Discussion in 'FanForce Community' started by Pensivia, Feb 3, 2018.
^Certainly, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 ... there were just a lot at once happening there
Haha! Yes, I went on a reading spree last night. Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth, the JCF and this thread, I've had a lot going on IRL – but now I'm all caught up! There have been some great comments here
This is a great topic, so I'll answer it even though we've already moved on. The short answer for me is: because I'm from such a tiny country that my horizon would be pretty limited if I didn't look past our borders. "Tiny" here means not only small in terms of surface or population, but also quite monolithic ethnically – basically the ethnic minorities that existed in Greece a century ago have either been assimilated or "transferred" to neighbouring countries, with the exception of a small Turkish and Pomak population (whom I would never have met if I hadn't travelled to north-eastern Greece) and the Roma, who are present across the country but are very marginalised. When I was a kid there was no immigration to Greece, and if I hadn't travelled abroad the most exotic person I would have ever seen would have been a Roma. (I know for a fact that my husband saw a black person in the flesh for the first time at age 17, when he went to London. Until then, people of colour existed only on TV for him.)
An extra layer to this tinyness for Greece is the fact that the only country that is culturally close to us, Cyprus, is even tinier, with a total population equivalent to the city of Athens without the suburbs (!) So even within our own culture we don't have this wider horizon that comes from belonging to a group of related countries. When you look at the Greek population, you can see how that would create very narrow-minded people with a strong tendency towards nationalism.
Which brings me to...
Yeah, I'm not very big on those either The Greek national anthem isn't too bad, all things considered – it's a hymn to liberty ("Hymn to Liberty" is the actual title) and it doesn't go on and on about Greece's glory and such – but the political context around it is a different story of course. Outside of official events such as the president going somewhere or national holidays, you'll find the the anthem (and the flag) mostly in events that have a strong nationalistic flavour, and Greek nationalism is the extremely aggressive sort of nationalism. By this I mean that it not only relies on a general idea of glorification of the nation, but it also includes elements about the importance of ancestry that lead very fast to demanding purity of blood for real Greeks and such nonsense. From there you slip pretty easily into conceptions that are outright racist and discriminatory. I've already written at great length about all this in a variety of threads, including the old International Interview thread, so I won't re-write the whole lot here, but my bottom line is, we could do just as well without a national anthem and a flag, and we'd be much better off without the ideologies that consider them sacred symbols of the nation.
^no need to apologize--we all know that RL must always come first (and sometimes also second and third, lol)! glad you enjoyed catching up here
^that's very interesting. on the flip side, in a large country like the US, there also seem to be too many Americans that don't seem very interested in learning about other countries and cultural perspectives outside their own. sometimes i've really wondered why some people seem to lack any curiosity in that area. i remember once i had a friend (years ago) whose family member worked for a major US airline. she said her relative had regular free access to overseas travel as a benefit of his job, but he had worked there for years and never taken even one overseas trip! i remember being stunned when she just explained that "he just wasn't interested" (!)
yeah, considering the focus of this thread, we're probably all "preaching to [a very small] choir" in our distinct lack of enthusiasm for fervent nationalism
I think my least favorite part of the first verse of ours (the only verse you ever hear actually sung) is the last line:
"O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
For two reasons--both because the phrase "land of the free" was especially hypocritical considering the anthem lyrics were written in 1814 and because it always bugs me when there's a suggestion that any one country has a "monopoly" on positive qualities like "bravery" etc. (I also dislike it when you hear news coverage here after some kind of natural disaster or tragedy and people start talking about people pulling together and helping each other because "that's what Americans do" ...in my mind, I'm always thinking "that's what humans do"...)
I don't know, maybe I'm being too negative. I'm just feeling sort of grumpy this morning I can see where patriotic feelings could be more justified (for example, countries in WWII being liberated from German occupation--those old newsreels of people celebrating and waving their country's flag, etc.), and I love the "friendly/harmonious" sort of nationalism displayed at something like the Olympics...but then, it just seems that such feelings all too often breed more destructive attitudes like the one you describe:
^that is really disheartening
I'm curious, Chyn--what are the Greek customs for public events where the anthem is played? Is everyone expected/encouraged to place their hands over their hearts, etc?
Howdy folks! I will likely be away from the boards for the next couple of weeks. Anyone interested in anything related to the general focus of this thread is welcome to post/socialize/discuss.
"See" you all after I return... *waves*
Thanks for letting us know Pensivia!
I'm looking forward to your return!
Well, I'm back but have decided (for several reasons) to end the "hosted" version of this thread. Mainly, there just isn't enough traffic in the FFC to need a "hosted" version.
So I've sent a PM to @Skiara requesting her to lock this thread and I will be giving up my "VIP"/hosting colors (and my one mod-like "superpower" of being able to edit any of my own posts in this thread past the normal edit window time frame).
Once this thread is locked, I'll start a third (and final!) version of the thread that is just a "regular" thread--no "host," just a broad focus (international exchange/sharing) where anyone can come by at any time and revive the thread with any post they'd like to make related to the general subject. I'm sure the new thread will periodically gather dust for long periods of time, but then it'll always be here if anyone does happen by and wants to post in it.
Thanks and see you all around the forums!
I’m really sad to see you stepping down from hosting! You did a great job! But I really understand your reasons! I just wish that there would be anything that could be done to avoid your stepping down.
Edit: I’ll give this thread a few days before locking it, so everyone has a chance to post in here for a last time.
Oh, btw, @Skiara, when you lock this thread, could you please delete the "Now Discussing..." part and just leave the title as "The International Exchange"? Thanks!
Sure, @Pensivia! I've changed the title already. Is that fine for you or shall I really shorten it so only "The International Exchange"? is left?
oh, hmmm, @Skiara ...that's a good question! I actually really like the name "International Exchange," so I think I'd like to use it in the new (non-hosted) thread I will start, too. So maybe this thread could be changed to just:
"The International Exchange" (Version 1.0)
(with the small change to the quote marks shown above so that they include the word "The")
and then when I start the new thread, I will make it something like
"The International Exchange" (Version 2.0)
(I will also put links to both the original interview thread and this thread in the first post of the new thread.)
I've added the word "closing" as well, so readers learn that this thread will be closed soon and have a good chance to reply. I'll delete that part after I locked this thread.
If you're fine, I'm going to close this one next week. Mostly Tuesday or Thursday. Does that work for you?
Yes, all of the above sounds good, @Skiara. Thanks!
I don’t even remember what your name looks like without colors.
ah yes, I will soon be just another regular poster around here again,,,but, until then, I'm letting my purple and violet colors fly proudly!
At last...the International Interview Thread is no more.
*sound of evil laugh*
Now, the time is there. This thread gets closed.
If you, Pensivia, or any other user wants to re-start the original hosted "international exchange" with regularly asked questions, you are more then welcome to send me / the mod of this board a PM.