Many bad omens darkened the arrival of the new year. The crisis which has spread across the planet and into this small country is not just financial, it is a political and social crisis, a crisis of morals and values. We have spent so many years plodding along, driven by stereotypes, spouting cliches, unhurried, rash, allowing our fates to fall into foreign hands, leaving it to lenders to quick-fix remedies. Now we are coming to a bitter realization, but thankfully a realization all the same. There are still some rays of hope flitting among the omens. In these cold clear months, we have seen a Greece that is modern. It may be contradictory, display so many signs of indecision, so many old-fashioned elements, yet it is modern. Its youth is sensitive and dynamic, a generation that reacts, fights, educates itself, travels, communicates; a youth without complexes; a youth that is international and cooler than ever before. At the same time, it respects its identity; it has a sense of its time and place, its traditions and character. I hear the songs of the younger generation, see its paintings and performances, have a coffee at one of its hangouts. I see their colorfulness, their sense of camaraderie, their realism and passion. They are metropolitan. From Brahami to Liosia and Hania to Kalamaria, from the University of Cambridge to the streets of Barcelona, with or without a PhD, this alternative culture, the networks, the groups of friends, the communal spirit of the younger generation is beginning to seep into the half-conscious body of the rest of society. Radio stations are discovering homegrown rap and ska bands, nudging out the cheap pop that has blinded us for so long. On the radio, on YouTube, in our cars, in these clear winter months, we hear the blessed words «As if I’d cry, as if I’d be afraid» coming from a riotous band with strings and winds, and with a strange gray-haired singer at the front – the now almost 50-year-old Giannis Aggelakas conversing with the 20-somethings and the high school hoodies in a song that mirrors the times.