From a young age, George Sioris has always had a very special connection with his yiayia, Georgia Sioris.
“I grew up in a house with both my parents and grandparents who are from the village of Isari in the Peloponnese,” George tells The Greek Herald with a smile.
“My upbringing was full of love and everything Greek. From the food we ate to the language we spoke.”
The Sydney local spent most of his childhood with his grandparents as his parents worked hard six days a week in their shop.
“They always reminded us of the hardship they went through and for us kids not to take anything for granted. The importance of being a good person and what that meant and to always be proud of our roots,” the 38-year-old explains.
Later, when George met the love of his life Lenyia through mutual friends, his yiayia also gave him some honest dating advice.
“From the moment yiayia met Lenyia she knew she was the one for me,” George explains.
“Yiayia’s advice on dating was the importance of being honest, respectful and never to be jealous as jealousy brings out the worst in people.
“She would emphasise the importance of enjoying the simple things in life like taking your partner for a picnic by the water.”
After having such a huge influence on his life, it’s no surprise George couldn’t wait to celebrate his marriage to Lenyia with his now 101-year-old yiayia by his side.
On Saturday, June 24 this year, George, his yiayia and family gathered outside their home to take photographs before the wedding ceremony at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Kingsford, Sydney.
In one photograph, yiayia Georgia can be seen standing next to her grandson, holding a black-and-white photo of her late husband George Sioris.
“In the photo, her husband is waiting at the front of the house for her with flowers,” George says, while explaining his special bond with his late pappou.
“Me and my pappou are both named George Sioris. We were both born on April 18 and we buried him on April 18, so there is a very deep connection there. In the photo I have his komboloi (worry beads) in one hand and his klitsa in the other.”
Now, with the wedding celebrations over, we ask George what’s next for his relationship with his yiayia. His answer was instant.
“For so many years, like most yiayias, she would ask me when I would be getting married and that she was waiting for the day,” George says.
“We have a little joke between us. I would say, ‘yiayia I’m going to postpone getting married because the longer I postpone it the longer you’re going to live since that’s what you’re waiting for.’ Now we’ve made a new pact and that is she has to wait until I have kids.”