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About a year ago, a young lady named Katerina Moutsatsou stood up and uploaded a video on YouTube entitled “I am Hellene”, in which she praised and eulogized Greece and Hellenic culture…A year after, and I’m sitting on my desk, in front of my books of Aristotle and Thucydides and I wonder what has left of the Hellenic heritage…

I cannot deny it, I am really proud of my nationality! I’m proud to say that Plato, Socrates, Herodotus or Pythagoras were Greek… The Greeks invented theatre and gave birth to Democracy. They discovered logic and started science. Greek philosophy has influenced much of Western thought since its inception…

Open a lexicon, I dare you… No isolate the Greek words. The chaos! There’s such a plethora, that you would need plenty of time for that… That’s because Greek is one of the oldest, still in use languages. Because when foreigners could not find a word, they used one of ours. No take a look at a medicine book… That’s my language! These are my words! This is…

What is it? A reminder of the power of the Greek language and its supremacy. And what am I doing? I am using greeklish on the internet and foreign words in my daily communication. I cannot stand the homily of our professors about our language and how to use it right and I sometimes feel bored during history class when I get to memorise all those names and descendants and brothers and sons and… Am I losing the point? Are we all losing the point?

My ancestors fought for my land several times in the past. I read it on my history books. I read it from Herodotus, from Xenophon, from Lord Byron or Victor Hugo… All these great men who had an admiration about this tiny nation with the people with the giant hearts who stood by themselves up against their enemies… About the people who stood their ground giving the oath “Freedom or Death”. And the second was a much desirable option than leaving years of culture to the hands of some barbarians...

What about me? What about my synagonists? What are we doing now for our Hellas? We go outside and… Anarchy. That’s the solution. Fires in the streets, Molotov bombs in the parliament, broken shop windows across the city… I watch the news and I see flames. Flames burning rubbish bins. Flames burning our hopes. And the next day, again on the news, another flame, another light. A light on a torch, starting from Olympia, which is supposed to unite the world and pass the message of peace…

If I understood something the last two years –when the bankrupt country pretends that it hasn’t gone bankrupt at all- is that the current Greek generation has a big mirror abreast, but persistently refuses to take a look at it. We look up and down, right and left, we turn around, we blink, we wink, we close the eyes, but we do not look at the mirror…

I hear a lot about revolutions and uprisings. Sometimes I even believe them myself. But who would rebel? These who refuse to study our history? These who cheat on our language? These who wear hoodies and spread chaos in the streets or these who spend all day long sitting on a couch and watching Turkish soap operas?

After the economic collapse of the country, many internet users have uploaded on their profiles the phrase “Proud to be Greek”. They are so proud to be Greek, that they write it in English…

And here am I, still in front of Thucydides… I look at him. He says, “What have you done? What has your generation done?”. Katerina Moutsatsou, after her great speech lauding Hellenism, she finished by saying “You call me Greek, but I am Hellene, NOT Greek, HELLENE!”

I am Vagialena, but am I Hellene??



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Smiley_Emma said...
May 17, 2013 at 7:22 am:
You did a great job, Vagialena! Your article is inspiring and moving! I appreciate what you say, and I mostly appreciate the fact that you have the guts to say these, although you are greek yourself... Or should I say, Hellene?
 
Vagialena replied...
May 29, 2013 at 2:55 am :
Thank you very much for your nice words!! And, yes, you should say Hellene!!
 
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