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Greek immigrants: are they still Greeks?


In another post I had emphasized that Greek is the lover of truth, anyone who puts truth above oneself, above one’s race or anything – and admires different cultures or other persons if they have come closer to truth than himself. More than that: he wishes for everyone to be admirable in this way, i.e. he doesn’t want to be “the best”, he rather prefers to see all around him the Beauty of great lovers of truth, in order for himself to stay ecstatic and watch them as a lover admires the beloved.

Greeks became what they became and generated their greatest offspring, which is the Greek language, precisely by being lovers of truth. It is not unusual to confuse the cause with the effect and admire the effect instead of the cause. This way sometimes we identify “Greekness” with speaking Greek, not with being such a person as those who made the Greek language possible and indeed generated it.

If I was to be asked about the Greeks who immigrated e.g. in the US, if they are still Greeks, I wouldn’t like to know if they still speak Greek. I’d rather like to know if they live for truth, and if their love for truth brought them to the ultimate truth, which is the Living Knowledge of God, or if they just strive for the ideals of prosperity, fame, etc. This way I would understand if they are indeed Greeks, while keeping some Greek customs or even speaking Greek by themselves don’t reveal much.

Is knowledge of Greek irrelevant? No. When so many people all over the world learn Greek, why would a person, who has with the Greek culture bonds of blood, and even more than that, is a lover of truth, as we said, why such a person would not like to learn Greek? Then, would perhaps in that case their ignorance of Greek prove the absence of the other and principal feature, i.e. love for truth?

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2 Comments

  1. Leroy

    If Greek is taken to mean an allegiance to a particular nation-state, then I can say I am not Greek, but American. If Greek means, lover of God, Truth and Beauty (which some would argue is redundant), then I put myself in the category of the publican who dared not raise his eyes to Heaven because I am only too aware that, despite a good intellect and a great education, I too easily discard God, Truth and Beauty to prop up my own ego–or to serve my own self-interest or simply because I can be blind to the effects my actions and thoughts have on others. So I fail to be Greek that way. If Greek means someone who knows and actively tries (however feebly) to seek God, Truth and Beauty–then I am Greek.

  2. Jack

    Greek, as Alexander The Great proclaimed, is he who loves beauty, virtue, truth, “Areti”. A true Greek doesn’t necessarily need to speak Greek, however it helps, a true Greek doesn’t necessarily need to live in Greece, however is not a “barbarian” (intolerant of other cultures, people, thoughts, civilizations). There are citizens in Greece today that are no Greek in spirit. And there are citizens in many parts of the world today that know nothing about Greece, but are Greek…

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Three Millennia of Greek Literature