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Keywords: Greece

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This sporting life

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 10 August 2022
    3 Comments

    It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes interested and supportive people to encourage athletic talent. A recent documentary on the world's most successful male distance runner Sir Mo Farah raises questions around how host countries know about waste of talent and opportunity when they routinely deport asylum seekers or lock them up? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Daniel Mendelsohn lectures in classics at Bard College, a liberal arts institution in New York State. His retired father, aged 81 in 2011, regrets gaps in his own education, and asks to sit in on his son’s course of seminars on Homer’s The Odyssey. Professor Mendelsohn agrees, and Jay Mendelsohn joins a class of 18-19 year-olds. Later, father and son go on a cruise that retraces The Odyssey where they discover: is home a physical place, or something you carry around with you or within you? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Race relations

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 June 2022
    4 Comments

    What causes racism? How does it start? Perhaps that’s at the heart of the matter: the difference, and the fear of it. Historically, we have tried to manage the fear via labels and categories: think of the ancient Greeks and their idea that anybody who did not speak Greek was a barbarian because of the bar-bar sounds that they made.

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  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 21 June 2022
    3 Comments

    Some 278 Catholic bishops, clergy, religious personnel and lay people will meet as members of an unprecedented Plenary Council during 3-9 July to finalise the resolutions of their first assembly last year. However the May working document ‘Framework for Motions’, despite much worthy content, especially on Indigenous affairs, relies on a narrow notion of mission overly focused on inner-church issues at the expense of the wider social engagement that Francis emphasises.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The exile of place and time

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Writers are not only preoccupied, among other things, with the concept of place, but also with the matter of time and its passing. Novelist L.P. Hartley famously wrote that the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. Cretan Nikos Kazantzakis considered that ‘the face of Greece is a palimpsest bearing twelve successive inscriptions,’ and he went on to list them, from the 1930s, when he wrote these words, to the Stone Age.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Received lives

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 07 June 2022
    6 Comments

    I admit to a weakness for pomp and pageantry. I am, after all, a child of Empire, and swore allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II every Monday morning for years on end. So I watched the recent Trooping of the Colour, part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and thoroughly enjoyed it, admiring the military precision and all the discipline required, the glitter, the splendour, the dashing aristocrats of the equine world, the sheer vividness of the unrolling scene. And all in honour of the Queen’s birthday.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The pity of war

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 May 2022
    11 Comments

    In the photo I have just seen Vadim Shishimarin is in the dock, hanging his head. He is 21, but looks about 15 as he stands there in the polycarbonate box, the first Russian soldier to be charged and tried in Ukraine for a war crime. He holds the rank of sergeant and was a tank commander. At 21? (I’m embarrassed to recall how immature I was at 21.) It is likely he has a mother: I wonder how she is feeling right now, but think I can make a good guess.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A Peloponnesian Anzac

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 April 2022
    3 Comments

    The lives of migrants often consist of divisions and collisions at the border between the old life and the new. But sometimes both lives come together in unexpected ways, and one such conjunction is about to happen to me. On Anzac Day my granddaughter will join the great flow of Orthodoxy, but I hope one day she will know about her little trickle of Australian blood. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Power but no glory

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 March 2022

    People who understand more about international affairs than I do tell me that the Ukrainian/Russian matter is complex, but to me the matter seems simple enough, involving the obsessions of a powerful man, and the suffering of an innocent population. As usual, it is the women and the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, while President Putin remains supremely indifferent to their fate. And, as so often, I wonder what makes him tick.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When ‘Good Refugees’ are admitted

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 March 2022

    While Australia has developed into a multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan state based on immigration and humanitarian intakes, the country has never gotten away from the sense that some are simply more welcome than others. Be they migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, preferential treatment abounds.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kermit and the green-eyed monster

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 22 February 2022
    12 Comments

    Kermit the Frog, of enduring Muppets and Sesame Street fame, was always a favourite with my children and me: he was so amusing and appealing, and also had a way of unobtrusively communicating simple goodness along with the occasional moral message. He was also concerned with the most important matter of the self, so that in his most famous song he puts a positive spin on the matter of greenness, the colour of envy and jealousy. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    From before the flood

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 January 2022
    8 Comments

    I’m not sure that my Greek grandchildren know the word antediluvian or whether they have heard of Methuselah, but they certainly consider me an ancient relic who occasionally tells tall tales and true from the legendary past, and from another land. Of course they are unable to conceive of life or domestic space without screens: even my youngest grandchild, who has just had her first birthday, knows when a Skype call is imminent, and coos accordingly.

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