The book of Dr Panayota Nazou, ““Greek ‘Proxy Brides’ in Australia: From Life Experience to Artistic Expression” (1950-1975)” is expected to shed some light on brides of arranged marriages in the Greek Diaspora, as well as the social life of Greece in the mid 20th century. The book was presented in the City Hall of Rockdale, Australia, in the presence of over 200 expatriates. Several brides whose personal testimony contributed to the writing of the book, were also among the audience.
Speaking with emotion, the author made reference to the courage of brides of proxenio (matchmaking), who endured conditions that would be difficult to fathom in today’s society. “I regret that I was unable to finish the book earlier, as some of the brides whose stories are included this book will never have a chance to see the final draft,” said Nazou.
The book presentation was followed by the inauguration of an exhibition of letters, photographs and newspapers which were collected by the author during her book research. The exhibits document the journey of Greek brides who were possible choices for proxenio during the 1950s and 1960s. “While in the images they appear carefree, the sad reality of some women’s lives can be found below the surface,” noted the author.
As it was stressed during the presentation, many Greek brides remain unhappy and are forced to endure a difficult life for fear of their families’ retaliation and the disapproval of the Diaspora.