There will always be ongoing conversations on how members of the Greek community in Australia can keep the Greek language alive. Of course, one of the best ways to get a head start is by starting young!
Author Magda Vourvoutsiotis has put together a bilingual children’s book to help parents and youngsters begin their Greek language journey together.
“Whilst the book is bilingual, I truly hope that it inspires parents and the like, to maintain the Greek language by offering them the opportunity to read this book in simple Greek with the support of the directly translated English on each page,” Ms Vourvoutsiotis told Neos Kosmos.
The stories of Dimitri and Alexia was inspired when the full-time working mother-of-two observed her husband translate English books into Greek, word for word, as he would read their children bedtime stories.
“Reading books is a key part of any child’s night time routine…This sparked the bilingual element with the Greek kept simple and intended as a direct translation of the English for those keen to refresh their Greek reading skills, whist adding another dimension to a child’s education as they form clear links to words and context,” Ms Vourvoutsiotis said.
The stories however do much more than just teach Greek; they open up the opportunity to explore Greek culture and heritage, making the tales relatable and applicable to the experiences of modern Greek-Australian families today.
“Some of us even find ourselves having migrated to a country for family, love, work, lifestyle, which has resulted in the continued growth of diaspora. As we call a foreign land home, we recognise the importance of maintaining a connection to our roots; the activities, celebrations, traditions, that make us feel more at home. We embrace the now not-so-foreign culture, yet try infuse it with the culture we are familiar with. The one we grew up with and are longing to pass on to the next generation,” Ms Vourvoutsiotis said.
The stories of Dimitri and Alexia attempts to capture the duality of cultures through the conversations and activities they share with the readers and show that distance is no match for the love we have for the people in our lives, not matter how far across the world they may live.
Although this book is based in Australia, ‘Dimitri and Alexia’ exist all over the world, facing the same challenges and living through similar experiences.
You can get your hands on a copy of The stories of Dimitri and Alexia by clicking here
WIN A COPY OF “THE STORIES OF DIMITRI AND ALEXIA”
Author Magda Vourvoutsiotis is giving three readers the chance to win a copy of The stories of Dimitri and Alexia. All you have to do is be one of the first three entries to get the below questions correct.
1. Which city has the largest Greek speaking population outside Greece?
2. How many muses are there in Greek mythology?
3. Name three methods of communication to stay in touch with friends and family in Greece.
Once you have your answers, send them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your full name.