Sunday September 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o 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)  
Universities threatened by transfers
Capital changes
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Breathing room
Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
Members of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and tax inspectors involved in an investigation into the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts expect to be able to announce ...
Police refute reports of Jihadi training
Greece is not a training ground for Jihadis, the Greek police said in a statement released late on Friday in response to reports in the local media claiming that radical Islamists have been ...
Inside News
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
Expired debts to the state rose to a record high in August, according to data released on Friday by the Finance Ministry. The sum of taxes and fines that remained unpaid after their deadline...
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Greece will be able to meet its obligations without any new assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Friday in London, leaving the door ope...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
2. Police refute reports of Jihadi training
3. Gov’t drafts plan to secure exit from memorandum
4. Greek commuters have relatively long wait
5. IKA uncovers benefits scam at Kerameikos branch
6. Man dies in well accident
more news
Today
This Week
1. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
2. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
3. Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
4. Police refute reports of Jihadi training
5. Gov’t drafts plan to secure exit from memorandum
6. Special guard arrested over extortion, bribery
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
6. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.