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Being Greek During the Week

January 23, 2008

If you tried hitting the gym over the last three weeks, you may have noticed how hard it was trying to find a treadmill or other piece of equipment. College students with nothing better to do, along with young professionals and others working through their New Yearís Resolutions probably had a lot to do with that. January is an interesting month in that thereís a huge emphasis on sports and fitness in this country, both by participants and spectators alike. The DC Greek community is not immune to this either, as January is typically the start of the Greek League basketball season, which invariably has to be worked around the NFL Playoff Schedule. We were pleased to hear that the YAL Basketball Tournament earlier this month organized by St. George YAL was successful in attracting both menís and womenís teams for a weekend of basketball and fellowship.

In beginning this year thinking about how life in the Greek community in this area could improve, itís natural to think about ways how people can come together in a less event-oriented way. Coming out of the holiday season, the traditional mid-point of the Dinner Dance circuit in DC, itís hard to imagine hanging out with Greeks without getting dressed up for a night in a church hall, hotel or other venue; not that this is a bad thing. What our community is missing for the most part during the year, with the exception of Greek League, are opportunities for Greek young adults to come together or meet in low-key settings. Going back to how this article began, with a trip to the gym, think about how many people meet in the gym, or in the beer aisle at the Harris Teeter, Social Safeway, or its neighborhood equivalent, or volunteering through some young professionals society that give young adults an opportunity to give back. There is no Greek gym or Greek Safeway, and outlets for meeting people while doing good works (outside of the YALs, which unfortunately most Greek young adults donít get involved with consistently in this area) are absent. For those of you who have ridden the Metro during the warm months here in DC, think about how many of those colorfully loud WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) shirts you see people wearing, with guys and girls playing a game for a couple of hours on a summer evening and kicking back at a local bar afterwards. How great would it be to have some co-rec leagues of any sport in the Greek community here in DC, or other organized ways of Greeks getting together on a random Tuesday or Wednesday night after work, in a setting that doesnít carry with it the traditional pressures or expectations of a meet market?

All of these thoughts are based on the premise that Greek-Americans would prefer to perform these activities with other Greek-Americans around, whether it is breaking a sweat, breaking bread, or giving back. Among those Greek-American young adults who are still looking for that nice Greek guy or girl to settle down with, it not like these increased opportunities to be around other Greek young adults could hurt. We hope that this concept would appeal to those who have either found someone or arenít looking as well; that ďthe searchĒ isnít the only thing thatís keeping them active in the Greek community in the first place. These are just a few thoughts with which to start off the year, hoping that some of these spur some discussion or change in the months ahead.

 


 

Read past feature articles