Headline Muse, 10/28

For the Greeks, after weeks, we can say
There are reasons to party today
Which they will, even though
It’s a day to say “NO!”
On this «ΟΧΙ» day, time to say «ναι»

Headline: Ή με τους ήρωες του «ΟΧΙ» ή με τους φαύλους του «ναι σε όλα»

Today is the 71st anniversary of ΟΧΙ day–the day the Greeks refused to surrender to Mussolini. The dictator’s demands were responded to with a single word–ΟΧΙ, or “no”–and “no” has been a part of the national character ever since.

Of course, the sacrifice of those who backed up that “no” is honored mostly by lip service. Just as in the US, sacrifice isn’t what it used to be. Part of the current financial crisis, here and there, comes from being too willing to say “yes”.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    To the American ear, «ΟΧΙ» sounds an awful lot like “okay”, and «ναι» [“yes”] sounds like “nay” – all of which produces endless troubles for certain travelers in that classic land.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Pierce–it’s even better on the border with Bulgaria, where ναι (“yes” in Greek) and не (“no” in Bulgarian) are both pronounced “nay”. Worse, shaking your head side-to-side means “no” in Greek, “yes” in Bulgarian, nodding up-and-down means “yes” in Greek, “no” in Bulgarian.

    And yes, I did run into troubles there, misinterpreting a “yes” as a “no”. Fortunately, that is better than the reverse.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Does Bulgar-Greek friction reflect that linguistic oddity, or did it cause it?

    Fortunately, that is better than the reverse.

    Quite so. I almost got my ass kicked and the cops called a couple of times, back in the day.

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