Event 1: The Greek Festival (Social)

On August 30th I went to the annual Greek Festival in Columbus and had a fantastic experience! Before hand, around 15 other students and myself had signed up for a paid for dinner at the Happy Greek restaurant on High Street. Afterwards we walked to the Greek Festival and I got to meet up with some of my friends who didn’t sign up for the dinner. At first we watched in awe young children dance to traditional Greek music before getting on the dance floor ourselves. We tepidly inched our ways into the main courtyard where everyone was dancing until one of the older festival participants took Naman and I by hand. She began to walk us through the foot work of the dance and after some time and some sweat we started to get the hang of it. Being an Anthropology Major and a member of IA, this was an ideal cultural learning experience. One of the chief tenants of modern Anthropology is participant observation, actually getting involved in the culture in which you were studying. I tried my best to participate by dancing, eating Greek desserts, and conversing with guides about the church mosaics. I believe this event was a chance to dip my toes into the pool of learning from people who practice cultures I know little about. I learned that you don’t have to be scared to join in and ask questions because people are often willing to share the things that bring them joy. I’ll never forget the two smiles the women had when they were teaching us to dance. The first smile was in humor about how hard we tried at first but we still hadn’t gotten it down. It was the smile parents give their children when they mess up in some goofy way. The second was a smile of joy and adoration after we really got into the groove. The smile of a parent immensely proud of something their child has done.


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