BIG Greek Lie 7

BIG Greek Lie 7 - Greece is a Democratic State

(Modern Greeks believe they live in a democracy)

By Risto Stefov

[NOTE: Our apologies to the Greek people if they find these articles offensive. Our objective here is NOT to create tension between the Macedonian and Greek people but rather to highlight the problem that exists within the Greek State and its institutions. As long as the Greek State denies our existence as Macedonians with rights and privileges, we will continue to publish these types of articles.]

Up until the 1970's Greece had been plagued by dictatorship after dictatorship but since then it has existed in a relative calm. At least, that is how it appears from the outside.

Besides being the last country in Europe to give women the right to vote in the 1950's, by democracy I mean the usual things that we in the west take for granted, like freedom of speech, the right of association, the right to education in one's mother tongue, etc., etc.

When I was attending public school in Greece, I was told that "Greeks were the freest people on this planet. There was no better life in the entire world than that of a Greek." Then one day I came home singing a song that I had learned in school which went something like this; "Grekos genithika ke Grekos tha pethono", which roughly translates to "Greek I was born and Greek I shall die".

It was not the words of the song that horrified my parents but what it meant for the Macedonians and that I, their son, was singing it!

Naturally they told me to stop singing it and would not tell me why. I was much too young to understand and betrayal could have meant severe punishment for them. My father was already a "marked man", he had served five years in the Greek Island concentration camp prisons for "being a danger to the Greek State". Whatever that means?

Even though I was young, I could see that something was troubling my parents and wanted to know what it was. Upon my insistence, my mother broke down and told me. She said, "We are Macedonians, we are not Greek. The song you are singing is anti-Macedonian and was sung by people who did harm to us. Those people may be Greek heroes but they were our enemies. They murdered people like us."

The word "Macedonians" at the time had no meaning for me except from what I had learned in school about the ancient "Makedones".

But there it was; the word "Macedonians" a word which would haunt me for a long time.

My mother made me swear that I would not repeat to anyone what had I just heard and I didn't.

My mother told me things that did not make sense to me until much later. In the meantime I had to live with a secret, a haunting secret. As time went on life taught me many things including the lies my country Greece fed me. I was told I was free but in reality it was a lie, I was a prisoner of the truth. I wanted to but I couldn't tell anyone I was Macedonian for fear that my family would be punished and humiliated. I had seen what the Greek teacher had done to children in the yard caught speaking their mother tongue and I didn't like it so I continued to hide the truth and live a lie until I left Greece.

In Canada as I encountered Greeks, I told them I was a Macedonian from Greece. As usual Greeks reacted in disbelief with the response, "There is no such thing as a Macedonian, only Greeks live in Greece." More recently they say "You must be a Skopjan from FYROM, brainwashed by Tito's propaganda." I tell them I am not Skopjan nor have I ever been to Skopje. I was a Macedonian before I ever heard of Tito and I had never heard of Tito until I came to live in Canada.

Had my parents said nothing to me about my family being Macedonian, I would have continued to be a "good Greek" and would have lived a lie. I would have been unquestionably accepted by the Greeks as a Greek with a glorious ancestry stretching back to the ancient Greeks. My parents spoiled all that, however, by telling me the truth. Now the Greeks call me a Slav, a Bulgar, a Skopjan Gypsy, etc., etc. and a traitor to Greece but all I want to be called is Macedonian because that is what I am.

And how democratic is that?

How democratic is a state that not only does not recognize its minorities but punishes them for being who they really are?

Aside from those who accept their fate that they are not Greeks and admit to it, there are also those who knowingly love to live a lie. They are the most dangerous and most anti-democratic people. They loathe their own kin for not being Greeks. They live a nightmare afraid of being discovered and hated, as they despise others.

Of course there is a third category of Greeks, a generation that does not really know its own background and has accepted the State sponsored indoctrination as the truth. Some of these Greeks who truly believe Greece is a democratic state are finding the true nature of being a Greek when they begin to show sympathy to minorities, specifically to Turks and Macedonians. They quickly find out that Greece is ONLY democratic for those who toe the government line. Those who sidestep or choose to think for themselves quickly become traitors and anti-Greek.

Greece boasts of being the cradle of democracy (another lie) but to this day has failed to practice what it preaches.

Any modern state that does not tolerate diversity, celebrate multiculturalism and embrace its minorities is NOT democratic.

It is difficult if not impossible to convince any Greek that what I am saying is the truth and not "Skopjan" lies and propaganda (even though I have admitted to not being a "Skopjan") so I challenge those Greeks who do not believe me to go to their Government and propose a solution to the Macedonian question. Just simply say, "It is not fair how you treat the Macedonian minority in Greece" and propose that it be recognized. I guarantee you that not only will your government do nothing for the Macedonians but it will chastise you and call you a traitor for even having such thoughts. If you care so much for the truth, then I dare you to do it! Please write me and tell me I am wrong.

The Truth

The Macedonians who have lived in Greece and now live in the Diaspora and have experienced real democracy can truly tell you how undemocratic Greece is. People in democratic states are not prohibited from speaking their mother tongue. Children who only know their mother tongue are not punished for speaking it in public. Old people who speak one language are not fined for speaking it in the market place.

These things happen in democratic Greece.

Greece is not only a non-democratic state but far from it, Greece does not know the meaning of the word democratic.

You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com

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