Our well-travelled Slovenian tour member, Ciril, doubted there were any synagogues in New Zealand. Our tech-savvy young Jewish tour participant whipped out her I-Phone and scrolled a bevy of them all over the islands. Many years ago I hosted three Hungarian botanists who were couch surfing across America.We drove downtown one day, and I remember them intently looking at store signs, everywhere and proclaiming every few minutes "That's a Hungarian name", "They're Magyar"...you don't HAVE to be ethnic--some may seek out whatever emblems of identity. But ethnicity is pretty potent--even for a very diluted Greek like myself. Of course, I spied in the distance the Panhellenic Association sign near the harbor of Wellington, New Zealand. It immediately brought back a flood memories of my parents' fierce devotion to their Pancretan Association.
We ethnics notice street signs...
I had glimpsed the dome with the cross the first day in Wellington as we zipped by and I knew there was a Greek community nearby. I might have even predicted the Greek flag blue roof.
Not just Greek, but from Hania: of course, the Kiwis (and other Commonwealth soldiers) were protected by Cretan villagers, many of whom paid a high price for it. Perhaps immigration was encouraged as a sort of thank you. I wonder if I have any cousins nearby?
And what a tale a sign will tell: Dionysos serves over Japan, Korea and India as well? The Greeks have always been a far flung nationality. But we always look for home.