Greece, a bird of freedom

Freedom, “ελευθερία” is a most noble worth. Since historical occasions, extra so within the final 200 years since its Conflict of Independence began, it’s Greece’s biggest contribution to the European spirit, the spirit of the free world.

In 2008, on the peak of the financial disaster, there have been those that imagined Greece as a fowl, the canary miners used to take with them into the bowels of the earth. As soon as it stopped singing, they have been conscious of the upcoming hazard, the presence of lethal gases. Sadly, lately, with the rise of populism in varied European international locations, these “miners” didn’t take heed to the fowl and threatening winds began to blow.

In Greece, luckily, the fowl of freedom and the free spirit is alive and nicely. Regardless of many crises and demanding challenges, the fowl with unequalled liveliness shook its wings, raised its head and continued singing about its historical past and occasions.

The Greek spirit is expressed within the Greek lifestyle, philosophy, within the particular person and societal virtues and in Greek exuberance. So many songs and poems of Greece’s biggest poets specific it. That is past taverna music. The magnificent rebetiko and bouzouki music free the spirit and allow us to unfold our wings. Who doesn’t think about taking off like a fowl listening to the songs of Sotiria Bellou or Nikos Xylouris as if in a battle for his life, for his freedom and values.

The great poetry tells the nice story of struggle and blood, wounds and ache, the battle for independence, for all times on one’s land alongside the great shores and coves of Greece, among the many olive and pistachio timber. It’s a story of a individuals, which is the product of the beautiful fantastic thing about the Greek panorama.

Ιt has excessive mountains eagle formed 

and rows of vines on its volcanoes

And homes very white 

for neighboring the blue

(Odysseus Elytis, “Even handed Solar,” translated by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris) 

Or the poetry of eager for the homeland of the seafarers and people who stay within the diaspora.

On the key seashore

white like a pigeon

we thirsted at midday;

however the water was brackish.

(Giorgos Seferis, “Denial,” from his assortment “Strophe,” translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard)

Above all, this poetry tells the story of the person and the power of the human spirit.

A poetry that requires an individual to attempt for splendor and glory and fly on their wings, because the poem by Andreas Kalvos “The Second Ode to Glory” says: 

Glory bestows wings

on those that search it.

Directs them 

to the tough and

troublesome path of advantage.

(translated by Edmund Keeley)

How lovely Greek poetry is, precisely just like the Greek individuals, rooted in its land, its dwelling, within the seas round it – the Aegean and the Ionian. The poetry attracts its power from its simplicity and modesty singing about day by day life. It celebrates the happiness of the lucky, these falling in love, and, however, ache and sorrow, a part of life. It accepts heartbreak and loneliness as a part of the cycle of life, even when it sobs and mourns it nonetheless sings sweetly and dances into the wee hours of the night time. It’s all about love.

There isn’t any different place on the planet the place poets, and no much less the residents, know how one can problem their nation, to combat for the sake of the battle, to combat for the thought of freedom, as a result of one should combat for freedom and nurture it, get offended on the homeland and nonetheless painfully take care of it as a result of:

These faux and grand phrases 

you fed me together with your mom’s milk.

(Nikos Gatsos, “My Mom Greece,” translated by Nikos Dimitratos)

And all of this in a love for the homeland, that’s lovely in its modesty. A love that’s second to none to the final breath. 

In all these songs and nice cultural and religious creations of Greek artists, the songs about Greek values and heritage, beats the center of the nice spirit of Greece, the spirit of freedom that by no means surrenders, the one which has been cast by means of 1000’s of years. 

In probably the most troublesome occasions within the lifetime of the Greek nation, all through centuries of oppressive occupation, the aspiration for independence by no means subsided. An atrocious struggle and monstrous famine took a heavy toll on the small courageous nation. Nonetheless, the Greek individuals waged a decided battle saying aloud and clearly “όχι” (no). In days of bloody painful civil struggle, days of a darkish regime with overseas intervention, nonetheless, the individuals’s fierce spirit stood up and liberated itself from the shackles of oppression and yoke of overseas occupation. How noble is the spirit of the individuals rising to the challenges of the occasions, giving itself a brand new life out of disaster and sorrow, by means of non-public initiative, giving expression to its capabilities and uncontained love of the nation. That is Greece of 2021, 200 years because the Conflict of Independence began. Greece, which survived so many challenges, is now waging a marketing campaign in opposition to coronavirus responsibly.

In nature, there are a lot of lovely birds, huge and small. Every fowl has its particular tune. However that of Greece, the cradle of tradition, the place mythology, democracy and philosophy have been born, is so vivid and distinctive. Its feathers are the great cities, their magnificence is the day by day life, the bustle of the streets and cafés, the bouzouki singing in tavernas, the pristine islands, each a world of its personal and the ocean, the clear huge blue sea, a mirror of tranquility the place the mountains and orchards are mirrored.

Our Greece could also be a fragile fowl. However it is usually the historic mom of our civilization and tradition. Its day of celebration, Independence Day, can also be a day of celebration for a lot of outdoors Greece and for individuals who adore it. Greece with its many islands, is the beacon shining its mild on the precise path on clear days in addition to in stormy darkish occasions. Greece, its distinctive spirit, heritage and lifestyle will proceed to be the beacon for these searching for the sunshine.

Trendy Greeks, like their ancestors, perceive themselves by telling tales, poetic myths. In an unbroken continuity from the Archaic period to the Classical age, after which to Byzantium and later to the New Hellenism, we received’t discover even a century that the Greek language didn’t produce huge poetry, didn’t sing myths pointing to deeper truths.

On this present day of celebration for Greece, the want we make for Greece and ourselves is: Preserve singing, fowl of freedom, or, as an Israeli poet says, magnificent fowl. Preserve making your voice heard clearly. Many are these listening to you!


Avirama Golan is a author and publicist who divides her time between Israel and Greece, and Yossi Amrani is the ambassador of Israel in Greece.

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