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Anyone of Greek extraction who can advise?

(9 Posts)
jasmine51 Tue 28-Dec-10 18:43:01

We would like to invite a Greek friend of ours to be god father to our son when he is born. We are not religious, neither is the guy we want to ask, so the purpose of the role is for us to acknowledge the special friendship with have with him, and our hope that he will extend that special friendship to our new son and to be a source of inspiration, support and advice to him outside the family. My question is whether the role of 'godfather' has a different meaning to Greeks and if we would be imposing more obligations on him than we intend..or if he would interpret it very diffently.
If it is important, he is from Thessaloniki.

BreastmilkDoesAFabEggnogLatte Tue 28-Dec-10 18:45:54

I'm not Greek. However, I think the role of godparents in Britain is becoming an increasingly flexible, loosely defined one and that friendship often plays more of a role than faith. My guess would be that it's the same in Greece. Why not sit down and have a chat about what you and DP and your friend would like godparenting of your DS to entail?

jasmine51 Tue 28-Dec-10 18:54:50

Thanks Breastmilk. We are certainly prepared to have that coversation but it would be nice to have a Greek perspective. We stopped short of asking him to be a best man at our wedding (in Greece) because it appeared to be a slightly different role where he is from - not sure if that is Greece-wide or just the island he lives on though. The last thing we want to do is invite him to a role that is onerous in any way.

jasmine51 Wed 29-Dec-10 10:23:19


escapeartist Wed 29-Dec-10 19:15:36

Hi Jasmine,

In modern Greece being a godfather (or godmother) is a way of inviting someone, usually a close friend, into your family. Traditionally the godfather, apart from performing the actual baptism/christening will take he child to Sunday school etc etc. Of course these days few do. A couple of customs that are kept is the godfather buying a new pair of shoes for the godchild once a year (usually around Easter) as well as giving the child a traditional Easter candle.

I think your intentions, which are lovely, will be appreciated and it is hard to misunderstand that Good luck! (Will you be christening your child in Greece? It is also the godparent's job to pay the priest... ;) )

jasmine51 Wed 29-Dec-10 19:39:37

Thankyou escape. It is not our intention to christen the baby in Greece as we are not religious, however we are thinking of making a formal visit to introduce him to our friends and maybe have some kind of naming at the place we got married followed by a little party in the village for everyone who was involved in our wedding...on reflection that wont end up being be a 'little' party if we know the Greeks!!

DrSeuss Wed 29-Dec-10 20:41:58

My son was not christened but was given two Ohmygodmothers. These are my two closest female friends. One is in charge of advising on piercing and tatooing should the need arise. The other has responsibility for helping chose his backback for interrailing/gap year purposes. Both take an interest in him and his development and are good friends to him.

singingseahorse Wed 29-Dec-10 21:52:35

I am Greek, but have been living in this country for almost 15 years. When I asked my (Greek) cousins to be godmothers to my son, I clearly said to them that I do not want to create any pressure on them to buy gifts and jewelry etc. as is usually the custom in Greece- only to treat it as a special bond with our son, to be special precences in his life. In Greece, a godfather/mother would usually spend money on gifts on the day, including golden jewelry, a cross, as well as the outfit for the child. There is also the expectation of gifts for the child around Easter, as has been mentioned. I also think that people offer to become godparents in Greece, (implying that they can 'afford' it financially), rather than the parents asking. This has created some awkwardness for me, as people offered but I was not sure I wanted them to play that role.

Hope this helps and makes sense!

jasmine51 Thu 30-Dec-10 10:00:59

Thanks all
DrSeuss ha ha love it!

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