Silver and Gold

One of the things I didn’t realize was a tradition until I had a child was the way that Greeks choose to ‘asimoso to paidi’, which means ‘to silver the child’. People began to visit my child and along with the very generous gifts they brought they showered the child with money. Always a coin (either silver or gold) along with whatever denomination the visitor chose to give. I asked my husband about this as I recalled he got a rare coin for my Godson during our first visit and as well, my nephew. I thought it might have just been his part of Greece until my dad did it when he met my daughter for the first time. So then I did some research and found that this is customary for Greeks and Greeks of the diaspora. Along with silver or gold coins, many people give gifts to ward off the evil eye. These come in the form of a mati or a filaxto.

Being a mother who believes in the evil eye, I can only say I am very grateful for these individuals for giving my child these keepsakes that no doubt she will have her whole life.

My little one is very lucky to be surrounded by such generous people. And her mommy is happy that she learned one of what will certainly be many lessons. Have you visited a child and ‘to asimoses’? Do you have a gift of choice you go to? Share with us!

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A little ditty about Jack and really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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4 Replies to “Silver and Gold”

  1. I think it is a wonderful tradition, however have you noticed a generational difference though? I noticed though that none of my friends gave coins, rather they came with gifts (clothes, toys) .My parent’s generation, would give coins , “na ton asimoson” which I liked. Is this one of the few traditions that the younger generation of Greeks diaspora might not pass on? It begins with us, and it is something I want to start doing.

    1. I agree with you I do think it is a great tradition. My guess is that many people of our generation don’t even know about it (like me). I think education in our cultural traditions is important so that things like these are not lost.

  2. Yes i remember this from my two children-but instead of gold/silver coins it was gold/silver jewelry and a couple of matia,

    And oh piercing my daughter’s ears before her forty days! My yiayia came on the Saturday before Eva’s naming and immediately chastised me for not piercing her ears with gold earrings, needless to say they were pierced that afternoon.

    1. Liz it is funny because I had a similar conversation about ear piercing as well and the 40 day timing. I never thought to use the gold trick though 🙂

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