my arrival and that I was going to have to dance with the local group!! keep in mind I’m in my traveling clothes, haven’t eaten in 8 hours and dehydrated as hell and now I was going to get a introduction to over 200 Greeks and having to dance along side boys and girls in costume!

It was time, the microphone rang out and in greek they were saying something like this ” Hello everyone, I would like to introduce Kosta Makris, grandson of Effie Chumas; He is here from California to visit family let’s give him a warm welcoming in name of his Yiayia who is well respected in this village!” and as they clapped I did my bows and prepared to dance. PICTURES BELOW!




Village Yia Yia on her donkey



One thought on “Warm Kastania welcoming- YiaYia’s Village

  1. ko, you are representing as third generation to experience dancing at yiayia’s village celebrating annual paneyri. Last time both Mom and i was there was in 1988 dancing where your dancing. opa and have a great time and take in the sights where yiayia was raised.
    love you. Dad

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