OPINION

Carrying the flag for racial equality in Greek schools

I have been reading the online version of Kathimerini on a daily basis over the past few years, and I was horrified by [the October 22 and 23 front-page] articles about the Albanian student who, due to constitutional incompatibility, is deprived of the privilege to carry the Greek flag during the procession on «Ohi Day,» despite the fact he is entitled to do so on account of his grades. I wish to congratulate the author of the article on his overwhelming irony directed toward [Greek] society and, more specifically, toward the parents of the rest of the students who have made their own children subject to pseudo-nationalistic machinations. However, I suggest that it is made clearer in your newspaper that only very few [Greeks] share such reservations toward people with a different national background, who now live, work, and, what is more, pay taxes to the State. It would be highly desirable if you could draw your readers’ attention to a similar incident in Ileia prefecture and the small village of Daphne where people declare themselves to be free from such concerns. Discrimination on the basis of nationality, color, gender, religion, and sexual orientation are unacceptable in a country like [Greece] which is member of the EU and is organizing the next Olympic Games in less than a year. I myself have the privilege to teach Modern Greek at an American University where I have Greek-American students who are not necessarily Orthodox but also Catholic and Jewish, as well as students from Skopje, who learn Greek because they have been raised to admire it and, as a result, like to visit our country whenever they have the opportunity. Such incidents work against the promotion of [Greece] abroad. It is in our interest not to make all these people feel like strangers. DR. KONSTANTINOS P. NIKOLOUTSOS Visiting Asst Prof, Florida Atlantic University,Boca Raton, Fla., USA.