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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 May 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 MAY 2017 23 NEWS certain way. Professor Tamis considers closer contact and understanding of the cultural scene as it exists in modern Greece to be vital to the breaking of such stereotypes and the creation of a viable Greek culture in Australia. Nonetheless, what is the Modern Greek Cultural Reality we are expected to emulate? I for one am convinced that the Greek Australian Cultural Reality is an entirely different proposition from the Helladic one altogether and that our reality such that it is, with all our myths, stereotypes, delusions, anachronisms and bizarre rituals form a unique culture of its own that is derived from but is not identical to that of modern Greece. As anyone who places a Greek and a Greek Australian side by side can deduce, the points of reference that provide our concept of ourselves are often markedly different. Our culture, such that it is, exists in differing forms, permutations, geographical areas and even is expressed in completely different dialects or languages than that of modern Greece though it cannot be disputed that close cultural contact with Greece is desirable, as long as we are provided with the opportunity to interpret and adapt Helladic cultural forms, rather than unthinkingly adopt them wholesale. Thus, though it cannot be doubted that foustanellawearers and other cultural fetish idols can become stereotypes, does the fact that so many Greek Australians were moved by the visit of the foustanella-wearing Evzones of the Presidential Guard to Australia this year suggest that these are not only a symbol, but also a very potent one that has great meaning for many Greek Australians? Similarly, does the fact that every year, thousands of us feel the need to don the foustanella in order to participate in public dancing performances, or to march through the City of Melbourne also suggest that the foustanella is not an anachronism but a part of our Greek Australian life, albeit in a commemorative context, much as many Aussies of Scottish background don the kilt to mark their own important days? In addition, is it not part of the unique Greek Australian language that we employ in order to articulate our identity to others, regardless of how relevant it is to our everyday reality? Professor Tamis' assertion however, is an extremely valuable one because it gives rise to questions as to what extent we make our own cultural reality and whether the symbols we use to express it evolve gradually over time. The fact that, over one hundred years after the founding of our community, we are still apparently labouring under a cultural cringe that sees us psychologically and culturally dependent upon a country whose mores, values, interests, and manner of thinking are extremely different to our own and have not been able to coherently articulate or develop our own Greek Australian culture, with reference to our daily lives, is perhaps the real reason why our community, in its present form, lacks an ideology and framework all of its members can identify with, that will enable it to perpetuate itself and address the needs of the future. It is thus this stance of culture as archaeology or folklore, that Professor Tamis, in employing the motif of the foustanella-wearer, is rightfully decrying. Symbols are important but they do not define culture, only express it. This is why the nuanced and multifaceted approaches to culture outlined by Professor Tamis in his article deserve thorough consideration. Ultimately however, it is for the second generation to decide the form their community should take. The comi-tragedy here is that the ageing and declining first generation still feels responsible for the second generation, and instinctively wants to make decisions on its behalf, without reference to it, even though it of itself is of an age of maturity and is integrated into all facets of Australian life. Conversely, having been absolved of the responsibility of being active in community affairs for a generation, much of the second generation has little vision for the community or any concept of what it should be. It is therefore in the pious hope that our ruminations become symbolic of an ethnogenesis, I humbly beg pardon for imposing upon the gentle reader an anachronistic picture of myself, with my Assyrian nephew, as foustanelloforoi. My Assyrian nephew dons the foustanella every year and marches proudly by my side because his foustanella identifies him with me, his Greek cousins and our extended multicultural family. He can also sing Σαν πας Μαλάμω για νερό in flawless Greek. That has to count for something. Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos target of bomb attack A bomb attack occurred at around 6.30 pm (local time) in Athens on Thursday, targeting former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, 69. The explosive mechanism, said by local media to have been contained in an envelope in Papademos' car, went off when the former PM tried to open his mail. Papademos was rushed from the scene to Evangelismos Hospital with non-lifethreatening wounds to his face, legs, arms, and stomach, according to doctors and the latest report from Kathimerini. Doctors, however, are worried about his eyesight. His driver and a security guard, both Bank of Greece employees, were reportedly also hospitalised with less se- rious injuries from the blast. Papademos was appointed caretaker Prime Minister in November 2011 following concerns the country would exit the Eurozone, and remained in the position until May 2012 when elections were held. Police say that the perpetrators had mailed a book with the explosive device inside with ‘Academy of Athens’ as sender. Papademos is currently president of the academy. He previously served as the vice-president of the European Central Bank 20022010) and as governor of the Bank of Greece (1994-2002). Police and counter-terrorism units are on alert and investigating the attack. Meanwhile, days earlier an envelope found to contain bullets, PHOTO: AAP VIA AP/YORGOS KARAHALIS addressed to Greece’s General Secretary of Public Revenue, was intercepted at a post office in Athens while another envelope exploded at an IMF office in Paris in late March, Evidence points to Greece and Bulgaria as the birthplace of mankind According to a study by Professor Nikolai Spassov and his team at the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia, the first hominid species has been traced back to the eastern Mediterranean, challenging the long-held belief that humankind started in Africa. Two apelike fossils with human-like teeth were discovered in Greece and Bulgaria that traced back to some 7.2 million years ago, predating the hominin found in Africa. The findings published in the journal Plos One, claim the fossils may be evidence that evolution started in the Mediterranean 200,000 years earlier than it did in Africa. "This study changes the ideas related to the knowledge about the time and the place of the first steps of the humankind," Professor Spassov told The Telegraph regarding the creature, which has been named Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco). "Graecopithecus is not an ape. He is a member of the tribe of hominins and the direct ancestor of homo. "The food of the Graecopithecus was related to the rather dry and hard savanna vegetation, unlike that of the recent great apes which are living in forests. Therefore, like humans, he has wide molars and thick enamel. "To some extent this is a newly discovered missing link. But missing links will always exist, because evolution is an infinite chain of subsequent forms. Probably El Graeco's face will resemble a great ape, with shorter canines." According to lead researcher Professor Madelaine Böhme, a computer visualisation of the internal structures of the fos- injuring one person. Government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said he, "unequivocally condemns" the attack after visiting Papademos in hospital. sils showed the roots of an upper premolar tooth were fused. "While great apes typically have two or three separate and diverging roots, the roots of Graecopithecus converge and are partially fused - a feature that is characteristic of modern humans, early humans and several prehumans," she said, and added that if accepted, the theory would change the beginning of human his- tory as we know it. "Our findings may eventually change our ideas about the origin of humanity. I personally don't think that the descendants of Graecopithecus die out, they may have spread to Africa later," Ms Böhme said. "The split of chimps and humans was a single event. Our data support the view that this split was happening in the eastern Mediterranean - not in Africa." Archaeological works in Thassos get coveted prize One of the most coveted prizes in the archaeological field was awarded to the French School at Athens and the Greek Culture Ministry, for the works carried out in Thassos. Established by the Simone & Cino Del Duca Foundation, which honours the legacy of one of the leading personalities in the French publishing industry, the €150,000 ($224,502) 'Grand Prix d'archéologie' is awarded to help with archaeology projects in France or abroad. Following the recommendation from the Institut de France, the prize went to The French School at Athens which has carried out archaeological fieldwork at major sites across Greece, including excavations at Philippi, Samothrace, and Delphi. The works conducted in Thassos, in cooperation with the Greek Culture Ministry, are being carried out at a 1,400m2 site near the port of Thassos and uncovered a fifth-century residence built on the hillside of the acropolis of the ancient city of Thassos, between Dionysios and Artemisio, north-east of the ancient market.
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