Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nana Mouskouri

'The Greeks' have a tragic tendency to praise talent and importance after death. This may be partly due to wisdom, as indeed one's entire role in life can only be fully judged by what this person leaves behind. On the other hand, this austerity of judgement may also embody - in a nutshell - why Greek culture has failed to progress significantly since our country was granted independence and was re-established as a state after 1821.
As a Greek citizen, this factor is indeed quite saddening at times when repeatedly in history it has proved to require death, before the acknowledgement of a hero or a patriot who has paid his/her dues to serving their conscience and justifying patriotic means at the same time.
Nana Mouskouri is a Lady (with all the meaning of the word) who has served Greece and yet has hardly been acknowledged or appreciated by the Greek state anywhere near as much as as she has earned and deserved through her long career in music and later politics. After having sold over 300 million records worldwide and having represented Greece with utmost grace and persistence, for just over 50 years, it is blatantly clear that she deserves a great deal more recognition from the Greek state and Greek people than she has received. If she were British she would have been Knighted by the Queen to say the least.
Politics: Nana Mouskouri was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1993. She took over from the previous ambassador, the recently deceased actress Audrey Hepburn. Mouskouri's first U.N. mission took her to Bosnia to draw attention to the plight of children affected by Bosnian war. She was deeply moved by her experience in Bosnia and went on to give a series of fund-raising concerts in Sweden and Belgium.
She was elected a Member of the European Parliament from 1994 until 1999, when she resigned from her position as an MEP, reportedly because as a pacifist, she refused to back wars.

As it goes and as one Greek to another, from a much younger generation than you Nana, and with the humility appointed to me by no one else other by my conscience, I say THANK YOU Nana, for your devotion to art and humanity and for your unrecognized efforts for Greece.

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