Sunday, 6 March 2011

Broxenia - The Greek Matchmakers!

The topic of Broxenia might be a little controversial in this day and age, so bear with me!

Broxenia is a very traditional matchmaking service that has been going on for many generations. Greeks were, and still are, introduced to other suitable spouses for them to marry by their family. Once the couple agree to like one another, they are engaged and then married. No messing about! 

The older generations were never really permitted to go out and socialise. They relied on supervised house parties where friends would invite overs to introduce to each other. No playing games and broken hearts in finding the One, back then!

Broxenia still goes on now with many families, but some are modernising allowing their children to find their own loves. (Great in many ways, but also running the risks of disappointments, undesirable partners and broken hearts!)

Greeks just can't help sticking their nose in peoples' business and finding suitable matches for people, so the prime time for this is anywhere where masses of Greeks congregate such as weddings, churches, family parties etc. Some parents like to be more controlled and select individuals that they want their child to marry, thus inviting them more formally over for dinner, for example.

The man must also ask the father's permission before even thinking about asking his daughter's hand. He may well be scrutinised by her brothers and uncles as well to test him out!

The reason Broxenia has stuck around for so long and why it still goes on today, is due to the importance of Greeks to marry other Greeks. Now, this is where the controversy will kick in, so brace yourselves.

Some might not see the importance of marrying someone Greek as "we're all people", which is fair enough. But the more Greeks that marry xeni, the more our culture and heritage is being filtered out and lost. If this generation, and the next generation and then the next generation all marry non Greeks, all these 'typical Greek' things that we are so proud of, as well as our traditions and faith are going to disappear. I know many half Greeks who are all funnily enough, very strongly tied to their Greek side and almost forget the 'xeni' side to them! But there are others who are the complete opposite, and that's where the 'Greekness' is being lost. 

It's great being Greek, so I can understand why the family are still so hell bent on Broxenia!
Having said all that, some people have had some incredibly bad experiences with their chosen broxenia, meaning many Greeks are very against it and choose to find their own!! Watch these funny videos below to see what I mean:



Remember, this is just my opinion and everyone is different, so I want to know what are your opinions on Broxenia and have you had any funny/interesting experiences you want to share?


  1. Love is many nationalities.. If you find a greek that is hard to deal with, in it for the cash, inheritance or whatnot, or your with a Colombian that worships your feet and gets along with you completely broke or not.. Well you decide.. as far as Traditional they can be kept always buy choice of course and should be embraced, but as far as Heritage if you look at modern day Greeks and do DNA origin testing you will see its also comprimised of Turkish / Persian of sort because we were the slaes to Turks for 400 yrs.. so the rest is Bullshit.. and noone should get any different treatment from family member who marries a non greek.. wedding, engagement party, wedding gift, blessings, dowery and so on..

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this, and I respect your opinion.

  3. Having read this, I feel somewhat naive and very deflated. I have a Greek Cypriot partner but I had no idea Greeks are so anti non-Greeks. The term you use for people like me, "xeni" (stranger, foreigner??) feels reminiscent of "kufar" in the context in which you have used it. Is it meant to be an insult? Either way, knowing what I now know, I will prepare to be dumped after not too much longer!

    I am Anglo-French by the way.

  4. You probably have grown in the US or Australia so you have a rather twisted perception about the whole thing which is understandable, because migrant Greeks behave differently and have a different way of living to Greeks in Greece . First the word is Proxenio and not 'Broxenia'. Second it's very very rare nowadays in Greece or Greeks living in Europe, so I assume you live far far away from Greeks and you must be a 2nd or 3rd generation Greek.
    Greeks in Greece about 50 years ago used to call 'xeni' (meaning foreigner) everyone who did not come from the same village as them. Of course most 'mixed' in that sense marriages did/do not break because of that.
    Overall your descriptions sound childish and I believe that you are just trying to humour Greeks.


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