Tatsat Banerjee

What's a jimako?

This is a bit of an “in” joke. My parents were amongst the first in the great wave of immigration to Australia from Greece in the 1950s. While there were Greeks who immigrated to Australia much earlier, Australia had a huge need for more people after the second world war at the same time that there were huge economic problems in Greece, which had been devastated by a disasterous civil war that followed the German occupation.

This huge number of immigrants naturally formed communities in Australia, and particularly Melbourne, where it was quite possible to live one’s life without interacting with anybody that was not also from Greece. They spoke Greek, followed all the Greek customs, and even called the local Australians “xenous”, or “foreigners” – how’s that for arrogance!

It was into such a group that I was born, one of the first of that generation. I didn’t really have other kids my age to play with, so most of my childhood interactions were with the adults. Whenever I said or did anything clever (or maybe just cute – I don’t really know), the adults would call me “jimako”, which is sort of an affectionate mangling of the English name Jim. It’s a bit like saying “Jamesie” – not really a word at all, but all English speakers would understand it.

Of course, now I am in my late forties, my parents and their friends are in their eighties. What do they call me now?

Yep, jimako.

So, when my latest web hosting outfit offered me a free domain name registration, I couldn’t resist, and jimako.com was born.