Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We're Not Perfect

I am flagging this post well in advance to say that there is a chance I'm going to offend Greeks with it. If you're Greek and easily offended LOOK AWAY NOW! You've been warned, don't leave me offensive comments later.

This morning I was watching the news when a story popped up about two elderly nuns who have been strangled in a Greek monastery which was then robbed. It's terrible that two such peaceful women had to lose their lives in such a violent way. But I was very disappointed to see and hear the whole 'It must have been the Albanians' debate again.

Can we please agree that Greece is essentially just like any other society on the planet? There are good things and bad things, good people and bad people, well-adjusted people and a minority of psychotic social misfits with evil and murderous intentions - and yes, there is a chance that such a person is Greek and that such a person killed those two nuns. The 'Let's just blame the Albanians' thing is getting irritating, not to mention it's as racist as America's 'Let's just blame the Young Black Male.'

You can't say that because Greeks respect nuns too much they would never dream of doing such a thing and robbing the monastery afterwards. Every society has it's exceptions to the norm. If you were to follow the same rules, in a society like Greece which adores children, you would expect that children never, ever get molested or abused. But sadly this does happen, and sadly it does happen from Greek adults towards Greek children,because there are some members of society who don't respect any moral standards and yes, THEY COULD BE GREEK!

Let me please declare that I much prefer to live in Greece at the moment than any of my other options (Misogynist Homeland, Messed-up UK) I am not attacking Greece for the heck of it. I just want to say that being Greek doesn't put you above the depraved aspects of being a human being, and neither does being Albanian make you more prone to them. Also, I belong to an ethnic minority, and I can't say 'Well this is none of my business because I'm not Albanian', because tomorrow if the spotlight turns on my race, then what? Who's going to stand up for me and say 'Guys, let's all calm down a bit and think about this over a frappe, eh?' As much as I respect Greece and her culture, it would be irresponsible of me not to question the small details that can get so much worse if left to fester.
If the culprits of this incident turn out to genuinely be Albanian (and not just scapegoats) then fair enough. But nobody died and made us judge, jury and executioner.


Anonymous said...

You are missing the point. Of course it could have been Greeks, in fact most crime in Greece is commited by Greeks and most immigrants are not criminals. What you and all other (Greek or barbarian) proponents of multiculturalism in Greece are obfuscating, however, is that barbarians living in Greece are three times more likely to commit a crime than Greeks. Today 10% of the humans living in Greece are barbarians but they account for over 30% of crime. My sources are from the Ministry of Public Order statistics department (, see version of the page in Greece for the full tables) and involve blue collar and violent crime only as there as so few barbarians educated or wealthy enough to be in a position to commit white collar crimes (though there are some case like fraud where there is a presence). Not only do barbarians break the law in a much higher percentage than Greeks their share in crime statistics is also increasing as can be seen at the tables for the years 1991-2006.


bollybutton said...

How charming! I didn't know I was a barbarian, I thought I was an immigrant.

CaliforniaKat said...

Sounds like a nationalist of some sort who doesn't even live in Greece, trying to use complicated words but also making common errors in grammar and usage.

How much you want to bet he lives in America where multiculturalism reigns? Why don't you be a real Greek and join your brothers in the homeland? I might point out that Greeks, despite wealth and university education, commit white collar crime just as well. Wouldn't that make them barbarians as well?

Yuva said...

again totally with you... and most of greece does not understand difference with professional expats as well.

being brown skin person- luck for me, i was never had biased/mis treatment at any situations... infact, so lucky never a cop stopped me to ask paper(may be once).

prejudgement based on race is common but whatz shocking is-- its wide-spreading and across gender/generations.

almost of no zero diversity.. one things that hate about greece.


btw: mate, great to find foreign english blog from athens.. and if you haven't heard already expat group in athens.. feel free to reach me at

Ted said...,,2-10-1462_2127509,00.html

It turns out the barbarians in this case were a Greek and a Macedonian (FYROM). Being half Greek and Orthodox, I'm disturbed by continued attacks on monasteries by criminal activity or mortar barrage. Traveling yearly to Greece to visit family, I hear crime stories that seem to always involve Albanians. I bring them stories about Orthodox missionaries that help build churches and hospitals and schools in Albanian. No matter the name of the assailant, whether redneck, skinhead, Bloods, Crips, Protestant, Muslim, Albanian, Greek, Al-Qaeda, or otherwise murder is deplorable.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with the first comment, but I write to point out that in greek history, specifically since the time of Herodotus and Thucidydes, there have been only two kinds of people - Greeks, and non-Greeks. Non-Greeks are all called "barbarians" because the languages they speek - not being Greek - sounded like "bar bar bar" etc.

When someone uses "Greek or barbarian", it is really "Greek or non-Greek" and has nothing to do with the behavior, but merely the ethnic background.

at least until the early 1980s, Herodotus was taught in Greek schools in archaia and this point is one of the first lessons a greek will learn.