Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day 33 - The Death of the Individual


Today is Saint Michael's day and therefore Michael's Yiorti, or "Name Day". According to what we know, this is a bigger deal for Greeks than their actual birthday.

The premise is that everyone called Michael is celebrated on this day. That's right: on this day all Michaels are special!

This system has obvious benefits for wider society. There is no need for all that tiresome diary-keeping that comes from loved ones having completely random special days (birthdays). All you need do is remember what they're called and as long as it's a common enough name, there will be plenty of reminders.

So it's easy, that's for sure.

Although, is the price of this convenience no less than the death of the importance of each individual human soul? A birthday celebrates the unique life of your friend or family member and give thanks for the day on which they entered the world. Does a Name-Day crushes the significance of the individual and instead celebrate the long-dead "saint"?

However, as with all things, nothing lasts forever and Michael does admit that the younger generation are moving more towards birthdays.

Anyway, the real point is that lots of people drop in all day long and there are CAKES. Lots of them. So who's complaining?

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