Posted by GS on May 04, 2001 at 10:34:05:
In Reply to: Greeks on non-Greeks and non-Europeans posted by KC16 on May 04, 2001 at 02:09:43:
Can u also explain why some of the foreigners I know always try to separate the modern Greeks from the ancient ones as much as the Greeks try to keep this continuity? It's not only the side of the Greeks being cocky about their past, it's also some of the non-Greek people who always try to tell you that you have nothing to do with ancient Greece with a degrading tone in order to feel themselves superior under the current situation.
Why is nobody questioning the Italians and claim that they are no direct descendants of the Romans or that the Romans were originated and heavy influenced by the Greeks? About the Israelis I don't know much, but about the ancient Egyptians, their areas were occupied by the Arabs, who took over the region and the initial civilisation has died including their language and writing.
These phenomena, however, have not happened in Greece, the Romans came and they left, the Turks came and they left (of course there was some mixing but not to a point that a whole nation to be wiped out) but the language, culture, characteristics and looks have remained the same.
In other words, I know that there is mixing, but up to a resonable point as in any other country. However though, if we see the culture of the Greek people and the way that they try to keep their identity even now (even some people in this message board), it is most likely that the Greeks are a nation that have NOT mixed as much as other nations through the years.
This mentality (good or bad) and their religion made them survive through the years as a nation especially through the Ottoman occupation, so I believe the non-Greeks should at least understand that unfortunately it is not that easy for some of the people, especially the old ones that have actively lived the wars against the Turks and the Germans and in general recent examples as Fyrom trying to claim Greek history and lands and the Albanians breathing down our necks for the "Greater Albania" and of course the recent (only 25 years ago!) invasion of Cyprus by the Turks, to get rid of this mentality.
An American, an English, a French, an Italian cannot understand that at all, since they have not lived with this threat for at least 100-200 years now if not at all. Greece, however, wether we like it or not, was and still is under a constant threat from the east and the north.
I am not saying that knowadays we should exclude foreigners from our culture, I actually believe this exchange of mentality can only be positive and I am really glad when I see young people here in England hanging out or having relationships with other Europeans, after all my girlfriend is English and I live with her for the last two years. I'm just saying that we must try and understand why some of the people still have a problem with that and not try to accuse them of cockiness, arrogance or living in the middle ages, since unfortunately with the neighbours that we have, we have to live with this situation even in the 21rst century.
PS: KC16, if you love Greece, the Greeks will love you too, no matter if you're 1/4 or 1/100!!
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