Manamoo actually means “my mother” in Greek, but the meaning of this word/phrase depends on the actual situation you use it in. It can mean “my dear”, “my friend” and practically anything else you would playfully address another person.
No, I am not planning to start Greek classes on my blog. For that, you can check details on online Greek classes here
. Why I am discussing about this particular word is because of the “power” of this word in Cyprus. The word manamoo when used appropriately can open doors for you, help you jump the queue and much much more. I had been to the tax office few days back to submit my returns for 2007. I had to wait quite a bit because there was a Britisher in front of me who was “unsuccessfully” discussing with the tax officer to clarify the reasons for the excessive tax he is supposedly paying. Between his rants, the tax officer used to say something to greek to her neighbour and both would giggle. While all this was happening, I suddenly remembered a similar incident which happened to me at the same place 2 years ago. I had written about it on my personal blog
that time. Reading that still brings a smile and makes me wonder about the complications of living in this small island. So, I am pasting below the contents of that post. Btw, this “concept” still holds good and will probably do so forever.
Today morning, I went to the Income Tax office to meet our assigned Tax Officer to file the returns. I went at 9 AM. If i had gone in at 9AM, my conversation should have been like:
Me: Hi, I came two days back. You asked me to come today to collect my documents.
She: What is your name?
Me: Rajaram Sethuraman.
She:Here it is.
Me: Thank you. Bye
Probably, it would have taken 43 seconds and I would have been in office on time.
But at 9AM, there was another person inside the office and hence, I had to wait outside.
After a few minutes, a Britisher came and joined me in the queue. This was, or rather supposed to be, a straight-forward FIFO (First in-First out) Queue.
It was 9.15 AM now and I was already getting impatient.
Out of nowhere came an elderly Cypriot Gentleman and peeped inside the office. Then we heard a shrieking voice “Manamoooo” (Pronouned like Cho Chweeeeet). And this Cypriot guy went inside the office. The Britisher and I exchanged strange looks.
I consoled myself by saying that he was let in because he was old.
15 minutes passed by.
Then came a sparsely dressed Cypriot Girl, who also peeped into the office. Then we heard the same voice again “Manamoooooo”. She also went it. She had a big folder in her hands (looked like an agent).
The britisher was visibly upset. He asked me “Shall i also peep inside and shout Manamooo”. I told him that the lady inside would probably discover him to be a fake, with his accent. The girl inside took out a piece of cake and both started eating it and discussing all the worldly affairs. Another 15 mins passed by. Then, she took out a huge bundle of tax forms from her folder. The Britisher almost fainted.
Finally, at 10 Am, it was my turn to go inside.
The Britisher, with a very concerned face, asked me “Are you also going to do this manamooo thing? “