Europe According to Greece. And Sunlight

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Update: I got so carried away writing the text below that I forgot to mention this map is part of my Mapping Stereotypes project. Wrap it in its context, please. :)

It was about time to make a map of Europe according to Greece because as things are going, the country might disappear very soon. At least as we know it.

I think what is happening today in Greece and all Southern Mediterranean Europe can be properly described as a clash of civilizations. You’ve probably heard the statement that Greece is the cradle of Western Civilization. That’s bollocks. What we refer to Western Civilization today can be much better described as a Protestant Entrepreneur Civilization, and it definitely lies to the North, rather than the West.

Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece have a very different tradition, one that unites them in a league of their own. The similarities are so strong they even transcend the usual Catholic vs Orthodox divide. Down here, on the shores of the Mediterranean, people don’t spend their time trying to invent ways to keep themselves busy working, so they can save enough money for a monthly vacation and escape a nasty depressing weather. Here the Sun shines quite often and people are more interested in having fun. One might argue whether too much heaven is healthy for you but the fact is undeniable.

It’s really striking how something as basic as sunlight can affect society on such a fundamental level. It’s also striking how misunderstood this correlation is. The Germans and French blame the Greeks they are lazy. That’s very true but I think if you magically could relocate the entire German nation on the Aegean islands and leave them to boil on the white rocks for about 50 years, you will end up with a society pretty similar to the one that inhabits the area today.

Of course the misunderstanding runs both ways, Greeks are equally unable to understand the Northern motivation and way of life, hence they thought faking accounting reports for the honor to join the Euro will go unpunished forever.

Europe is a really inspiring continent, isn’t it? Now let’s see how global warming will stir things up in the next 100 years. I promise you won’t ever get bored. :)

36 comments on “Europe According to Greece. And Sunlight

  • Dear brother Yanko,

    I wish to congratulate you for the smart humour you depicted in your map and all your maps in general. I can but applaud at your graceful depictions of how most humans stereotype our world. The essence of your art, just like in ancient greek comedies was to unmask the way things evolve around us. You have achieved your purpose and I can say for one I got a good laugh out of your map!

    You are surely a well opinionated man and well educated. You must realize though that each man has evolved his own knowledge and some are offended by the way others depict it. There are many issues in history that remain unresolved and interlaced in moments of our past we will never decipher. The Balkans (Peninsula of Haemus) are a great example of how history and conflict created a melting pot that dozens of nations have risen from. Amongst them your Bulgarian and my Hellenic cultures. Who came first, said what and did what is not as important as how we cherish that knowledge and pass it on after having added more knowledge to it. We are all brothers on this planet and as long as we continue to see ourselves as different we will get nowhere.

    Life is great when you are happy and happiness needs a good laugh! So though I may agree on the many issues my compatriot Thomas noted and the many other Ellines out there defending our culture, the debate was off topic and out of place on your blog. May we all cherish what has been passed down to us and work together on bettering our future through friendship…and good humour!



  • Alphadesigner where are you from??? I would like to know your country. I didn't read all the stupid things your talking about but i interested about your origins. As i can understand from your name you are from eastern europe….Great!!!! Eastern countries were the main supplier for our sexual entertaiment so a BIG THANKS for that.

    • That's a strange thing to be proud of, Geo.

      First, few people would be happy to admit they find it necessary to pay for sex. Second, importing sexual entertainment from abroad means your local one sucks, and third – if you were a tad more intelligent, you would see there's a big ABOUT button on top of this page.

      Attention to detail and logical thinking will help you get out of the crisis sooner.

  • Congrats from a greek! fantastic work! I'd change though Italy with the common phrase that's being used in Greece -una faccia una razza- (one face one race). I would also like to add, that one of the very few ancient greek elements that remain pretty much the same till nowadays (at least in mind if not applicable in reality) is the anticonformist-elitism-sarcastic-nationalism that characterize us. we consider all the other barbarians, we are though self sarcastic about our defects, but (I hope that) we can still get invovled in any kind of war immediately if our very limits of freedom (=sun, beach, talking freely about anything, food, sex) are being pushed against.

    + 1 for ireland=cyprus as the other divided island of europe

    ps. in greece we work. a lot. but we don't produce.

    • ps2.

      as far as the alphabet origin is concerned, there is a big argument going on whether the route was phoenician->greek or viceversa. LOGIC suggests that the origin is of course the greek one because every letter in greek has a strict fundamental meaning. thus meaning that the phoenicians had copied some of the letters (not the pronunciation) and they transformed them into something of their own.

      As in Alpha. verb alphein αλφειν to count. (the letter alpha written α' is number 1)
      As in gamma. seems mirrored phoenician gaml, but it's a sickle. because as the name suggests :
      (g)ama ti gi (αμα τη γη = craving the earth) ….the f*word in modern greek is the word used for reproduction in the antiquity!!! gamein (to F*)

      so in conclusion, the origin of the alphabet is not a thing to be discussed as a conspiracy theory argument, but mostly as one probable misunderstanding, that cannon be resolved easily at global academic level (because already dollars are flowing on indoeuropean studies, and nobody wants to destroy everything and start allover again…!!!)

      and we mustn't forget that in the mideval times there have ben consolified absurd theories about greeks that could not been confronted because we were occupied by turks for 368 years.

      such as the INVENTED erasmian pronuciation theory about greek. thank god that has been recently revised, and in schools among europe now ancient greek can be studied correctly with the proper EUPHONIA.

      …greeks are stubborn they would never accept anything barbarian, bear in mind that modern and the so called ancient (classical) greek are 90% the same!

    • I agree with everything you’ve written, but I live in Greece and have for most of my life, and I’ve never heard that phrase used. It sounds like ancient Greek or καθαρεύουσα. The closest thing I can think to the phrase you wrote would be “Μία φάτσα ενα έθνος,” which is a awkward sentence that doesn’t symbolize Greece’s relationship with Italy at all. It would be more like “Ενα έθνος ενομένω,” from when Greece stood a united nation against Italy in WW II, hence Όχι day, one of the largest holidays in Greece. Unfortunately, even then I’ve never heard anybody say that, or anything similar.

      Another candidate would be: “Θα σαλτάρω θα σαλτάρω τη ρεζέρβα να τους πάρω,” an expression used during the Nazi takeover meaning “I’ll jump, I’ll jump, the reserve wheel I’ll take.” People were so poor, they would steel the extra tires from cars and sell them. This one might fit better with Germany, but whatever.

  • I posted a reply which suddenly "dissappeared". I hope it was something technical…
    Anyway I repeat a brief summary of my reply.

    O.K. Sesklo is just a village. No one is to be blamed for lack of knowledge.

    Santorini (as my link describes) is thought by some to be the Atlantis Plato talked about.
    I quote: "Pipes with running water and water closets found at Akrotiri are the oOLDEST SUCH UTILITIES discovered. The pipes run in twin systems, indicating that the Therans used both hot and cold water supplies; the origin of the hot water probably was GEOTHERMIC, given the volcano's proximity. The dual pipe system suggesting hot and cold running water, the ADVANCED ARCITECTURE, and the apparent layout of the Akrotiri find resemble Plato's description of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, further indicating the Minoans as the culture which primarily inspired the Atlantis legend". But still the pyramids are better…

    On the alphabet: I quote from YOUR link:
    "When alphabetic writing began in Greece, the letterforms used were similar but not identical to the Phoenician ones and vowels were added, because the Phoenician Alphabet did not contain any vowels. There were also distinct variations of the writing system in different parts of Greece, primarily in how the Phoenician characters which did not have an exact match to Greek sounds were employed. One of these local Greek alphabets evolved into the standard Greek alphabet, and another into the Latin alphabet, which accounts for many of the differences between the two".

    So, the Phoenician alphabet DID NOT CONTAIN ANY VOWELS!!! The Greeks added them!! Damn!
    So then how was A-lf, pronounced? b-E-t? g-A-ml? d-E-lt? They couldn't, could they…
    I quote from my link:

    "To the amazement of Ventris himself, the deciphering of Linear B proved that it was a written form of Greek, in direct contradiction to the general scientific views of the times, and to Ventris' own hunch that it would turn out to be Etruscan. Chadwick, an expert in historical Greek, helped Ventris decipher the text and rebuild the vocabulary and grammar of Mycenaean Greek.
    Ventris' discovery was of immense significance, because it demonstrated a Greek-speaking Minoan-Mycenaean culture on Crete, and presented Greek in writing some 600 years earlier than what was thought at the time".

    Of course we all know what happened to the Myceneans after the Dorian decended…

    I will close and rest my case by saying only this:
    I have the utmost respect for ancient civilizations and their contribution to human culture. I value the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Mesopotamians, the Chinese and also the Mayas, the Azteks etc. for a simple reason. I am Greek and being Greek means to be hospitable, open to interact and to communicate with everybody as time goes by. And that is the way a small nation like the Greeks have survived for more than 5000 years, going through glory, wars, occupation and slavery.
    Nothing personal as well

    • Of course you have utmost respect to other civilizations, Thomas. You just claim that all valuable discoveries are Greek, your people were the best in architecture, they were the best in philosophy, and pretty much everything else that deserves appreciation. Arguing with you is a lost cause by default, so like I said, I am not going to do it anymore. I'll just let whoever reads this have a laugh.

      If you are fine fooling yourself that your point of view implies tolerance, openness and respect, that's fine with me too. Make a blog, post articles, links, whatever helps your nationalistic pride reach even broader horizons. Here on this blog, you are a guest and I have the right to moderate and delete comments according to my preferences. I gave you the possibility to express yourself but this is not an obligation on my part, I am not a parliament, or a publicly owned entity, this blog is private and commenting here is a privilege I give to my visitors, not a right somebody can demand or complain about.

      Not only the last one, but also your previous 2 comments didn't appear automatically on this page – the reason is that the spam filter usually blocks all comments containing more than 2 links. I had to manually publish these blocked comments. So there is nothing "sudden" in the disappearance of your last. Since the discussion reached a dead end, I will prevent you from commenting further on this article and if you decide not to accept that and persist for some reason, I will block you entirely. If you're not satisfied with that, set up your own blog, it's easy.

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