When Does 'Illegal' Become 'Legal'? - When You Call It A 'Tradition'

Some of the traditions that exist around Greek Easter made me think of how we can get away with doing almost anything just by calling it a 'tradition'. At any other time and for whatever other reason, these things just wouldn't be allowed.

At the beginning of Lent, on Clean Monday, the village of Tyrnavos has its famous Phallus Festival. In fact, they call it' Dirty Monday'! On the Sunday and Monday the small town is filled with phallic symbols. People eat phallus-shaped bread, drink through phallus-shaped straws from phallus-shaped cups, kiss ceramic phalluses, sit on a phallus-shaped throne and sing dirty Greek songs about the phallus. Men, women and children!

Could anyone do this anywhere else or at any other time? Of course not. But call it a tradition and you've got carte blanche.

Elsewhere in Greece on Easter Saturday, we have the Rocket War on the island of Chios. Two sides fire rockets at each other across the town centre (see photos) and the winner is the side that hits the bell from the other side's church! People have been injured, houses have been burnt, people have to put protection around their houses, but - guess what? - it's a 'tradition' so it's OK!

Photos from Reuters

In other villages in Greece, 'brave' men dance in the central square with home-made rockets - lit - in their hands. Hands and arms have been blown off in the past, but, hey! It's a tradition!

Have you got anything you'd like to do, but you're not allowed to? Get together with some other people, create a'tradition' - you can surely think up some 'historical' justification - and then go ahead. You can even make it a tourist attraction!

Judas Tree

It's the time of the year here, again, when the Judas Tree - also known as the Redbud - is in full blossom. I really love the magnificent magenta-pink colour of the flowers of this tree. The Judas Tree was given its name supposedly because it is the kind of tree that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from. It is thus also appropriate as it comes into full bloom around the time of Easter every year (Easter is next Sunday here in Greece).

Corfu has a plethora of these trees - the photo above is from the land next to our house, where the Judas Tree has become entwined with another tree - and generally thrives in the Eastern Mediterranean area.


I recently signed up at Likaholix - a new social network where you can share your likes with other members. This can be anything you have found on the internet - sites, products, books etc. If you have at least 10 likes in a particular category, you become what is called a Tastemaker, which gives more weight to your recommendations.

I've only just recently joined, but it seems like an interesting idea, and was set up by two ex-Google employees. At the moment, joining is by invitation only, so if you're interested I have some invitations (30, I think) for my readers, if you click here.

Did You Know?

I came across this fascinating video with some facts about the progression of information technology. Take a look and see what you think.
Really - the facts are incredible!

Coffee Boycott In Greece

On Saturday, April 11 thousands of Greeks will be boycotting coffee houses and cafes as a protest against the high prices charged for coffee. Coffee prices in Greece are amongst the highest - if not the highest - in Europe.

Black filter coffee usually starts from €2.50, cappuccino and frappe from €3.50 and types of coffee like the fredochino and mochacino cost as much as €6.50. These are prices in normal cafeterias - and don't forget, Greek salaries are amongst the lowest in Europe. Each year Greeks drink 5.8 billion cups of coffee, which cost them €1.8 billion.

The boycott has been dynamically organised through the internet and there is also a Facebook group (in Greek), which already has over 8.000 members.

I think it's a great initiative and hopefully more and more individuals will use the internet and make their voices heard against profiteering.

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