Seven Deadly Greek Sins
Neos Kosmos explores the Seven Deadly Sins through Greek eyes
Like all things, the seven deadly sins have their origins firmly planted in Greek history. The original concept behind the seven deadly sins were listed as seven evil thoughts in Greek by the fourth century monk Evagrius Ponticus. The evil thoughts were gastrimargia (gluttony), porneia (prostitution / fornication), philargyria (avarice), hyperephania (pride / arrogance), lype (envy), orge (wrath) and akedia (dejection).
But nowadays the seven deadly sins are as common as Magnum ice-cream flavours. And while we try hard not to give in to them, we are only human. As Greeks, well, it's even harder. Greeks play on a whole new level. The seven deadly sins are embedded in our lifestyle, our culture and in our way of life. Greeks truly are a sinful bunch.
This sin is all about thinking of sex 24/7. And with the way Greeks dress - women scantily clad in their short skirts, men with shirts open just enough to show their masculine tanned chest - it's hard to think about anything else. Have you ever gone to a Greek island and sat on a beach without being distracted? Didn't think so. Given that Greece won the title of Europe's best lovers in 2005 (coincidentally, they won the Eurovision competition that year, too) it's safe to say that this is a country where sex features high up on the menu of life.
All you need to do is go to your auntie's house to understand this sin. Watch her force feed you or guilt feed you. You know, 'if you loved me you'd eat all your kreas' and as your ten-year-old self grimaces at the thought of eating the whole leg of lamb, Thea Kiki appeals to you with this little gem: 'ahhh, you no love Thea Kiki do you? Thea Kiki hearts BREAKS!' (exaggerated acting out of heart-attack by Thea Kiki). Greeks love to eat, a lot and at all times. Only a gluttonous culture chooses to eat dinner at 11.00 pm knowing full well they have no chance of digesting their meal before bed.
Not to make light of the current financial crisis in Greece, but it happened purely because Greeks are a greedy mob. Money talks in Greece and in Australia with Greek Australians. Six Greeks made it into BRW's rich list of Australia's wealthiest 200 people this year. Greeks love to have... more, more and more. And not just with money, they are greedy in all aspects of life and don't seem to understand the concept of enough is enough. Really, who needs three Harley Davidson motorcycles? A large bucket of KFC for one? A home cinema surround sound stereo set up? And three houses? Greeks need them.
Ever sat with a Greek in Greece and had a coffee? In Australia, we call three-hour coffee drinkers lazy. In Greece, they are living the dream. If Australia mastered the 'she'll be right' attitude, it's safe to say that Greeks, like everything else, invented it. Greek people aren't lazy per se, they just operate on their own time, they have their own inner clock that determines just when they do anything. I once asked a bus driver in Athens what time the bus arrives in Ioannina, his response was 'maybe 6 o'clock, maybe 7 o'clock, maybe later'. What he meant was it depended on how many cigarette breaks he chose to have along the way.
Go to a Greek club and talk to someone's girlfriend and watch the deadly sin of wrath rear it's ugly head. Not that I am advocating you provoke a fight. I am simply pointing how hot-headed and quick to jump Greek men are, especially under the influence of a couple of Johnnie Walkers. The Trojan War happened based on that very same thing! And it's not just young blooded men fighting for the honour of their girlfriends, it's the ladies too. Say one word about their family and watch as they territorially rip you to shreds - using only a stare. And parents. Ever upset a parent - smoked in front of them, failed an exam, not gone to your yiayia's house when you said you would? Oh the wrath. Ain't nothing scarier than a Greek dad p*ssed off!
Why do you think we have to ftou ftou after a compliment? Why do you think we wear an evil eye? Why do you think we get matiasied. Jealousy people, jealousy. It's a curse for sure. A gaggle of Greeks can often be found sitting al fresco drinking coffee not because they need their coffee fix, it's to ogle the plethora of people walking by and to gossip about their look. And it's not because they don't like their style, au contraire, they love it! But they are seething with jealousy, they don't know what to do with themselves.
Considering Greeks invented everything, they have everything to be proud of. Democracy, philosophy, Olympic Games, the catapult, maps, the Hippocratic Oath - you name it, Greeks invented it. So it's little wonder they are a proud mob. And pride stems to family: So proud of their families' achievements, so proud of their family village, so proud of their grandchildren, so proud of their pet. And then there is the sinfulness of pride. The too proud to beg, the too proud to ask for help, the too proud for their own good, the too proud to say sorry.
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