Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lydia's first Oxi day parade

Oxi day parade

Today Greece celebrated Oxi day, when the Greek dictator, Ioannis Metaxas refused to allow Italian army free access to the country. As a result the country entered the Second World War on the side of the allies and inflicted a serious defeat on Mussolini's forces. It is a glorious chapter in modern Greek history, one which prompted Winston Churchill to say,

"We will not say thereafter that the Greeks fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Greeks!"

So why is it that my daughter's participation in today's celebration filled my dread and anger? As you can see from the picture, for her it was a wonderful, if nerve wrecking event, a right of passage that showed that she too was growing up. I kept my doubts to myself as anything else would have been churlish. She was with her classmates, goofing off, having the time of her life. What could I possibly have against that?

I loathe the way in which young children are militarised,taught to march and keep time like soldiers. Such demonstrations go against every single principle of education I believe in ,a negation of all I hold dear. My daughter has been learning songs and poems that dredge up past hatreds, hardly a fitting preparation for a united Europe. It sickens me to hear the rubbish that is being pumped into kid's heads in the name of patriotism.

Then again, if students don't learn who to hate in school what kind of education system are we paying for?

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