Have you ever heard of the Greek word “meraki”? It is one of those extremely soulful and culture-specific vocabulary items that tend to become viral posts on social media meant to inspire. “Meraki is the soul, creativity or love put into something, the essence of yourself that is put into your work.” This would be a fair enough definition of meraki.
Meraki, however, is also the name that Arianna and her mom gave to their website and small business. Meraki Greek Delights to be exact! Who is Arianna? Well Arianna is another one of the amazing Greek LOL students that you might have seen on our social media with her delicious “gemista” recipe video.
Find the gemista recipe video on the Greek Lessons OnLine Facebook page
Just a short conversation with Arianna is enough to get a grasp of her delightful personality and Greek temperament. She lives in Denver, Colorado and is a teacher of English Language Arts. Arianna’s family moved to the US in the 20s. Their family, however, never lost their connection with Greece and as Arianna tells us they have always been very active within the Greek community and their church, “it’s always been a big part of our lives.”
Arianna went to Greek school when she was younger but she never felt confident enough to speak the language as well as she would like to which is what made her want to have lessons of Greek as an adult. “Last summer I started teaching English to kids in China online and it led me to think oh gosh I wish there was a program like this where I could do Greek and googling it I came across Greek LOL and started doing lessons in May!” Having seen her gemista project video, it is amazing to see the progress she has had just over the course of a few months, but then again when you put all your efforts and positive attitude on something, nothing is impossible.
“It’s been amazing to use all these programs and applications that I use as a teacher in my classes to help me learn. Greek schools in Denver don’t necessarily use the technology Greek LOL uses that gives you extra opportunities to get creative with your learning.”
Our conversation shifts to Meraki Greek Delights and how her mom started it. “My mom has always been baking a lot and at Church they have been doing a lot with the women’s organization Filoptohos and a lot of people have been reaching out to her privately over several years for baklava, for spanakopita, for tyropitakia. So she decided to turn it into a business where she takes orders online and then they also order it through church, around Christmas and Easter people can place their orders.”
Arianna and her mom cook together for their family and Greek community. “My mom has been teaching me a lot. I love ntolmades! That’s my favorite!”
And when it comes to her favorite thing about Meraki Greek Delights she says that she loves carrying on the tradition. “You know it’s something that my mom”s mama and yiayia taught her and it’s such an important part of our lives and connection with Greece and our heritage and family and our Greek community here in Denver as well!”
Arianna loves to speak Greek and just hopes she will be able to visit Greece next year “Hopefully I’ll be able to go back next summer and speak confidently and navigate my way around as a proud Greek American.”
Arianna is definitely the kind of person you want to be friends with and chat for hours! That’s why we conclude this short conversation with an open invitation and mutual hope to see each other in Greece next summer in our Summer Camp or Immersion Course and get to talk more about her experience as a Greek American and the delicious Greek delights she and her mom make with a lot of meraki! Thank you so much Arianna for our chat and for being part of our online family!