Monday Jan 26, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o 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)  
A SYRIZA government in Greece: what it wants and what might be possible
The train
The future is in your hands
A guide to Greek elections
SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
SYRIZA was on the verge of a historic election victory on Sunday night but one that might not hand the leftist party an outright parliamentary majority, raising doubts about whether a govern...
Prison probes violent attack against N17 convict Xeros
Authorities at Domokos Prison in central Greece were investigating over the weekend an attack by an inmate on November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros. According to Xeros’s lawyer, Fragisko...
Inside News
Talks with troika the main test
The left-wing SYRIZA party’s triumph in the Greek national elections sends a strong message across the eurozone that excessive austerity will have political and social repercussions if pursu...
Fiscal gap from revenues at 2.3 bln euros
With the state budget apparently already suffering revenue losses of more than 1 billion euros in the first month of the year, the new government will have to respond quickly to the major fi...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Olympiakos overcomes depleted OFI at Iraklio
Easy though it may seem, Olympiakos’s 3-0 win at depleted OFI Crete was rather difficult on Saturday, but was enough to keep the Reds on top on Saturday, as they have maintained their two-po...
BASKETBALL
Tremendous Spanoulis sweeps Laboral Kutxa
A hot second half was enough for Olympiakos to undo visiting Laboral Kutxa and score its fourth win in as many games at the second round of the Euroleague on Friday. The 76-64 final score wa...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
2. Prison probes violent attack against N17 convict Xeros
3. Talks with troika the main test
4. Fiscal gap from revenues at 2.3 bln euros
5. Liquidity noose tightening around local lenders’ necks
6. Banks make plans for tackling impact of Swiss franc’s growth on borrowers
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
2. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
3. Greek Elections 2015 Results | LIVE
4. Greeks vote for reform path or defiance
5. A SYRIZA government in Greece: what it wants and what might be possible
6. Exit polls suggest big margin of victory for SYRIZA
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. Grexit the only way out of ‘valley of tears,’ says Hans-Werner Sinn
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. No debt writedown or rolling back of reforms for Greece, says Finland's Stubb
5. Greeks fork out nearly 5 pct of their incomes on telecom services
6. QE exclusion a ‘de facto Grexit’
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.