By Violetta Malatesta,

guest blogger


I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of all the fuss about Ancient Greece. You almost cannot open a book- not that I read that much- or watch a video without hearing about all the great things the Greeks did. But let me tell you about how the name of the country came about; I bet they did not teach you that in school.

Violetta Malatesta, Celebrity Soprano

Violetta Malatesta, Celebrity Soprano

The Greeks ate a lot of fatty foods: grease
meat, cheese and such- they still do, but not as much now- and, on top of that, they used to drown everything in olive oil or lamb fat. With so many banquets, and after eating as many lambs, olives and mountains of cheese as they did, little by little, the whole country came to be covered in grease. Grease would ooze from the ground;  it came down mixed with the rain and it collected on every surface. It even covered the furniture, the sheets and the pillows. And that is how the name Greece originated, from all that grease- only that they changed the spelling, to camouflage it a bit.

Luckily, after many centuries, the rain washed away most of that fatty stuff, which then ended up in the sea.  Swimming was never the same thereafter-not that the local sea creatures had much choice. And when Greece heats up in the summer, the sea still gives out its characteristic soupy smell, from all the ancient grease that gathered in it.

greaseIt is no secret that during periods of famine, the ancient inhabitants of the Greek Isles would survive on a few scrawny potates or whatever roots and leaves they could collect to cook in the sea water. The rich protein content of this miraculous broth would tide them over. Thanks to it, they were able to keep body and soul together for months at a time, until conditions would improve, bringing about a good harvest and better times.

Once they had put some meat on their bones again, the men would go back to their usual occupation: killing each other, burning down enemy cities, and making slaves of their inhabitants. The women left behind wove during the day and undid their work at night,  to keep off unwanted suitors. This would sometimes go on for years.

And you may ask yourselves, well, the name of the country may make sense in English, but did the Greeks speak English? Yes! I know it for a fact, and I can prove it. The folks that own the corner deli store on my block are Greek and they all speak English (talk about ancient: the lady who serves the olives must be at least two thousand years old). Besides, did you ever see the movie My Big Greek Fat Wedding or something like that? Guess what language did they speak? I am no scholar, but I do know English when I hear it.

And please do not tell me anything else about Ancient Greece. I don’t want to hear it! The summers were torrid, no air conditioning, the roads impassable and not even one decent mall.

I still don’t get why all the fuss…But who cares? It is all Greek to me!!!!

This post has been contributed by Violetta Malatesta. The views expressed herein are solely her own.

The Opera Atelier

You may learn about Mademoiselle’s Malatesta exploits in the post entitled “Introducing Violetta Malatesta” in The Opera Atelier Blog. The pirate video of the private conversation between Violetta and her manager (Diva meets Manager) can be found on The Opera Atelier YouTube channel and The Opera Atelier Performance Institute YouTube channel.




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