Posted by Mikos on August 18, 2001 at 07:45:41:
In Reply to: We, the Greeks. posted by Constantine Alexander on August 17, 2001 at 14:33:56:
Great job explaining the complexeties of our culture.
: Dear Friends:
: I received an e-mail last week from a visitor to my web site who refered to my Greek origin and requested my view of the modern Greek culture.
: I am posting my visitor's questions and my answers for your review and evaluation. I have been away from Greece for a long time and I might have some things wrong about today's Greek reality. I would love to know what others in this forum think.
: Question/Statement: I do not understand the Greeks.
: My answer: Growing up in Greece, you learn quickly to capitalize on three assets that our culture gives to us like an inheritance. Passion for life, seeing beyond reality (some people refer to it as dreaming) and dealing with life's challenges with a sense of humor. These three ingredients knit our umbilical cord that connects us with Greece. Our passion helps us succeed against the odds. Our ability to see beyond culturally or socially set horizons helps us to be creative. Finally, our sense of humor eases life's pain and keeps us standing. Of course, our qualities become our biggest weaknesses. We are disorganized and we refuse to face reality at times as if we suffer from a national symptom of myopia, which denies us the ability to see what is in front of us. I believe that the secret to understanding the Greek culture is through emotions and the senses that life has given to us. As many poets have advocated throughout the ages, if it feels good, it must be good and it is worth trying to analyze and identify the reasons why.
: Question/Statement: I do not like the attitude of the Greeks. They always talk about the achievements of their ancient ancestors while they have nothing to show from their modern history.
: My answer: In Greek culture, the State and its history become a mother figure to which they can find refuge. Falling back on their ancient history is to the Greeks as if they seek reassurance and a boost of confidence exactly like a child does from being in its mother's arms.
: The Greeks are extremely proud of their modern society that has earned peace with its neighbors; educates their children; promotes the arts; permits religious freedom; respects the value of life; engages in international trade, defense, financial and environmental relations; has achieved a balanced industrialized, agricultural and service sector; respects the plight of the less fortunate with a means to live and rebuild their lives through further education and social programs; provides charitable contributions and manpower to other parts of the world during crises, such as the recent Turkish earthquake disaster; provides health care to every citizen and to non-citizens as well with the understanding that medical care is a right and not a privilege; has a crime and violence rate that is infinitely lower than other developed countries, resulting in less fear and trauma among its citizenry; and, last but not least, has a passion for life in all of its pain and glory that Greeks believe should be recognized, appreciated and lived to the fullest every day.
: These are Greek modern achievements of which the ancient Greeks would be proud in their quest for balancing intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual well being.
: Could have I said more about our culture? I would love to know what you think.
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