By Kristin Kunz
As Single”s Ward has been enjoyed by many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been enjoyed by members of the Greek Orthodox faith increasing numbers dramatically at this year”s Greek Festival.
Yasmen Simonian loved the movie. Simonian, who teaches hematology at Weber State University, is actually Armenian. “I don”t have an Armenian flag, I have a Greek flag,” Simonian said with a big chuckle. Admitting that the movie was a bit exaggerated, Simonian added, “I mean we don”t windex ourselves to death!” Simonian worked at this year”s Greek Festival held annually in Salt Lake City at the Hellenic Memorial Cultural Center.
Barbara Kalantzes had a more sentimental reaction to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “We love it!” said Kalantzes, One scene made her cry. In the movie there is a scene when the Grandmother passes on her wedding crown to her granddaughter Tula. “We use wedding crowns in the marriage ceremony,” Kalantzes explained. The best man exchanges the crown at the Sacrament of Marriages, similarly to the exchange of rings in traditional wedding ceremonies.
For Kalantzes, the movie portrayed accurately the camaraderie the Greeks have for each other and the close family relationships. Kalantzes has worked at the festival since it began as a bazaar in 1977.
Ellen Koukos, a friend of Simonian and whose husband just became a priest, enjoyed seeing the reaction of this year”s crowd. “Yesterday, was a record Friday!” exclaimed Koukos. This year”s turn out was definitely higher than in year”s past due to the popularity of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Opa!