Monday, December 19, 2011

Of daughters and children...

I picked this pic on the net. It's called 'Greek Children'. I reckon it was 
shot by a foreigner to be called like that.
Years ago, a Greek friend told me laughing. "Did you know that our daughters are not our children, in Greek?" Knocked out by his peculiar statement, I am like, "WTF do you mean?" "Well", he continues, "if you got a daughter and a son and somebody asks you about kids, you got to answer: I got a daughter and a child. The boy is the child, not the girl. Girls are no children. Can you believe that?"
Cross my heart, I was born and lived in Greece until I left for good at 23, and I never heard that before. I didn't believe the statement anyways. All these years I thought of it as a Greek joke of some sort. Until yesterday.
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 am, the Greek Deyteron (103.7 FM) radio station, with programs mainly for the very few eclectic Greeks still left on earth (kinda not like me!), has been broadcasting traditional Greek fairy tales, old and new. I didn't pay much attention really, because I guess fairy tales are for children (except for something I'll comment later), but all of a sudden the daughter/child issue popped up again. The radio speaker, a woman in her forties I reckon, mentioned the following "...and that would be fine for the two daughters and the three children of the family". Busy with my daily razor saving at the moment, I almost cut myself! I was like "Say WHAT! Oh, shoot, it's gonna be true after all! I can't fokkin' believe this!"
This morning, I happened to be reading the blogpost of an author friend who's been writing for years short stories and poetry inspired by the Greek tradition of the North, namely Thrace. Somewhere in her text I read: «Αυτά, παιδι μ’, όλοι τα ξέραν κι όλοι τάφτιαχναν για τα κορίτσια και τα παιδιά.» Translated "These, my child, everyone was aware of, and everyone knew how to make, for their girls and children.” I'l be damned. Third time good time. It's therefore true! Greeks are male chauvinists then, just like the Chinese! Women don't count much to them, other than their own mother, I reckon. The rest of them women, they hold in contempt. Like the Saudi's that is, and some Swiss until recently ?!?! I am OK, you are not NOT OK sort of thing. Well done folks! Gotta be proud of yourselves...
As for the fairy tales that I promised you, it's not the first time I've been listening Deyteron radio broadcasters narrate fairy tales to see what they teach Greek juveniles in their early days, during their more sensitive and character forming years.
The story I heard yesterday, during my morning bathroom rituals, was about a superbly beautiful girl that was hated by her sisters, and they brought her a poisoned pie to eat. She gave a piece to her beloved dog first, and the dog ate and passed. The girl realized the evil intent and locked her house. The two evil sisters returned with a poisoned ring this time. In vain they tried to convince her outside the locked doors to accept the ring, saying that their mother swore them to pass it to her when she came of age, and that they wanted to fulfill that promise, otherwise the mother would not rest in heaven and they, the two evil bitches, would be cursed for ever. The beautiful girl believed them again, open the door and accepted the ring, but as a soon as she put it in her finger she fell unconscious and appeared like dead. During the night her fairies arrived and saw what happened, and mourned and cleaned her, and put her in a golden coffin. Days later, a prince passed by and saw the coffin and liked it. He asked for it and brought it to his palace, but he had to swear not to ever open it, or else... But the prince got ill in his deathbed and before he was about to pass he insisted that his servants open the coffin to look inside. They did as he wished and he then saw the beautiful body of the 'dead' with the poisoned ring. He pulled the ring off her finger and she suddenly woke up. Her beauty cures him and he asks her to marry him. She accepts but also explains what happened with the pie and the ring that she got from her two evil sisters, and the prince in rage decides to go find them and punish them as they deserve. But the beautiful girl begs him to forgive them... and they lived happily ever after...
Now, it's not about the bleeding story. See what happens in the plot? There's always an evil person, preferably among those you'd suspect the least, from inside your own family, who envies you and wants you dead. Lies come next. The evil sisters would lie so skillfully that would lead the unsuspecting beauty to her death. Then comes the lack of punishment. Forgiveness by the good and innocent for the evil and corrupt. Crimes get unpunished because our Christian heart must forgive our enemies. What a pile of BS is this!
Greek juveniles are raised with fairy tales like these. What do you expect them to become later then? Good ol' fokkers, taking advantage of their own family, stealing from their bros and sisters, and expecting forgiveness for the evils they did. No wonder Greek churches burst with people these days. Great Christian Gods and Saints will forgive you lads. You'll definitely meet St Peter on your way to Paradise. We won't forgive you that easy though. Learn to live and work with some elementary ethics, because you ain't seen the worst coming to you yet. Start by telling proper fairy tales to your kids. To raise them less arrogant, less corrupt and with far lesser nerve and far more dignity than your parents raised and spoiled you. And try to forget your beloved Metapolitefsis Andreas the Great (Megalos) who will go down in your history as the greatest State f*cker of all times. 
And stop calling only your boys your 'children'. Because without your daughters, there wouldn't be any boys for you to call 'children' anyway! Didn't you know that yet?

1 comment:

Sylvia F said...

In Ancient Greek they used the same word for both child, boy and girl: παις.
In Latin they also use 'filius' for 'son' or 'child' - so Greek is not the only language in which the men are favored; want another example?
In French, if you want to describe a group of people, you say 'ils' or 'elles'. You can only use 'elles' if their are only women in this group, so if there is one man among 100 women you still have to use 'ils'.

About the forgiving part: I always liked that about christianity - nothing about an evil god, just one that will always forgive and love you no matter what :p