Category: Greece

Two songs of loss

By: | Post date: March 20, 2019 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Greece, Music, Personal

I have had occasion to think, in recent times, on two songs of loss. I’ve cried to them before the loss, and I’ve thought of them ruefully after the loss, when I had no tears left. I will analyse them and discourse on them in The Other Place; and I’ll have fun doing it; and […]

The revival of bagpipes in Crete

By: | Post date: February 12, 2019 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Greece, Music

I have written on this blog ten years ago on my discovery of the changes in the traditions around Cretan folk music this past century. These changes have taken me by surprise: if you are immersed in an (albeit commercialised) folk music tradition, you assume it was ever thus. In fact, Cretan music used to […]

Why do Greek parents not allow their grown children to take care of themselves?

By: | Post date: May 1, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

So let me tell you an anecdote. I have a relative in Greece of roughly my age, who was studying at university away from home, 20-odd years ago. (Since “home” is a town of 7000 people with only a nursing school, that’s not hard to imagine.) Said relative at some stage took a job distributing […]

The Decalogue of Nick #1: I’m Greek-Australian

By: | Post date: December 23, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia, Greece, Personal

For Kaan Kılıçaslan. I was born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1971, to a father who had migrated from Cyprus and a mother who had migrated from Crete. We moved to Crete when I was 8. We moved back to Melbourne when I was 12. I’ve lived there since, but for 6 months in Greece in […]

What are the best things about your country?

By: | Post date: December 11, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Australia, Greece

What I would have answered your question about my country (Australia) is largely already in Nick Nicholas’ answer to Do Australians like being Australian citizens? But I’ll pretend I didn’t already answer it. Many of the best things about Australia, it shares with the US, and they have a similar reason. The optimism. The social […]

What are the rest of Ottomans’s presence in present Greece?

By: | Post date: December 11, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Greece

Andrew Baird has blocked me, so I’ll post here my corrective that the Parthenon blew up because the Venetians bombarded it. Yes, the Ottomans stored their gunpowder there. They figured the Franks would never destroy the old stones they venerated. And there was noone in the Ottoman realm with the concerted evil of Michel Fourmont: […]

If your country had a slogan what it would be?

By: | Post date: December 5, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Australia, Greece

My country (Australia) already has a slogan. The Lucky Country. The popular understanding, within and outside Australia, is that Australia being lucky (having lots of resources, affluent, stable) is a good thing. The original book, which everyone in this country should read (and which is still relevant 50 years on), argued that this was a […]

Why are Cretan murals done so well compared to Roman ones?

By: | Post date: September 22, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Greece

What you’re seeing as Cretan murals, dug up from Knossos, look shinier and more vivid than anything dug up from Pompeii, don’t they. It’s almost as if… their painting is modern. And indeed, they are. When you see Cretan murals in situ, they are mostly modern reconstructions; the original bits are the dull looking, barely […]

Can I get a Greek tattoo when I’m not Greek at all?

By: | Post date: September 1, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

I live in Greektown, Melbourne. Which means I see a lot of Greek tats sported by Greeks. And I do plenty of looking down on the cookie cutter nationalism of biceps with inked Molon labe, and Maeanders that look a little too close to swastikas. But of course, I’m a cultural conservative, so I would […]

Do people in other countries “hate” their capital city?

By: | Post date: August 19, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Australia, Greece

The reason why we in Australia built Canberra in a middle of nowhere sheep paddock was precisely that the two main cities, Melbourne and Sydney, hated each other. NSW and Victoria were quite independent colonies before Federation; and Australia is a federation, as in decentralised state, precisely because of that independence. (As with other federations, […]

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