Tag Archives: Neo-Greeks

Mapping the Greek diaspora

17 Nov


Greek diaspora.jpg

Mapping the Greek diaspora from Ekathimerini — YANNIS PALAIOLOGOS

We’re definitely blue-staters, no surprise.  Wish I knew what the different colors mean.  Cluster of orange tacks around New York metropolitan area and southern New England suggest a higher percentage of recent arrivals?

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

For The Byzantine Ambassador @byzantinepower (interesting thread going on there)

8 Nov

A great book — and destined to be the seminal go-to for these issues — for anybody interested in role Hellenism played in later Greek consciousness is Kaldellis’ Hellenism in Byzantium: The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition:


It leaves you with more questions than answers, but that’s probably how it should be.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Golden Dawn splinter group crawls out of sewer in Greece

8 Nov

“According to ancient Greek folklore, Crypteia was a group of men in Sparta who acted as a band of secret police, terrorising lower classes and slaves, then known as the helots. The gang’s modern reincarnation marks the emergence of the first band of far-right extremists in Greece after decades of far-left terror activity.”

Exaggerated comparison.  “…far-left terror activity” in Greece never targeted innocent civilians, immigrant or non.

These are the chaps who have claimed responsibility for recent attack on Afghan child’s home: From Ekathimerini: Home of Afghan pupil attacked with stones — kathikia?”           .

Read whole article in London Times.

Crypyeiamethode_times_prod_web_bin_481deef2-c3b1-11e7-92dc-06edfbca4aabIntelligence experts contacted by The Times suspect Crypteia could be a violent offshoot of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, aboveGiorgos Georgiou/NurPhoto/Getty

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

From Ekathimerini: Home of Afghan pupil attacked with stones and — kathikia?

3 Nov

Καθίκια…  He probably got better grades than your kid; was that the problem?  Several statistical sources find children of immigrants in Greece outperform children of natives on both secondary and university levels.


Unknown assailants have attacked the home of the family of the 11-year-old Afghan boy who had not been allowed by his school in the Athens suburb of Dafni to carry the Greek flag during the October 28 parade.

According to police, the assailants threw stones at the boy’s home at dawn on Friday

Amir, a refugee and a fifth-year primary school pupil, had been selected to carry the Greek flag during the parade to commemorate the 1940 anniversary of Greece’s refusal to ally with the Axis powers in World War II, known as “Ochi Day.”

He was picked by lot under new rules introduced by the leftist-led government earlier this year that scrapped selection on the basis of academic performance

However, he was not allowed to carry the flag and eventually paraded holding the school’s sign.

Earlier story: Probe as refugee pupil denied flag role

God knows what else this kid has been through.  Who deserves to have this memory, as innocuous as it might seem, seared into their minds?

Two people before have asked me what “kathiki” (kαθίκι) means in Greek when I used it in some other post.

I think it literally means “potty” — like “Shit already or get off the…”  Except in Greek it’s an insult without any of the cute childlike or Victorian connotations of potty.  “Scumbag” is the closest English term I can think of, in terms of power it packs as an insult and with similar hues of both indifferent cruelty and absolute moral vapidity.

Now you know — for when it turns up next.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Don’t throw away your post-Sukkos etrog

21 Oct

“An etrog after Sukkos” is an old Yiddish metaphor meaning something or someone useless.

Don’t throw away yours.  Greeks make jam or preserves out of the peel.  Find a recipe on-line.  It’s really delicious with a sharper sheep’s milk cheese like graviera or manchego.

A welcoming sign of the expanding culinary borders of Neo-Greeks are the fruit preserves promoted at cheese counters of upscale supermarkets with suggested fruit-cheese pairings.  Perhaps one of the more annoying ticks of Greek gastronomic provincialism, the nausea-inducing response to sweet-savory combos — watch someone enragingly picking the currants out of your carefully prepared dolma — is passing away.


Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Never was a more perfect climate wasted on so undeserving a people: how Greeks drive you nuts

24 Sep

Hymettus Athens half-zoom-set-sun

After two months of brutal mid-90s and freakish humidity, it finally dropped to low 80s the day before yesterday.

And they’re cold, the whiney brats.

The feel of the air is crisp and cool.  The sky is its normal dazzling blue.  The oleander and jasmine and basil smell.  The pomegranates are ripening.  Soon there’ll be a landslide of oranges.  And forgive the cliché but the light, especially at lower angles, is working its magic again and creating all sorts of optical illusions.  There’s something about the clarity it creates that seems hyper-real or surreal.  It makes it impossible to judge distance for one: the mountain that you know is forty kilometers away looks like you can reach out and touch it; the eucalyptus tree in the yard looks like it’s at the opposite end of a football field.  No way to convey it photographically.  Everything looks totally clear yet almost flattened and two-dimensional at the same time, like an icon or a Persian miniature or a shot from a super zoom, where all optical levels and distance are reduced to one plane.  Plus it makes the ugly grayness of Athens look blindingly white.

The beauty all around is completely lost on them.  Take out your heavy hoodies, roll up the car window so that the draft doesn’t give me a stiff neck tomorrow.  They actually believe that, that drafts hit and freeze a certain body part that then hurts you for an x number of days.  Especially lethal is the rear passenger side window in a taxi.  So they run to the doctor at the slightest sniffle who gives them a beer stein of antibiotics to guzzle and that compromises their immune system even worse.  And then when they’re seriously ill five or six times every year they wonder how it’s possible because they stayed out of drafts and wore a scarf.

A screaming match in the gym by the treadmills.  She wants to close the windows.

“We’ll be sweating”, she says.

“Yeah, hon’ we’ll be sweating.  And sweat rising to your skin and drying up upon air contact is the body’s natural cooling system without which we would die.  That’s why dry climates, like this, are so comfortable and humid ones are not.”

Yok.  Now people just stay away from the treadmills when the crazy American comes.

“Stay away from the window, you’re all sweaty, you’ll get sick.”

In twenty-first century language: “It’s better to sit in your sweaty post-workout clothes, even if they’re a better environment for breeding bacteria, than to let them be dried by a draft.  Then when you get sick, wonder why.”

But as Swift said, it’s impossible to reason a man out of something he was never reasoned into in the first place.  Cold doesn’t cause colds?  Germs and bacteria that flourish in a sealed environment do?  Forget it.

“I like my mediaeval ideas, ok…” says the Right-wing Old Fart, the I-don’t-want-to-s of someone argued into a corner.  Like the “I didn’t like it” of the Macedonian.

Wish I knew wtf neuroses like these are about.

Feel the coolness of the perfect Attic night falling.  Then watch the giant Hollywood Hills windows onto the beautiful sweeping marble terraces roll shut like a prison gate and then be shuttered and boarded up on top like the zombies will get in otherwise.

And weep.

Oh, and the security door fetish.

They have their other charms, I guess.

Athens gross concrete

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

“Birtsevits” — Watching Serbia-Italy FIBA

13 Sep

Sometimes I get really pissed off because I think certain Neo-Greeks don’t even try to say certain sounds because they don’t exist in standard Modern Greek and they’re associated with stigmatized provincial dialects and accents and that there’s a special animus against certain Slavic sounds in particular, which would be in keeping with Greek nationalist paranoias (since we’re all really Slavs!!! :) snaaaaatch!!!).

I’m not asking you to distinguish between the denser “č” and the lighter “ć” — which I even have trouble with — but can you really not even say “ch” at all?  Do I have to listen to you saying “Birtsevits”?  It’s painful.

Watching on mute…

Forza Serbia!!!


Stefan Birčević

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