Tuesday November 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o 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)  
Extremism from a bygone era
No call for more games
Is Europe paying attention?
A reasonable agreement
Gov’t plays down delay of capital revamp projects
Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Monday played down calls by the European Commission for two EU-subsidized regeneration projects for the broader Athens area to be postponed,...
Papandreou proposal sparks war of words inside PASOK
Controversial comments by former PASOK chief and ex-Prime Minister George Papandreou, effectively challenging Evangelos Venizelos’s leadership, have rival factions inside the once-dominant p...
Inside News
All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
All three consortiums interested in the privatization of Greece’s regional airports have made it to the second stage of the tender, which concerns binding bids, state sell-off fund TAIPED de...
DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) will have to pay a fine of over 100 million euros to Russian energy giant Gazprom in compliance with the “take-or-pay” clause in the agreement between the two c...
Inside Business
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOK’s unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
2. All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
3. DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
4. Manufacturing start made easier
5. Fewer shut shops in Athens city center this year
6. BoG plans single ‘bad bank’
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
5. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
6. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Give Greece a chance
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.