Greek teachers, schools, communities and thousands of individuals around the planet are making a great effort to spread the Greek language. We have learned to encourage and reward new learners even when the only word they know is “Καλημέρα”. Unfortunately, we find some people acting the opposite way.
From our Greek language partners at Greek LOL, an online school for Greek language lessons.
The following has been written by Γιώργος Τυρίκος-Εργάς (Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas). Thank you Γιώργο (Giorgo) for sharing with us the following:
Yesterday, by chance, I had a very sad conversation with a group of refugees.
We were supposed to have a greek language lesson, but I stopped the lesson and started listening to what everyone had to say. They were talking about the most difficult part of the journey they had to make on their way to Greece. One of my students, Isam Masi, speaking in a bit of Urdu and a bit of English said:
I come here to learn some Greek. I learned “Kalimera”, “Kalispera”, “Ti kaneis?” I come here to learn some words in your language so I feel better. Yesterday I went outside the gate of our camp and approached the policeman who had a shift at that time, as many other times before that day. I have been there for 5 months, he knows me by now. That day I carefully prepared the words in my head and passing by I said: “Kalimera, officer!” The only thing he answered was: “YOUR PAPERS”. I don’t keep my papers on me since they are not required to exit the camp. I answered in English that I do not have them with me and he told me to fetch them. I went inside the camp to get them and when I showed him my papers he did not even glance at them. Instead he briskly motioned me to go away.
During my journey I was beaten up, I nearly starved, in Turkey I had a bucket of cold water thrown at me to chase me out of a shed and in Lesvos I got kicked 3 times within 5 months. And all this without counting everything else: the way people talk to me, how they look at me on the street, being pushed around, the tear gas, the insults. I try to show understanding, telling myself that it is normal for problems to arise with the arrival of so many refugees; everybody has gone crazy, the good ones and the bad ones.
BUT during all this time, what hurt me most of all, is that when I said “Kalimera” the officer made me go get a piece of paper that he did not actually need and did not even check. I know it is all up to my current state of mind but that is how I feel.
Isam Masi left his village that was destroyed by the Taliban. He left after his father’s death, caused by mines from an Italian company that are manufactured in Eastern Asia and sold in the Middle East.
Isam Masi got shot by a gun of European design and origin. This gun is partially manufactured in factories of Norwegian interest in India.
Isam Masi has been living in a war zone since he was born and he does not even know who is fighting whom and why.
The worst thing for Isam Masi, despite all the above, is that he cannot say “Kalimera” without being asked for his papers by the “enlightened” guards of the European culture; the same ones who see him as garbage. For those people, who cannot even say “Kalimera”, he should have stayed in his country and die.
Therefore “KALIMERA Isam Masi”, from the European Greece, where you need higher grades at school to become a police officer than a teacher. “Kalimera” from the country that sacrifices its children, humanity and compassion for a tiny wage. “Kalimera” from a country that harms the weak ones because this is how we have been brought up.
P.S. Isam is a Christian, as you can see from his last name (Masi), which is very widespread among the Christian minority in Pakistan. His religion is another reason why he fled his country. In Greece though, in order to be a Christian and to be entitled of a “Kalimera”, you need to be of white skin and wear a golden cross around your neck.
P.S. 2: Since the day I posted this article, some friends started reposting #KalimeraIsam . Until now I see hundreds of shares and over 1.200 likes to my original post. So next week I will tell Isam that the “Kalimera” he was refused by one, has been sent to him by thousands of Greeks!
Once again, a million thanks to Γιώργος Τυρίκος-Εργάς (Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas) for sharing with us this story. The team of Greek Lessons OnLine, including teachers, students, parents, technical team, associates and our board, is wishing you Mr Isam “ΚΑΛΗΜΕΡΑ”. Just think, it could have been any of us, our siblings, kids or grandchildren to be refused a “Καλημέρα”. ΚΑΛΗΜΕΡΑ to everyone, specially the ones who have been refused one.
The preceding story is a sponsored post by our partners at Greek LOL, an online language school whose content we feature periodically. The Pappas Post does not endorse or necessarily agree with the opinions included in these posts.