“Hello. Welcome to the Portokalos family and welcome the-the Miller family. I-I was thinking last night, um, the night before my-my daughter was gonna marry, uh, I-an Miller, that, um, you know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word “milo”, which is mean apple, there you go. As many of you know, our name Portokalos is come from the Greek word “portolakli”, which means orange. So, okay, here tonight we have, uh, apple and orange… we all different, but, in the end, we all fruit,” said Gus Portokalos at his daughter Toula’s wedding reception.
In case if the reader is wondering the context and origin of these lines, they are from the romantic comedy film of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). The movie is centered on Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos, a Greek-American woman who in the middle of early mid-life crisis finally falls in love with Ian, an upper middle class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant American or simply put, a non-Greek American. Born into a an orthodox Greek family, Toula examines her relationship with family, with their cultural heritage and value system. Finally all ends well as the wedding takes with mutual appreciation of each others culture, tradition and customs.
Yet among the variety of funny dialogues, the words of Gus Portokalos resonate in the mind. Even though the speech is simple, the implicit message conveyed boils down to the fact that although we all are different, we eventually end up in the fruit basket. This truth is not confined to Greeks alone but is pertinent across all societies around the world. Similar situations have been encountered in different places not necessarily weddings, even the market places, work or on the daily commute. Fruit in whichever shape or size, chopped or as whole, garnished or plain or by whatever name or colour ultimately belongs to the big family of “fruit”.
Putting this subtle yet profound realization into practice in our day-to-day interactions would bridge the discriminatory attitude towards the people we meet across the different walks of our life. While we may not agree with some of them, absolute disdain and disrespect of others based on physical or traditional characteristics would narrow the rich exposure of the flavours of life.
In fact, unknowingly our words and actions mirror our personality as well as the traditions and culture that we belong to. By pointing one finger at others, we fail to grasp that at least three of the remaining three fingers are directed back towards us. And if anyone directs their hand at others, know that the same hand is attached to our body which throws back a picture about the culture and upbringing of the person. So instead of wasting away precious time and energy over irrelevant and minor details, isn’t it easier to keep matters simple and enjoy the basket of fruit ?