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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:18 AM   #1
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Misunderstanding "west" and "east"


This may be only my view, that most discussions gets into abysses of misunderstandings when we come to those notions.
One reason is it may make people think of parts of the world very far away from each other, were often the opposite is true. Especially in the Meditteranean region. Then also the "european west" is located immediately to the north of many countries in Northern Africa. So to call them "eastern" seems misleading. In addition: There are "western" countries at the opposite part of the earth. And what about the descendants of the ancient peoples of what is sometimes called the "Western Hemisphere" (located to the east of the "Eastern Hemisphere")? They had nothing to do with "western" europeans far back in history.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:00 PM   #2
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The greatest example of this is Sigmund Freud's "disturbance of memory on the Acropolis." As a philhellenic German Freuud traveled to the Acropolis in Athens. On arriving in Athens he realised that Greece was not what he made out of it in his own mind.

This says that upon seing a world with yours own eyes, after the facts, is quite incongruent with what you may have heard or otherwise seen it to be through books, television, the internet or whatever else.

That is to say say seeing, and hearing thing or reading about it from books are all examples of ways things can be different from how you see them when you go there for yourself.You have to also remember that for almost 1500 years that Byzantine Greece was the absolute heart of the East from a western perspective excluding China.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 08:25 PM   #3

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.
the West is a shortcut to "christiandom "
the part of Europe before the protestant schism which had obedience to Rome
orthodox countries were not part of it
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Old April 17th, 2018, 10:24 PM   #4
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I have this conversation frequently because half of my blood is Greek. People like to say "but you're a westerner." My chortle and retort to that is no but I'm not, and without Orthodoxy you don't know a lick about me. That is because It's all we as Orthodox people have had to define ourselves in the Rum millet for 450 years of Turkish occupation and that is why even to non-practicing Orthodox people such as myself its still important. If you fail to understand that then you fail to understand me or any other Greek person.

The often repeated phrase that its the birthplace of western democracy, well may it be so, but its also the birth place of Eastern Christianity and their traditions became more important and still are to this date. It gets to the point where its a matter of "well you want to call me a Westerner, but only if I play within your rules..." The problem is I walk both sides of the street every day, with people in the Greek-Australian community, and with everyone else in the world.

You don't see a Greek person who walks both sides of the street. You don't see that my schema and rituals are defined by what it means to be a Greek person what you see is what you wanted to see all these years just like Freud did in his letter I addressed above. You don't see me living by the word that is printed in every bible in the world φῐλοξενῐ́ᾱ which is the love of everyone in this world and our hospitable nature. You see democracy and think its the beacon of everything. φῐλοξενῐ́ᾱ is more important. We keep hospitality as the number one dominant feature of our identity, alongside the church as the two things that define what we are.

Last edited by orestes; April 17th, 2018 at 10:56 PM.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 02:06 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
.
the West is a shortcut to "christiandom "
the part of Europe before the protestant schism which had obedience to Rome
orthodox countries were not part of it
As for initial usage ... then the term acquired a wider meaning indicating [as "Western Civilization"] the industrialized countries.

But its usage is absolutely variable:

from ...

only Anglo-Saxon countries [and only around the Atlantic Ocean]

to ...

substantially all the market economies with democratic systems [so the whole OCSE, in poor words].
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Old April 18th, 2018, 02:39 AM   #6

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The one I find funny is Near East (i.e. Israel = grain of sand), Middle East (i.e. Iraq = grain of sand) and Far East (the rest of Asia = entire beach). Can we move the "middle" east to like India or something?
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Old April 18th, 2018, 03:09 AM   #7
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The one I find funny is Near East (i.e. Israel = grain of sand), Middle East (i.e. Iraq = grain of sand) and Far East (the rest of Asia = entire beach). Can we move the "middle" east to like India or something?
For people in North America depending upon where exactly they live, much of the so-called "Far East" seems to be more the "Far West".
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Old April 18th, 2018, 03:28 AM   #8

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The one I find funny is Near East (i.e. Israel = grain of sand), Middle East (i.e. Iraq = grain of sand) and Far East (the rest of Asia = entire beach). Can we move the "middle" east to like India or something?
some people use the term near East for the Levant and far East for anything East of the Indian subcontinent , there are no middle East
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Old April 18th, 2018, 04:21 AM   #9
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Geographically the Near East is anything between the divisions of the Black Sea and Turkish Straits that divides Turkey's East from West and Afganhistan from the rest of Asia. Culturally its much different Eastern Europe includes Greece and Russia as well as the Balkans states and the near countries that are either Muslim or Orthodox predominated in their faith in Europe + Turkey's European land mass.

Last edited by orestes; April 18th, 2018 at 04:24 AM.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by orestes View Post
I have this conversation frequently because half of my blood is Greek. People like to say "but you're a westerner." My chortle and retort to that is no but I'm not, and without Orthodoxy you don't know a lick about me. That is because It's all we as Orthodox people have had to define ourselves in the Rum millet for 450 years of Turkish occupation and that is why even to non-practicing Orthodox people such as myself its still important. If you fail to understand that then you fail to understand me or any other Greek person.
Most of these people grew up with the Cold War dichotomy in which Greece was western because it was capitalist.
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