Yesterday a video was circulating from one office to another, from one social media profile to another. Other Greeks had received an email with a subject "A well executed and exciting video has been spreading on the internet for several hours now."
All this is about a short video featuring the Greek actress Katerina Moutsatsou who has been living in the great country across the Atlantic for several years. "My name is Katerina and I do not drink ouzo or say "opa" in my daily life," she said, adding that she is not a lazy civil servant and speaks many languages. Then, she said to those "unaware" that democracy was born in her homeland. As well as the agora, i.e. the free market, which she strangely associated with the external liabilities of modern Greece.
"Greece invented the West and if you critique me today it is because I invented the idea of critique," she said while her voice is escalating and her eyes are bulging as if they are ready to pop out of their orbits.
The video, however, does not make it clear whether foreigners should be eternally grateful to Greece or should not have a poor opinion of it and its residents because the country has rich history, 600 islands, a sea, mountains and is beautiful in general. The pathos-laden video ends with the proud recognition "I am Hellene! Not Greek but Hellene." Then, Katerina expressed her thanks with the Greek national anthem growing louder behind her voice.
People in the Balkans are very dependent on emotions and the Greeks as a Mediterranean nation-are even more dependent on them. In just a few hours, the fierce supporters of the idea, who had tried to spread it by all possible means, were already quarrelling with an equal number of Greeks not supporting the video. Some of them thought it tells some truths to the western people in whose eyes the image of Greece and the Greeks had virtually collapsed in the last 2-3 years. Others argued that the video is anything but, including an advertisement of the actress herself, but not something that will contribute to improving the image of Greece and the attitude of the world to it
Of course, in the fierce pre-election period, those who are quick to take advantage of such initiatives were not late in coming. The leader of Independent Greeks Panos Kamenos posted the video in his personal profile on the social network Twitter and proclaimed Katerina Moutsatsou a "genuine and independent Hellene." Thus giving a sly wink at his supporters.
The story of the video took a new turn due to the fact that the idea of the actress was not really hers. The original video by Joe Molson entitled "I'm Canadian" was spread in less than an hour. Actually, it turned out to be an ad for beer.
Hours later, well-intentioned people blamed the time zones for this and Katerina Moutsatsou explained that her video was a copy of the Canadian one and it was explained in the text below it. She also wrote that behind her video "no one else lies but me. I have no sponsor. Some have found it online and spread it. I only speak on my behalf and I represent only those who understand Hellenism and its heritage and myself." She stated that her video has nothing to do with "nationalism, extremism, politics and even patriotism. The only word I will accept for it is love of homeland."
Many people in Greece, however, asked themselves who would need such a patriotic frenzy and why and what the important thing is: What did the ancient Greeks do? Or what are modern Greeks doing now, or will do from now on?
"I forbade myself to watch Moutsatsou’s video in order not to get angry. But after seeing so many analyses, criticisms and comments, I decided to watch it. Well, this is Greece actually. Hysteria, which is speaking in the name of democracy and truthful speech. This stupidity and non-rationality of a large, the largest (?) part of my country is Katerina Moutsatsou’s Greece," wrote sociologist George Siakandaris.
From the really "calm" voices, I selected the one that is accurately describing the "madness" about any such initiative. "I am leaning on my chair at the desk and I am laughing alone. Ultimately, this video has made us comment and think almost only of it; it has divided us like so many other events in our lives. It has made us argue about the small and the great problems in the country like true Hellenes heirs to great Hellenes."
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