Controversy abounds every single time we make a post about Eleni Foureira, the pop singer from Greece who represented Cyprus last year with her song Fuego.
Foureira’s heritage was a controversy in Greece— especially amongst the gossip shows and tabloids, when she burst onto the pop music scene and started scoring hit after hit.
She was born in Albania and emigrated to Greece when she was a toddler. She often hid her heritage, given the open discrimination that Albanians and other foreigners faced in Greece.
Eventually, she revealed where she was born and where she came from, sharing that although born in Albania, she did have a Greek grandfather and the experience of growing up in Greece made her feel Greek.
She revealed as much during the 2019 Eurovision Song Competition in Tel Aviv when she participated in a DNA test sponsored by “My Heritage,” a DNA testing company.
It happens like clockwork when we mention her. In a recent post, we called her a “Greek pop star” and were attacked repeatedly by people who wanted to deny her Greek heritage— despite spending most of her years growing up in Greece, speaking Greek and… being Greek.
The matter opens up a larger conversation about what “being Greek” really means. Is it an environmental thing, meaning that no matter what one’s DNA is, if they “live” a Greek lifestyle and “espouse” Greekness— then they’re Greek.
Most hardliners will insist that DNA is the sole criteria.
Eleni Foureira’s DNA may surprise you.
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