Tyranny or family?

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Posted by Tracey on February 06, 2001 at 17:47:20:

In Reply to: Re: Ooops... wrong quote... posted by Giorgos on February 06, 2001 at 10:15:31:

Hi, Giorgo,

>>Are they really "tyrannies" and should we "escape" from them? It depends on the way you perceive things.<<

Yep. And it depends on how a family moves. Let's not forget, we are talking about human beings - sometimes 'protecting a tradition' is a euphemism for 'keeping parental influence'.

<No good without bad. I believe few foreign people get to witness the hardship and suffering of those seeking more individual freedom against the collective will of a close family - the role guilt plays in the process, meddling, even scheming. Yes, I too very often admire the important role families play in Greek life but let's not underestimate what they are able to do when things get rough.


:-) I don't think it sounds stupid. Yet, your wife may feel entitled to the same wish... I, for example, would want to name my daughter after my great-grandmother...

>>However, indirectly (or I must say directly), BR characterised Greek culture as old fashioned and non evolving.<<

Did he? Hm, could we compromise on something like 'Greeks put up a good fight when it comes to defending their traditions'? Maybe it's the four hundred years of practise they have :-) or the diaspora experience? Half of all Greeks do not live in their mother country as far as I recall...

>>I just disagree with expressions like, "because I have blond hair and blue eyes"(so what, my cousin and many Greek friends of mine are like that, maybe is it from the general behaviour that they can tell?)<<

Nope. Behavior does not seem to be a reliable factor in this, either. And maybe she is the Scandinavian type of blond..., do we know?
Greeks do judge by appearance as much as every other people. And they can get annoyingly self-righteous about it, too.
Little story: I look very mediterranean though there has not been a mediterranean ancestor in my family tree for three hundred years. (And this one ancestor was not Greek) Yet, the arguments I had with Greeks (Officials at the border, cab drivers, waiters, people I just met a.s.o.) about whether I was just a Greek emigrant (which these people were convinced of) acting up or not (German-American descent) I can't even count. Talking about my ethnic identity, the father of a friend of mine even went as far as seriously asking me whether my family's mailman was Greek (?!). The ultimate highlight was the officer at the border who ransacked my car for two hours in the middle of the night trying to prove I was a liar. At the time, I was traveling with a Greek family who spoke German with me as I did not understand much Greek back then. When the officer reproached them for speaking German with me, 'this obviously Greek girl', they tried to clear up the misunderstanding. He insisted, the argument escalated, and he started to accuse me of being a perverted Greek so ashamed of her ethnic background that I would go through the trouble of changing my name... Believe me, I don't behave like a Greek female (and please don't ask me how they behave...) You will never prevent people from using anything they can find to 'prove' their conviction, be it features or behavior.

>>what happens with the culture that sends their kids away from 16 or to boarding schools from 6, or people that talk or see their parents once in several years, and put them in an institute the minute they turn 70<<<

Maybe the same that happened to a culture that, some thousand years ago, brought its old into the mountains to die... :-)

: Anyway, there are many aspects to this that is not possible to cover in a simple message.

You're right. Well, we seem to keep on trying though, do we? >:-)


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