Re: Being half Greek in America

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Posted by Themistokles on February 05, 2002 at 22:37:01:

In Reply to: Being half Greek in America posted by Amy on February 01, 2002 at 11:17:21:

: I do not mean to upset anyone at all. I am just offering a perspective as someone who was born half Greek. The consequences can be hard to handle.

Dear Amy:

I am so happy to have read your post. Whenever I meet a fellow Hellene, be they 1/16th Greek or 100% of Greek background, I judge their 'Greekness' on the basis of their love for things 'Greek'. Many of my best friends at church (a Greek Orthodox church in Canada) are of mixed ancestry; in fact, many of their parents were converts to Orthodoxy prior to marrying their Greek spouse....

But I digress...

My real point is that Greeks have traditionally viewed half-Greeks as full Greeks when their hearts were loyal to things Greek. For those who doubt this assertion, one only has to read the magnificent medieval poem, "Digenis Akritas", the greatest of all Greek poems of the middle-ages. Its hero is the loyal, border inhabitant (Digenis) who protected the farthest reaches of the Eastern Roman Empire (what the west insultingly used to refer to as the "Byzantine Empire") borders, thus, protecting the mostly Greek population from the barbarian hordes of the East.

Digenis was of - as his name describes of two ("Di") ancestral groups ("genis").

Please look up this link below for some extra reading, if you are interested in this fascinating topic.

P.S. As Isocrates said "A foreigner raised and educated in all things Greek is a Greek".

With all my appreciation for being so open,


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