Katerine Duska from Greece and Ester Peony from Romania recently had their DNA analyzed by our Presenting Partner MyHeritage. On top of the new DNA information, the two also found out that they both have ties to Canada!
Along with many other past and present contestants, Katerine Duska and Ester Peony have had their DNA analyzed by MyHeritage, and the results held fascinating revelations for both of them.
Ester Peony, this year’s Romanian Eurovision representative, is 98.4% Balkan… and 1.6% Ashkenazi Jewish! MyHeritage found 874 relatives of Ester’s from 42 different countries all around the world, from Brazil to the United Arab Emirates to Japan. One family member in Germany has over 2,000 relatives listed in his MyHeritage family tree. Ester was surprised about the results: "One of the things that surprised me most was the 1.6% of Jewish origins I have. I am so very happy to find out about this as I know that many of the biggest achievements of humanity in arts, science, education and overall progress were given to us all by members of the Jewish community.”
Katerine took a MyHeritage DNA test and discovered that she is 70.6% Greek and 29.4% Balkan. Katerine’s Balkan ethnicity might explain where her last name came from: there’s a tiny village in Bulgaria named Dushka—so tiny that as of 2016, its population numbered only 3 people! But there might be another explanation for the name: it’s a Russian word for 'sweetheart'. Dushka is a given name in Bulgaria. About her results, Katerine said: "Finally, learning about the traditions and festivals that take place in the birth villages of each of my grandparents has made me look forward to visiting those places once again.”
It may not be their DNA, but it turns out that Ester and Katerine both have ties to Canada as well. Ester moved to Montreal when she was 8 years old after her parents relocated for work. Katerine, on the other hand, was born and raised in Montreal, which she remembers as a very multi-cultural place to grow up. Her parents, Greek immigrants to Canada, decided to move back to Greece when Katerine was 16 years old. The two have spoken about their favourite Canadian things together, and Katerine jokes that perhaps they will take a trip together one day.