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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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28 October 2013



I look at those "women in black" and always remember my yaya, whom I met only twice, and remember all the sufferance my mother and her grandmothers went through to hold the Greek values of "Timi" which gaves their children strength and confidence. The Philtimo of the Greeks is interpreted to be, people that want something from others now in the Western world, corrupting its true meaning of openness and respect for "outsiders".

The Global bankers have created a world which rubbishes "our world" and way of life and is doing away with minorities. If you have money you are somebody no matter what you do. What has happened to when somebody earned respect through care and love?


Dimitri mou,

Perhaps we are all of us to blame to an extent, if we buy into a world that values money more than philotimo, narcissism more than love of our fellow man, doubt more than faith. Fate places us in a classroom of our own making and God willing, adversity will teach us a lesson that will make the latter much more desirable than the former.

We cannot but try mightily to emulate in our own lives all that was good and decent in those that came before us even though they too faltered at times. They were far from perfect, being human, yet they aspired to loftier goals than we have.


Dear Dimitri and Stavros,

I cannot understand how one dares to criticize Greeks and say they are "a people that want something from others" so to speak, and hint that Greeks are a burden on global economy or need to be supported by the large economies of the EU. As you may know, the Nazi occupation forced the bank of Greece to "load equivalent of £9bn in Reichsmarks". This was calculated to be equivalent to some £60bn. As said in the article below, “that would be enough to cover Greece’s fiscal deficit for the next five years, giving the country time to restructure its economy and put government finances on a more sustainable footing....” (an article worth reading)

I have nothing but respect to Greece and its people!

Read more:



There is much blame to go around for the present condition Greeks find themselves in and most of it I fear must be laid at their own feet. I agree that Germany wrecked the Greek economy during World War II and never repaid what it actually owed the Greeks in reparations. That said, Greeks must also accept their role in voting in the successive governments that have given them what they wanted without much thought as to where the money is coming from.

What I find abhorent is the EU insistence on inflicting the draconian measures that have already crippled the Greek economy and have sentenced Greeks to a life of misery for years to come. Surely the Germans have forgotten that they too were similarly treated after World War I, leading to hyperinflation, unemployment, poverty and ultimately the rise of Nazism. Now they are doing the same to the Greeks. How soon we forget.


Joseph, the Greeks have developed a mentality that has taken itself from thousands of years of wars, and has cultured the whole world while it has seen the ground taken beneath its feet.

Now it's those who cry and shout that get the attention because people are have been handcuffed to answer back.

Whenever I talk to an Irishman or a Greek they always talk about making life good, and living it, and they never complain about the past.

The biggest problem is that people are only respected if they can do good for you and make you rich and dignity and honour are laughed at now.
When you are willing to help an old lady cross the road or lift somebody up these days, it's because they think you want something.

Nazism was part of the new world just like Bolshevism etc. All power struggles moulding the new world. One thing for sure is that whenever Democracy or Christianity is under attack Greece and the Greek mentality is always under threat, and their people are always on the front line. I think it was much easier when we were Pagans because we had no compassion, but then again what goes around........


And those countries that criticize countries like Greece et al are living on the backs of all those regions, the global South for centuries now like a joker King riding on a donkey.


My father told us how proud he was at the age of 11 to be Greek at that time. Now when things are tough on him at the age of 83, he falls back to Greek. How I wish I spoke Greek to understand him. He never felt henleft Greece until this very day and to his last day, he will be Greek and a proud one.


What terrible events that generation had to live through; let's hope we can face the future with as much courage as they had. Those of us far from Greece always think of it in a different way than those who live there. Perhaps we appreciate it more as well.

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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