Well-wishes in Greek for new graduates

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To mirror how quickly time flies when you are a parent, we continue our segment “How do we say it in Greek?” with things Greeks say to congratulate somebody on their graduation. Let’s say your friends or family had a baby and you successfully congratulated them on this happy arrival. Now it is time for said baby to graduate. 

They do not really need to be graduating from university for Greek parents to be extremely proud and expecting some well-wishes from their friends and family. They can be graduating from primary school or junior high school or kindergarten for that matter. Regardless of the educational grade, summer is graduation season and we thought that Greek wishes for new graduates might come in handy. 

The most common and popular wish in Greek for graduates of any level is Καλή Σταδιοδρομία (kali stadiodromia). This might sound like a wish for an Olympic athlete but it is actually the most common thing to say to someone who has just graduated. The word stadiodromia was indeed used in ancient Greek to describe a track race but it is used in modern Greek as a word that signifies somebody’s evolution or progress in their studies or career. Together with the word “kali,” good, they make up the perfect wish for a new graduate. 

Καλή Πρόοδο (kali proodo)! Another wish that can be used to congratulate a graduate of any level. While Greek people say this to congratulate university graduates it is also what is specifically used to congratulate students who move onto the next educational grade. “Proodos” means progress and this is what all Greek people wish for their children when it comes to their studies, to evolve and learn as much as possible. Every year, on the last day of school this is a phrase that you hear everywhere around you, from teachers, parents and  proud Greek grandparents. 

Καλή Τύχη (kali tihi)! The concept of luck and destiny is of extreme importance for Greeks. Luck for Greeks is the power that can influence the way things unfold and push them towards a positive or negative outcome. When Greeks say Kali Tihi to a new graduate, they are basically wishing for the most positive outcome. It is like a positive thought you send into the universe  and hope it bounces back to the new graduate bringing great things for them with it.

Όλα Δεξιά (ola dexia) ! Another very Greek way to congratulate a new graduate. This well-wish would most probably come from an older person. This is something yiayia or pappou would say to their grandchild on their graduation to show their hope for only positive outcomes in the child’s life from now on. When Greeks say “na pane ola dexia” they base their hope on the tradition that the right side of anything is the side connected with positivity, well-being and good.

Now you are all ready for graduation season! Stay safe and love Greek! 

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