Athens 2023 Athens, Greece MSMU Travels


Hello to all those who are reading!

One of my favorite parts of our study through CYA is the classes they provide. So far, we have had a cooking class and a Greek dancing class. These classes have been so fun because they help us learn more about Greek culture, and we are all together to learn about it.

For the cooking class, a chef from CYA was nice enough to stay after and help us. We met up in the cafeteria in time for dinner and waited to begin cooking after putting on aprons and gloves. We stood around the rolling metal island in the kitchen and listened to her explain the dishes we would be making and the processes we would use to make them.

We were picked out to do various tasks; cutting, mixing and tasting. We made dolmades and Greek salads. Dolmades are a Greek dish made with cabbage leaves, ground meat, rice, dill, onions and an egg and lemon sauce. Already-prepared Tzatziki accompanied the rest of our meal. The round tables were set up next to each other so we could all sit together and share a meal and drink.

Our dance class was taught by a choreographer and dancer. He teaches dance classes similar to Zumba, but he also knows a lot of traditional Greek dances. Over the course of an hour or two, we learned a few different Greek dances and sweated through our clothes. The dances were hard work, especially because they required a lot of group concentration and coordination.

The Greek dances consisted of us holding onto each other in different ways (holding shoulders, linking arms, across bodies, etc.) and dancing various steps with our feet while in motion. It was a lot of fun, especially when we got the hang of it. At the end our instructor taught us a dance, just for fun, that he choreographed for his friend’s wedding. The nonsense-like moves had all of us laughing.

Both of the experiences, cooking and dancing were so fun to do as a group. They were also such important insights into the values and practices of Greek culture. Togetherness is a vital role in the culture of Greece, as I have seen during my time here so far, and it can be reflected in the practices of dancing and cooking. I am so grateful to have been able to have such amazing experiences from the teachings of locals; it makes the experience much more authentic.

I hope that you will continue reading!

Thank you and goodbye,

Rosie Ballmann

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