Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Cozy myths

Greece's Georgios Samaras leaves the pitch dejected after the FIFA World Cup 2014 group C preliminary round match between Colombia and Greece at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 14.

By Pantelis Boukalas

Clearly, we’re not “the most hung-up nation in the world.” There is no safe way to establish this. Such measurements are impossible, even though our hallucinating “patridognosia” (knowledge of our nation) has accustomed us to the idea that we are the best at everything – in fact much better than any other nation.

Reacting to the barrage of snide remarks after Greece’s recent defeat to Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil, Angelos Charisteas, the national squad’s Euro 2004 hero in Portugal, tweeted that Greece is “the world’s most hung-up nation.” The now-retired soccer star was forced to back-pedal in the face of the online backlash. Charisteas erased his controversial tweet, commenting that people did not grasp what he meant to say. A half-truth, of course, is usually no better than a whole lie.

If Charisteas wished to help this country – perhaps more than he did with that match-winning header in the 2004 final against Portugal – he should have been more insistent. Not on his original pronouncement about Greece being the world’s most hung-up nation, but on the underlying idea that we are not an immaculate, irreproachable, ideal people; that, yes, we do have some faults. At the end of the day, the question is not whether we have an inferiority or superiority complex but that these two actually go together.

That said, the two do not cancel each other out, but instead fuel each other. We fluctuate from glee to despair in rapid succession. We are fascinated by something and we hold it in utmost admiration and the next moment we scorn it in an wild, masochistic manner. We erect statues only so we can have the cheap pleasure of knocking them down when we get bored of them or when they stop fulfilling the mission for which they were built.

Charisteas himself, in fact, is a good example. Each time he scored, we would call him an angel, a message from God. But every time he wasted a chance, he was just “garbage.”

If we are trying to identify such things as national traits, here’s one: We tend to love and demean ourselves at the same time. We are always in superlative mode. We compose anthems about our history and our language and then we switch to dirge mode.

We like to say that Greeks are made to fight against their destiny and at the same time we never stop complaining about our fate. Maybe it’s because we never really sit down to learn who we are and what we want from ourselves and other people. We took comfort in the cozy myths of our Greek legacy, of continuity, of the chosen people and so on. We rely on them without realizing that they are conjured-up myths. Using them as your only guide can destroy you.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday June 17, 2014 (10:18)  
Careful what you wish for
Taking care of our key industry
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
Cyprus seeks EU response over Turkey´s EEZ violation
Cyprus is to raise the issue of Turkey’s violation of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) at Thursday’s European Council meeting after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu raised the specter...
Thirteen indicted for inmate torture
Thirteen correctional officers and their former warden will stand trial in Serres, northern Greece, over the death of Albanian inmate Ilie Kareli on March 27 at Nigrita Prison. Kareli was tr...
Inside News
TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
Over 800 travel bloggers and writers were expected to meet in Athens on Thursday, the first day of the TBEX Europe 2014 conference, an annual gathering of travel industry professionals. Besi...
Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis met on Wednesday with officials from six leading shipping companies in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, as he is weighing the possibility of Greece as...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
2. Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
3. Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
4. Greece ranks among global leaders in tourism growth
5. Global oil price drop sends local fuel prices back to 2010 levels
6. Buy big house, become a citizen
more news
Today
This Week
1. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
2. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
3. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
4. EU’s Juncker wins Commission-team approval with investment vow
5. Juncker’s EU commission team set for parliamentary green light
6. Taprantzis resigns from privatization agency TAIPED
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.