Secondary Catalogue

Yiayia (Grandmother)

Poems by Luka Lesson

'Yiayia', written and performed by Luka Lesson. My Grandmother grew up between two wars in Greece lost her brother Xristo to the Germans and named my mother Xristina after him Rare for a Greek woman she had a divorce at 50 has lived for 30 years by herself with his photos still in the spare room She is a green thumb She makes cordial from her own mandarins drinks tea from her own chamomile bush and picks and tomatoes from her garden whenever I say I feel like a salata She hardly went to school But one day when talking of my time at university and admiring all three different types of basil she has growing in her garden she says to me: "Eat two leaves basil everyday good for the blood good for the brain - the don't teach that university" and when my brother Eliah says to her: "You know Yiayia - you know a lot...you're really smart." She always says: "Yes Eliah, I'm a very ...education" So recently I decided to ask my Yiayia what she thought about racism and whether it was ok that Greeks still ahte the Turks for what they did in the past and she said: "Just because some people naughty, doesn't mean you throw the rest in the rubbish!" Her name is Katerina Batounas but her maiden name is Sarandavga Sarandavga literally means 'forty eggs' and as the story goes one of her great-grandfathers was challenged by one of the other villagers to see if he could eat an omelette of forty eggs without getting sick Anyone that knows my appetite will know that I'm proud to say ...he won that bet And so his nickname 'forty-eggs' was then turned into the family name and was passed down every generation to my Yiayia and today it's her birthday so I tell her what we always do 'Na ekatostisis', 'May you live to one hundred' but she is 83 so instead of thanking me she says - "oh god me! a hundred no thank you i have enough maybe couple more years ...then I go to sleep" Where will you go to sleep Yiayia? "in the cemetery I already I buy a little house there... I don't afraid!" Until then she will keep calling me to see if I am too cold living in Melbourne keep stooping me from doing the dishes after she cooks us a meal keep trying to slip a fifty dollar note every time I visit and keep telling me: "Eat two leaves basil everyday good for the blood good for the brain" They don't teach you that at university

Rating: E
Production Year: 2013
Duration: 5 min
Series: Poems by Luka Lesson

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