Irrelevant points on the compass

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Posted by Penny on November 27, 2001 at 16:25:55:

In Reply to: Re: Can I understand? posted by vicky on November 27, 2001 at 10:06:23:

I think Marco's point was why do Greeks not consider themselves 'western'. Just a slight confusion of terms Marco. 'Western' means caucasian European, but I think the word 'western' is also used as an abbreviation for 'West Europe', that is, England, France etc. And of course, Greeks do not include themselves in 'western European' although are a 'western nation'. What I find interesting your view Vicky is something that I notice in many Greek's view of their cultural space - the idea that Greece is part western and part eastern. Well I guess it is geographically and culturally, but it's just as true to say Greece is part southern and part northern. By that I mean Greeks have always traded and communicated with the peoples and cultures of Africa, and to their north - the Balkan and Alpine peoples and cultures. This is not a criticism of your view Vicky, but it seems to me the very categorization of west/east/south/north influences is specious because it assumes some level of 'purity' to begin with. I'm really rather weary of simplistic ideas about 'purity' or 'singleness' of origin. Apart from this view stopping further discourse on the nature of culture (it's expression, how we can be more creative etc), at a very crude level if you go back far enough, everyone in Europe is related to everyone else.

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