….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
I know I’m always harping on about Greeks in Australia (aka The Wogs,and no it is not some racist term, they sorted it out and used it as a source of comedic empowerment and btw as a Chinese-Aussie growing up in Melbourne, we are counted as honorary Wogs since we are clearly not Bogan Skippies!)
Anyway inevitably growing up hand-hand with the Wogs of Australia, meant I’ve probably been to every greek name day known to human kind. My neighbor used to come over to get my granny to whip up a gaint supply of Yangchow fried rice to show off to his millions of greek friends and relatives because none of them have authentic chinese home-cooked food on their name day! My earliest memory of high school was being kept up late by the neighbor’s name day. They would drink a bit, get all happy and clappy (no plate breaking). There loads of authentic greek food, some years they would barbecue a goat in the backyard! Arthur’s hundreds of relatives would dance, end up a bit giddy…one of them might fall into his kick-ass swimming pool in his backyard. He was always so generous about inviting us over to swim in it but I was not keen on Arthur’s younger daughter Anna who used to “go potty” under my grandmother’s fruit tree (gross!) when she was young.
Anyway eventually they will all end the party dancing a very drunk zorba and crying about Greece! They always did that and that was how we knew the party was ending….the crying about Greece and missing families back home, drunken zorba, a bit more crying….etc..etc…
His two sons, George and Con used to get me a lot of visitors though. lol. I don’t even know why, because for greek boys, they weren’t that hot. But apparently they were both legends in their own minds and therefore in their own high schools . Girls from my primary school used to come over and try to “perve” on Con painting topless in his bedroom (adjacent to my study).
They always asked to hang out in my study and not in the backyard or the rest of the house. After a while, I considered renting out my study but felt that if I did that I would have to share the profit with Con and did not feel like discussing it with him because knowing us we would end up negotiating percentages! %
e.g. When Con gave up being an artist and like a good boy decided to join the police academy (not a cop yet), I said to him I wanted to appeal this speeding ticket I got because it was like 2km over and there’s margin of error I can appeal and Con screeched over the phone,” The ticket is $40, after stamps, paper, hours spent typing up your letter…its not worth it….Pay them $20 to reduce the initial fines and then wait till they ask for the next $20 and offer to pay !10% every month until you pay it off.”
I laughed but next time he asked me to vouche for his “character and integrity” to a girl at a club I jokingly said, “He is a total woggy HIMBO…I can’t keep the women out of my house waiting to have a turn with him!”
And the stupid girl was such a Skippy She believed me! hahahahhahaa. I get a phonecall going,”Thanks a lot! You forgot to tell HER we were 13 at the time and you better not made any money from those stupid skippy sheilas from my old school! ”
See, Wogs! They are REALLy good with money! 🙂
Honestly….who but a Greek guy would unfailing paint topless in his own house with only his mom, dad, sisters,brothers, a cat and a dog watching? I don’t know. I’m sure that’s why family is a sacred institution to the greeks! Only Con’s family would let him do that, my chinese grandmother would have shouted at him! In fact, I think she did!
But the positive thing about growing up in multicultural Australia is that while my grandmother shouted in chinese at the neighbor, my greek neighbors would just shout back in greek. They did that for decades! It kept everyone from getting cancer as they let their feelings out on a daily basis and it really did not matter whether they understood one another or not.In families, shouting fights are universal! What I did not understand was why both my Grandma and Con’s Dad got so shocked when they heard Faye the Anglo-skippy neighbor screamed at her soon-to-be-divorced-hubby. I suppose it was because we never heard it before. She just kept it all in until FINALLY it was the end.
That was a shame because both my Grandma and Arthur’s wife Maria agreed (they did not have a language in common but they both agreed via sign language) that
a) Faye should have shouted A LOT more
b) it was a mistake for the Skippy neighbor across the road to move up to Queensland when he had a great construction firm in Melbourne.
c) Robert the Hungarian kids’ Dad will do well with this “Body Shop” franchise he was bringing to Melbourne from England. To be fair, they were biased because at the time Robert’s Dad gave both my granny and Maria loads of little samples to “test it out” and see if the wogs , chinese, skippies and russians would all buy into the much pricier (compared to other products) creams and shampoos. They didn’t. But he probably noticed that all the daughters and sons of everyone did, and we still had a say in household expeditures….:)
*** Yeah , you could say he did well when he signed that contract enabling him to introduce Body Shop into the Australian market…..lol….think it was better than David’s dad who won the lottery a few years later….but had to share it with everyone at work. Bummer!
d) No good will come of the sudden friendship between the spoilt Sri Lankan boy (prince) and the Turkish girl around the corner.(Which was bollocks, because in truth,they dated for years until they both finished university! ) It worked perfectly because she was never allowed to do anything at home because her family was so strict and he had an entire house to himself because his parents were too busy wheeling and dealing with India !
So this was Multicultural Australia…way back in the late 80s-early 90s.
So imagine my slight surprise when I found out that the Greeks in Greece were way more conservative than the greeks I grew up with and they wanted to bottle things in more. Imagine my horror, when I realised that the greeks in the Australia that I grew up in felt they could freely say whatever it was they needed to say and anyone could criticise the government in whatever way they liked; no one got killed or punched up or anything.
Then a greek neighbor from the Island showed me this video, I can see why as a Wog who returned back to Greece to live the traditional family life, aspects of Katrina’s outrage really made sense for her. It is hard when old world meets new world….even if it is within the same culture:
When I first showed this video to others, there were a lot of mixed reactions. I liked it because I think the concept of “Helene” from Socrates was not a bad thing. Some of us made jokes about her hissyfit but oh well, it is not as if no greek women EVER screamed before! Oh Please! 😛 So she was a bit shrilled but she explained in a different video why she got so angry when the Ministry of Culture stole her ideas. Well we all know what that is like. I understand her rage.
But what I actually still like about the video is that Katarina sparked off a whole load of reaction from the greeks around the world and in her own country. Their reactions made me realise…”Damn it,that’s what I love about growing up with them. You can’t put a Good Wog down! Wogs will always come back and bite you back with a wicked sense of humour.”
Here’s another example of videos I liked that for me showed typical Woggy Humour! I know WE ARE ALL HELENE, blah-blah…but seriously Katrina, can you take your screaming MORE seriously? 🙂 You may be HELENE but there is also an honest, gritty, hardworking, life-affirming, Zorba dancing, ouzo drinking, angle-working percentage counting, hilariously funny, not afraid to laugh at themselves bit of ALL GREEKS that will be “Just a little bit WOG!”
I love them for it!
But this is my favorite because it is a Greek comedy telling it how he sees it with a lot of humour:
Lol. Yes I’m sure his mother is a sacred institution….
But I aside from the serious and the flippant, there is something to be said about the other side of all this. The situation in greece is very difficult. Some people are trying to do something in a positive way for change through organising cultural events and feeling very frustrated by the failure of the Government to “do the right thing” .
In a way all the different videos are different ways of expressing outrage and emotions. I leave everyone with this last video where it is an angry guy calling himself a Malaka for collaborating with some of the things that had been inflicted on the people. I think at this point, we are way past the prudishness of everyone having to express themselves in Aristotelian greek and we can get back to the basics,that while it is difficult to watch…even this hoodie guy’s outrage is genuine and a spectrum of the sadness, the angar and hopelessness many youths in greek society feels. I do not personally agree with the negativity but it makes me appreciate the greeks I know who REFUSE to Buy into the Negativity and instead Chose to “Be proud, Be positive, Be shouty and god forbid….be just a little Wog!” 🙂
Seriously Spyros, you don’t need to put yourself down…just get a little bit of Wog-pride into you! 🙂
This is what I love about Greek Australians being proud of Wog power in comedy! Well, you probably invented that too,unless it was the Egyptian, the Chinese, Indian, Hebrews , those in Africa or the Aboriginals whose humour you took, simplified it to look good to your mates in the rest of uncivilised and Heathen Europe at the time…but it was a long time ago. 🙂 What’s a millennium or two between friends?
Yes, Australia comes across very racist…but hey at least we did it to every nation with every other nation in the world! If you don’t get the jokes…you are just not REALLY Multi-cultural….
Yeah, btw…they REALLY BOUGHT Brunswick, ALL OF IT! lol…..its SWEET, MATE!
***AND Bloody hell, Katrina: If I NEED TO IPROTEST…TOO! (JUST NOT YOUR WAY! 🙂