Greeks and the Cretans

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
freddie
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Greeks and the Cretans

Postby freddie » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:49 pm

I read on another forum that Cretans do not like to be called Greeks. Is this true?

What do Cretans think of other Greeks in other regions and vice versa? How about accents? Are there any comparisons to be made with regional differences in the UK?

Freddie

paulh
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Postby paulh » Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:15 pm

No its not true...yes they will soon let you know they are from Crete but they are not offended in the slightest by being called Greek.

In a same vein a Yorkshireman will soon let you know where he comes from but being called English or British is no real slur (though he might play it up a bit)

Yes there are many accents across Greece and even different languages used, the accents part applies to Crete and within Crete though you probably have to be cretan to discern the latter.

As to what they think of other regions...well again it's just like Yorkshire, the other lot (non Yorkshiremen) are not a bad lot it's just that sometimes they are a little weird and cranky but thats natural considering they have to go through life knowing they are not from Yorkshire. Similar philosophies exist for the regions of Crete.

My basis for saying the above. I'm married to a Greek and some of her family (both Cretan and Northern Greek) live next door so I've spent a reasonable amount of time over the last 30 odd years with them and you get to know these things. Its not a guess based on one observation.

Similarly I was talking with a group of local Greeks about musicians and their music, I said that I liked what Manolis Lithakis did to which I got the reply...yes but he is from Heraklion....in the tone of "so it doesn't count" which I found quite interesting.
Last edited by paulh on Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:34 pm

Whenever I cannot make myself understood speaking Greek in Crete, I always claim it's because of my Pontiak accent since I learned what little Greek I know in northern Greece where at least 90 % of the locals originated from the Pontus region.

Warwick

PS You don't want to believe everything you read on Interkriti.

PPS Jean's dad always used to say that the only good thing ever to come out of Yorkshire, Paul, was the road to Lancashire.

allan
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Postby allan » Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:42 pm

ouch ouch ouch Warwick and Jean`s Dad. :x :x :x

We Tykes like to think the only good thing Lancashire has is its borders with" God`s own country."

:D :D

paulh
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Postby paulh » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:05 pm

I bet Jeans dad also rated Brian Statham too....Yes he was good, 252 test wickets

At the time that was only beaten by one other person.......

Now perhaps we might understand why he was a bit twitter and bisted about Yorkshire... :lol: :lol: :lol:


Getting back to Greeks/Cretans. Wait till 2013 when it is 100th anniversary of Crete becoming part of Greece and judge from the celebrations.

andheath
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Postby andheath » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:39 pm

I never realized you where from Yorkshire Paul but it does explain a lot. My mate T is also from Yorkshire and I don't like him much either.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:47 am

Oh he wasn't twitter and bisted, Paul. He just liked winding up Yorkshiremen. I am sure he would love to know that he is still succeeding even though he has been dead for seven years.

Warwick

freddie
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Postby freddie » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:22 pm

I find these regional differences quite interesting. I have wondered if when (and I suppose I must admit, and if,) I finally learn enough Greek to actually say anything correctly, whether regional accents would become an issue. Is there much difference between Greek taught in language classes and that spoken by most Cretans?

Also, are there any regional accents which Athenians for instance would find it genuinely hard to understand? Paulh, may I ask if the different languages you refer to are spoken by other ethnic groups, or languages with a shared Greek origin.

On the political side, I know some countries, like Spain have very strong regional identities within them. A Catalan may regard himself as Catalan first and Spanish second for example. I have always sort of assumed that this was not the case in Greece, and the long Greek struggle for independence would have been a powerful unifying force.

I suppose I should find a good book and look this sort of thing up, but still, this is the chatter section of the forum. I could not really ask anyone about this in my local pub. Well, I would be able to get several strong opinions, but no one is likely to actually know.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:43 pm

are there any regional accents which Athenians for instance would find it genuinely hard to understand?


I think that they'd have a pretty hard time following a conversation in Sfakian dialect. And so do I.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:30 pm

freddie wrote:Is there much difference between Greek taught in language classes and that spoken by most Cretans?
When we first arrived here we went to a language school for a "beginners'" course. When we told an electrician working at our house that we had to go to school next day he laughed his socks off and said, "They will teach you the Greek they speak in Athens. Go to the kafeneio and try to talk to people there. That will be better if you live here"

freddie wrote:Also, are there any regional accents which Athenians for instance would find it genuinely hard to understand?
Jean wrote:I think that they'd have a pretty hard time following a conversation in Sfakian dialect. And so do I.
You don't need to go as far as a foreign country like Sfakia. A Cretan neighbour of ours (near Xania) told me he doesn't like shopping in Iraklio as he has difficulty understanding the shopkeepers. (And he's not an ancient dodderer like me but in his 30s).

freddie wrote:Well, I would be able to get several strong opinions, but no one is likely to actually know.
Ask a group of Cretans a question and you'll get several more strong opinions than there are people in the group.

Filippos.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:08 pm

for Freddie


the different languages I referred to derive back from the Greek of Alexanders time so yes they are from a common Greek origin

Its Pondiaka as Warwick says in his post. It is a totally different language though anyone who speaks Ancient Greek will find many similarities there are not that many links with modern Greek.

In the UK we had an Indian post office and the grandfather (a turban wearing Sikh) if he used the old language of his village and my wife used to use old words her grandmother used were able to talk to each other, courtesy of Alexander the Great.

There are Pondi associations everywhere throughout Greece and you see actors, personalities, politicians who make a big thing of their Greek Pondi background, different music, different dancing, different instruments, different cooking yet all within the big melting pot that constitutes Greece.

freddie
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Postby freddie » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:47 pm

Thanks Paulh, fascinating stuff. I think I really will read up a little on this subject.

Incidentally, I pasted Pondiaka into the search facility on the You Tube site. This brought up several home made looking videos featuring some very eastern sounding music indeed. Presumably examples of the different music you were referring to.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:21 pm

Pondiaka is the language Try also Pondos or Pontos and put Black Sea in as well. That will give you more information than just the language.
Be warned the history around the turn of 1900 is a bit dour to say the least

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:00 pm

The music is very different from that typically heard on Crete or on the rest of mainland Greece. Pontiak fiddle is the main instrument. Held vertically downwards, either in mid air if standing or resting on the knee if sitting, and bowed from side to side. A form of clarinet that sounds more like a soprano saxophone is also common. Very shrill. The dances start so slowly you can hardly detect that they are moving. They then build up in tempo until again you can hardly tell they are moving because it is just a blur.

Warwick

paulh
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Postby paulh » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:47 pm

Want to know what preceded the clarianet?

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1426/918 ... 79.jpg?v=0

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1061/918 ... bf.jpg?v=0

(sorry about the photo quality)


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