Category: Culture

Why do Europeans say, “Where there are Italians, there is dirt”?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-02 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Other Languages

Because there was a perception 50 years ago that Italians were dirtier than Northern Europeans. They may not be saying that now, but there is still stereotyping between parts of Europe, and the claims that this saying is impossible ring hollow to me. I don’t have a smoking gun of someone saying it; but I […]

What is the most British thing ever?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-01 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Other Languages

This is obscure. But Quora is a stamping ground for me to pass on anecdotes. This anecdote involves one of the doyens of Mediaeval and Modern Greek Studies in Fair Albion, Professor Geoff Horrocks. Author of the most authoritative English-language summary of the history of Greek there is: That’s the second edition cover. The first […]

Is Greek pop culture less interested in the Middle Ages than Western pop culture?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

I’m OP. I’ve asked this, because I’ve seen an erudite claim that this is the case, from the 80s, and am wondering whether it was true then, and is true now. The claim comes from the recent edition of Stephanos Sachlikis’ poetry. (You know someone’s obscure when their Latin Wikipedia entry is 5 times longer […]

How is being drunk perceived in your culture?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

I don’t know that you’ll find many cultures that think getting blotto is a wonderful thing, but Greek traditional culture is one of many that tut-tuts public drunkenness. The maxim my father used to warn me with was, να το πίνεις [το κρασί], να μη σε πίνει: “You should drink it [wine], you shouldn’t let […]

Tear it down, Elias!

By: | Post date: 2017-07-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

Contemplating the follies of Quora, as I am wont to do, is an often dispiriting exercise. An Existentialist Parable, as I have called it. An exercise that can made one go all nihilistic. I’m already warning friends to intervene if they find me muttering “Tear it down, Elias!” To help them do so, I need […]

What is the difference between Rum, Urum and Yunan, and Yunanistan?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

Rum < Roman is the traditional Ottoman designation for Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire, inherited from the self-description of the Byzantine Empire, and it continues to be the Turkish designation for ethnic Greeks, living in Turkey and Cyprus. Urum is a variant of Rum, and is used as the self-designation of several Turkic speakers […]

Are patron saints the same idea as Greek gods under another pretext?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

Thanks to the other respondents. Patron saints share with the Ancient Greek gods the notion of domain of influence. They also, significantly, share the notion of patronage: elements of folk religion such as Votive offerings (Greek tamata), and theological notions such as Intercession of saints, are tied up with that understanding of how the Heavens […]

What percentage of Greek Macedonians were Slavophones in the early 1900’s?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-20 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, History, Modern Greek

We have statistics published in a Belgian magazine from 1912 (De Godsdiensten op den Balkan.), just before the Balkan wars divided up Macedonia, and cited in Manastir Vilayet – Wikipedia and Salonica Vilayet – Wikipedia. Of course, the Ottoman Vilayets do not coincide with the modern borders: Salonica Vilayet is now 3/4 Modern Greece, 1/4 […]

How do Greeks feel about the fall of Constantinople?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-19 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, History, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

I’m somewhat confused by several answers talking about the present day status of Istanbul, or Golden Dawn’s vision of retaking the City. Greeks may continue to refer to Istanbul as Constantinople (except for the Rum that actual live there), but most of them do know the difference between the Byzantine city of yore and the […]

Why do Greeks break plates when dancing?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

See: Konstantinos Konstantinides’ answer to Why do Greeks break plates? As pointed out in Valya Doncheva’s answer to Why do Greeks break plates when dancing?, there are old folk antecedents to the practice—and indeed, similar practices are not uncommon among people who get drunk in general, as witnessed with any rock group that ever trashed […]

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