Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Greek saying mentioning donkeys

The human characters and behaviours encoded in the form of animals as a topic has been studied quite extensively and even more so because the relevant patterns considerably vary from one culture to an other. For instance, the donkey signifies in Greek folk culture mainly stubbornness, poor manners and patience. In the Arabic culture I am familiar with, it suggests a closed mind and, even, idiocy.
ο Έλλην γάιδαρος
Greek saying:
"Εκεί που μας χρωστούσαν, μας πήραν και το γάιδαρο" "While they were in debt to us, eventually they confiscated even our donkey"
The saying is used to describe the unfair turn in a negotiation. The people who were righteously expecting some compensation, lose in the end everything, due to an unjustifiable implementation of agreements. I won't mention here how this brilliantly describes the attitudes of politicians in Greece, and I will rather combine it with the recent suppressive violence that fell upon the heads of peaceful demonstrators in Jordan.
The events which led to the attack against the youth movement "24 March" who asked for several reforms and civil rights are more or less known, since it ended up with one dead and dozens of wounded civilians. Moreover it happened in a period that the international and Arabic mass media are hungry for heroic and impressive images of the region. Supposedly a group or, rather, a mass of supporters of the regime attacked the annoying demonstrators and showed them who has gotten the upper hand. Meanwhile, the police interfered making things just more violent.
Many commentators started advertising the idea that the protest movements in the Middle East and Northern Africa are some sort of fashion. And that they spread like the habits in dressing or the pop songs. In reality, if one looks closer, the suggestion does not seem valid, because each movement or collective voice has very different origins, it describes local realities and is confronted with different dynamics of the status quo ante. It is true that the outbreak of a massive protest in one country encourages the active expression in the neighbouring one but the influence is not ideological, it is simply methodological, operational.
Getting back to the Greek saying let me note that the quest for civil rights is a legitimate one and always the administration should feel that it is in debt to the citizens. The concept of the social contract between the civilians and the governors is the only reasonable one for the healthy maintenance or transformation of a living society. And in a way, the administration is always in debt to the civil entity. Many concessions has it demanded, from regulatory decisions, to penalization and taxation. It produces in reality nothing but a framework for the society to produce, create and enrich. Therefore, the citizens have always the right to see their aspirations growing, their daily life details improving, their small or grand debate for practical or intellectual, moral or aesthetic issues supported. They are entitled to demand better education for the younger and second chances for the elder, stronger legal protection, opportunities in professional life and in leisure. They can further their need for representation and participation in the decision-making process especially because all the public buildings, the flags, the donation, the loans, the support programs, the anthems, the military and peace adventures stand and happen in their names. I am confident that the leadership of this beautiful country comprehends that and starts considering this seriously.
So, the people have constantly some revenues to claim back. There shouldn't be anyone who demands their donkey. All in all, the donkey should not be confiscated.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Kyle said...

Such a great article it was which thee human characters and behaviours encoded in the form of animals as a topic has been studied quite extensively and even more so because the relevant patterns considerably vary from one culture to an other. In deed he donkey signifies in Greek folk culture mainly stubbornness, poor manners and patience. Thanks for sharing this article.

5:26 PM  

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