CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION: PERFORMING GREEKNESS THROUGH REBETIKOSONG
―The Greeks gained their freedom from the Ottomans only to become slaves of Europe.‖
―Rebetika is traditional Greek music. It is the truest expression of the Greek people.‖
-Pavlos Vassiliou, 2007
Introduction and Chapter Summaries
The first decade of the twenty-first century marks a powerful moment in modernGreek history. Economic, political and cultural dilemmas that have shaped Greek modernity since the founding of the Greek nation in 1832 are finally coming to a head.
As Greece enters what international press characterize as ―a time of crisis,‖ a marked
instability permeates the public and private sector:
economic corruption and politicalfavor-trading fuel general mistrust in government practices; reduced wages and inflatedprices stunt Greek market growth; and austerity measures imposed by the EuropeanCommission drastically alter economic and cultural realities. As Greeks scramble to
BBC: ―Greece Crisis: Fears Grow That It Could
Visited April 28, 2010; ―The Washington Post‖: ―Greece‘s Debt Crisis Could Spread Across Europe‖
[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/07/AR2010050700642.html] VisitedMay 11, 2010;
―The Independent‖: ―As Tourists Stay Away, Greece Suffers an Identity Crisis‖
[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/Europe/as-tourists-stay-away-greece-suffers-an-identity-crisis-is-there-too-much-concrete-and-too-many-bawdy-clubs-639194.html] Visited May 11, 2010.