How to insult a greek!
Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 19/03/2007
Greece isn’t characterized by a high sense of civil duty when it comes to respect of private or public property and graffiti, (and I don’t mean nice drawings like this but pointless slogans usually politically or sport oriented), is widespread. These slogans are great social indicators and often are excellent to use when analyzing social trends.
Teacher Dude’s Grill and BBQ blog had some interesting photos from Thessaloniki. The last one is especially colorful, was spotted near the stadium of PAOK, (a soccer/basketball team from Salonica) and is the one reproduced here. Out of respect for his students, I imagine, he didn’t translate it but I thought it was worthwhile:
“Jews Gay…” – “Jews cunts”
I thought it was interesting to see how in an effort to insult their opponents the fans use the classical insults from the racist/sexist repertoire. For a man, presuming that all supporters are male, an opponent is so low in the food chain that he can be compared only to women and homosexuals. While for women they use the derogative term “cunts” concentrating on what women are good for, (as their philosophy implies), we see that for homosexuals they simply write “gay” and not a worse term like “fagots” or something similar; maybe they feel just the word is enough to procure offense. And of course a standard adjective is the “jew” which is the carrier of a wide variety of negative values and always a sure way to denigrate an opponent.
Always the hooligan insults in Greece are characterized by an extreme actuality and the exact opposite of political correctness. It is interesting that once a friend asked me if, as a greek Jew myself, knew if indeed Jews had founded the team of Aris Saloniki. I answered that to the best of my knowledge that this was not true and I inquired on why he wanted to know. He replied that often other fans accused him that his team was founded by Jews and he wanted to verify it! Apparently the simple fact that possibly a jew could be involved in the founding of a team was a reason enough to be contaminated, a kind of original sin. It wasn’t important that Aris doesn’t have anything to do with jews, (neither players, nor managers, nor anything else in his history), it was enough that a jew might have “touched” him to contaminate him forever without any chance of redemption. By the way probably this is the reason of why jews get the dubious honour of getting mentioned twice on the same wall, they get identified with the arch-enemy of PAOK, the team of Aris. So they become target for two reasons: one because as jews they’re a just object of hate and also because they’re identified with the traditional opponents.
Although hate speech in Greece is proscribed by law, people aren’t really scandalized when seeing it and in the specific case of graffiti no action is ever taken. Even repeated and specific requests by human rights organizations to erase them have no effect like the numerous reports by the Greek Helsinki Watch show. Anyway to wrap this post up here’s an advice for our foreign readers: next time you’ll want to insult your greek friend go with the “jew”, it’s a no-brainer!