Droushia to Detroit: Introducing my story of my grandfather’s journey in life

The website, entitled “Droushia to Detroit: Nick Zingas’ Story as Cypriot Immigrant to America” is a personal project for me. Nick Zingas is my grandfather, who I refer to as “Papou” throughout the site. The stories held within the site (which you can access here: nzingas.wixsite.com/zingas-journey)are family stories. But though this is very personal and introspective for me, I still believe others — especially for those dealing with adversity and trying to find the strength to carry on — can learn from the story of Papou, as well as my reflections.

Telling of his hardships in Cyprus, Detroit, and eventually as owner and manager of Mama Mia’s restaurant (see “Looking Back: Listen to the Story”) has helped me look back into my own life and examine what’s important to me. Using that, I now look forward with a rejuvenated perspective on what it means to be successful in today’s day and age (see: “Looking forward”). My reflections, which are scattered throughout the project, try to capture what this story means to me, and try to relate to readers how they might be able to learn from this story as well — whether they are already familiar with it, or not.

The webpages are arranged scrap-book style. Imagery, video, audio, and writings thrown onto each page with no particular consistency. Each page is meant to provide an appealing visual, while creating an informative narrative for each particular aspect of Papou’s life. Though in my writing I tried to hit on things that I thought was important, I left a couple things unexplained. For example there is this quote at the bottom of the home page on my website:

“Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle, would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal, so neither would I myself go on fighting in the formeost, nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory. But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands, no man can turn aside or escape them, let us go on and win glory for ourselves, or yield it to others.”
— Homer, The Iliad.

I put this quote on the home page of my project because I think it does a great job summing up what Papou’s story means to me…

Basically, I am “escaping the battle”. My grandfather and my father worked tirelessly to give me everything I could have wanted as a child. No cold nights on the streets — rather a warm bed and a babysitter to take me to school in the morning. I didn’t have to fight to survive — rather, I could go my whole life without “fighting in the foremost” and be ok. But, because of the family that I’m from, I don’t want to do that. I feel that looking to my grandfather as inspiration helps me realize that “the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands” and that “no man can turn aside or escape them”. So now, as I move forward into the future — having learned from my Papou’s story and reflected upon it — I can go on and win glory for myself, or yield it to others.

I hope you enjoy this project!

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