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Reconstructionists and Traditionalists
Jul. 10th, 2008 @ 10:46 pm
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July 13th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Well just to prove that Hellenes don't agree about anything, ever...
There is a wide spectrum of response about this in the Hellenic Recon community. There are two people in our community who used to wrap themselves in the modern Hellenic flag, and insist the rest of it recognize Hellas as the fatherland, learn modern Greek, one of them went out of her way to date Hellenes, and I think she still has plans to try to become a Hellenic national.
The flag of Hellas has a big white cross in the middle, so some of us didn't go along with it.
I know other people, who have made connections with Hellenic nationals, go over and visit and worship with them, etc. Others hope to make those friendships and try to learn modern Greek.
Most of us are suckers for the Hellenic festivals, even when held on church grounds.
As to ancient culture? I think for a lot of us, we didn't just get hooked by the gods, some of the art or culture intrigued us. It's hard to tease out the passionate history major's keen interest from religous questions at time. For example, a big picture book I scored on a child's life in southern Greece had some interesting insights into menstruation (and nursing) which is relevant to miasma.
When I became president of Hellenion, I shifted along the spectrum of response. Sure, I have an uphill struggle learning languages, and am painfully aware I was butchering the Attic pronunciations of things. (Thus I keep the linguists on Spoken_Attic very real). So modern Greek? blarg! low return on investment. The land may house our oldest temenous, but other than that.... why bother? The vocal Hellenic nationals who pop up on our lists are kinda hard to work with. (rather shrill)
Once president of Hellenion, I realized if there really are 5,000 practicing Hellenic nationals.... it's tragic I can't converse with them. The worlds just roll off my daughter's tounge, so I joke I am going to get her to learn Greek and be my translator.
Recently there was a huge uproar in our community over a mis-translated word. An ancient text should have been translated with Attic, but koine was used instead. "falling short of the mark" was translated as "sin". For a lot of scholars, it's giant "who cares" and was published in an academic journal. An essay on sin was writen, and the author didn't want to back off the essay with an "opps" despite heaps of people saying "hey! we know you didn't make the translation", and an abundance of evidence that it's a concept foriegn to ancient Hellenic religion. Those of us who have studied the culture, lifted a huge eyebrow at the translation, and took it back to the translator.... hence the mistake caught.
My point in mentioning this is that sometimes knowledge of the pre-Christian culture and language really does pay off.