Orestis Portelos, age 97 from Greece, was interviewed for the Human Longevity Project (https://humanlongevityfilm.com/). He said, “‘Panigiria’ (a Greek festival celebrated during the summer months) is a tradition found from our ancestors. At that time, we had good ‘panigiria’, they were not as crowded as today. We were also organizing them for financial reasons. All the money we were gathering was used for the village’s needs. Even today, all these ‘panigiria’ are organized for this purpose. We are also having fun. We meet with people from other villages. I still go. As I told you earlier, I used to go with friends my age. Nowadays, most people going are young people. I meet with few people now, but I still go.”
It was nice to have good friends over this past weekend as we reminisced the warm, sunny weather we enjoyed in Florida. They shared with us all about the community of their second home. The wife described the close knit community of just a hundred homes. She said the ladies meet pretty much every week and even on the weekends. They have so many fun activities like cooking, exercise, and dancing classes. They even have frequent luau parties. The neighbors are so close that it’s common for neighbors to visit each other’s homes to help with any issues. It truly sounded like a wonderful community of living, learning, laughing, and loving.
This is what the elder Orestis Portelos was describing. Close bonds formed in communities are such commonplace for centenarians living in the Blue Zone areas. Human relationship is such a vital part of life and one of the primary foods that was taught at my nutrition school. You can be successful in health, career, spirituality, and other things but if you lack in the relationship department, you will struggle. It will be like trying to drive a car with a flat tire. Isn’t that what the human condition is all about? The human spirit begs to be loved, adored, and embraced.
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your relationships? And if it’s taken a back burner what can you do to improve it? It would be wise on our part to model our lives and indeed how we view our relationships after the people living in the Blue Zones. To your health and happiness!