Meraki: Greek Word of the day; Doing it with love, passion and a lot of soul;

Meraki: Love, passion and a lot of soul.
Meraki - Doing things with love, passion and a lot of soul.

Greek ranks as the richest language in the world; Europe’s oldest, with five million words and seventy million word types, existing for more than four thousand years.

Other ancient languages did exist before Greek, for example; Babylonian and Sumerian, but, Greek is the only ancient language, barring two Chinese dialects that persisted, the only ancient language to remain alive today.

You can understand, then, why some Greek words are said to be untranslatable. Meraki is one of those words, said to be untranslatable, but is it?

Sappho, on words
Sappho - on words

Meraki, a verb, or adverb, a Modern Greek word, derived from the Turkish “Merak” (Labor of love, to do something with pleasure), is applied to tasks, usually, creative or artistic tasks, but can be applied to any task at all.

Meraki means to do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention.

Maria Callas
Maria Callas, Greek opera singer - she put her heart and soul into her work, she sang with meraki!

No matter how difficult a task, it is done with all your effort, with enthusiasm, with eagerness, with complete love; it is done with all your heart, a labour of love, so to speak.

Washing with butterflies
This lady, is so devoted to her husband, it is a pleasure to wash his clothes  - Not a chore at all.

Meraki is to put your soul into something, to put a little bit of yourself into it, be it singing, dancing, or painting.

Tango - Dancing with passion, with every fiber of your body,  giving it your all!
Tango - Dancing with passion, with every fiber of your body,
giving it your all!

It can be the simplest of tasks, such as making a cup of coffee for your husband; you made it with love, with devotion, with meraki!

Coffee Made with meraki
Coffee - Made with meraki

Here’s a good example of the use of meraki, I asked a friend of mine, a chef, if his wife was also a good cook.

 No, he answered, she’s a terrible cook, but, when she cooks me a meal, I tell her it was delicious, because, she cooked it for me with love, with all her heart, she cooked it for me with meraki.

A jar full of meraki
A jar full of meraki

Someone who loves life, lives it to the hilt, does everything with zeal, someone who lives for the moment, for the now, is often, here in Greece referred to as a “Meraklis”. 

Every single thing he does, day in, day out, is done with meraki.

Zorba The Greek
Zorba The Greek -  Maybe the happiest meraklis ever!

According to the artist Vincent Van Gough, doing something with all your being, with passion, putting all your heart and soul into your work, may result in madness!

 "I put my heart and and my soul into my work and have lost my mind in the process"

 "Old Man in Sorrow" (On the Threshold of Eternity) Vincent Van Gogh
"Old Man in Sorrow" (On the Threshold of Eternity) - Vincent Van Gogh

Do you think the Greek word meraki is untranslatable?

How about the English word ardour (American; Ardor)?

 Ardour means to do something with great passion, with enthusiasm, with a strong feeling of energy and eagerness, to do something with love.

 It sounds very similar to me.

Go and make someone happy, do something with meraki!

 More Glorious Greek Words

 Philotim Sophrosyne  Eudaimonia   Arcadia   Ichor  Daimon  Elysian
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