Family Paper

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Family Paper
NURS 3304 Professional Nursing Practice
October 6, 2011

The movie we chose to review is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The film portrays a large family with strong cultural beliefs. Family relatives include Tula Portokalos, Gus Portokalos, Maria Portokalos, Athena Portokalos, Yiayia, Aunt Voula, Nick Portokalos, Uncle Taki, Athena, Foci, Cousin Nikki, Cousin Angelo, Yianni, Cousin Jennie, Aunt Frieda, Cousin Marianthi, Aunt Lexy, Aunt Nota, and Paris Miller. The cast also includes a priest. Opposite the Portokalos family is Ian Miller and his small traditional family made up of Harriett and Rodney Miller. Also in the plot is Ian’s friend, Mike. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is about a traditional Greek family who wants their 30 year old daughter, Toula Portokalos, to be married. While working in the family restaurant, Dancing Zobra’s, Toula meets Ian Miller with whom she falls in love. Ian Miller is not Greek but in order to marry Toula, he agrees to embrace the Greek culture and Orthodox Greek religion. In turn the Portokalos family must accept Ian and he struggles to embrace the traditions of the Greek family to which he now belongs. Family Cultural Assessment

The family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is large. Each family function is attended by the entire immediate family. This includes thirteen cousins and assorted aunts and uncles. Despite its size, the family is very tight knit. Members of the Portokalos family are strong believers in the Greek tradition and do everything together. The Greek culture is traditionally centered on the Greek Orthodox Church. These are very religious and cultural people. The tenants of their Greek Orthodox faith permeate all facets of their lives. They value strong family ties and follow the guidelines of a patriarchal family structure. With the father at the top of this family, the mother is the home maker. The father works while the mother stays at home cooking and cleaning to provide for the large family. Mixed marriages are not encouraged in the Greek culture. Greek girls are encouraged to choose equally strong cultured Greek men for their husband. A primary goal of Greek parents is to facilitate the marriage of their daughters to Greek men. According to Nixon (1980), “The ethnic back ground of one’s friends is an indicator of prospective mates from which one will choose” (p 48). Greek families are very clannish. The extended family is always included along with the immediate family when there are Greek family gatherings. Each family gathering is thought to be an important factor in maintaining strong ties within the larger Greek community. It is also very common for ageing grandparents to live with their children. This is portrayed in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Gus’ mother comes to live with the family. Ian comes from a small traditional American family. His extended family consists of only two cousins. His relatives are well to do and more sophisticated that those in Toula’s family. It is difficult for Toula to explain her large family unit to Ian when they first meet. Ian understands the importance of Greek culture in Toula’s life and accepts the large task of meeting and trying to assimilate with the large Portokalos family. On the part of Ian’s family, it takes some significant adjustment to accept the fact that Ian is marrying into such a strong willed Greek family. Foutoula “Toula” Portokalos is 30 years old, her father is Kostas “Gus” Portokalos and her mother is Maria Portokalos. Her younger brother is Nick Portokalos and her older sister is Athena. Voula is Toula’s aunt. Yiayia is Toula’s grandmother, Gus’ mother. Cousins include Athena Portokalos, Nick Portokalos, Foci, Cousin Nikki, Angelo, Yianni, Cousin Jennie, Cousin Marianthi. Also part of the Portokalos family are Uncle Taki, Aunt Frieda, Aunt Lexy, Aunt Nota. Ian Miller is now part of the Portokalos family along with his mother and father, Harriet and Rodney...
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