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Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Greeks Had a Word for It!

Xenophobia has had
an interesting life.

Xenia in Ancient Greece
meant hospitality -

or by the strangest
quirk, meant strange.

In Rome it was
a poem, one

tied to a gift
a guest was given.

It sounds as though
the party bags

we give our childrens' friends
are slightly xenophobic.

15 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

So nothing to do with not being a fan of Xena: Warrior Princess then?

Isabel Doyle said...

I would have said highly xenophobic - like peace offerings to demons ...

Dave King said...

Jim
No, not a lot. I've heard about her. That's about it, I'm afraid.

Isabel
Ooh-er, that's not very P.C.!

Mary said...

An interesting exploration of a word I have seldom encountered, Dave!

SG said...

Ah! So by direct translation, xenophobia, apart from being a fear of strangers, is a fear of hospitality, or may be a fear of extending hospitality. Interesting!

David Cranmer said...

Starting a poem with the word Xenophobia is nothing short of awesome.

Carl said...

Great exploratory poem. You really do make me want to try my hand it writing poems.

I was impressed by your last two posts as well, but was wiped out after long days and did not get to respond.

Carl

Cait O'Connor said...

I like the idea of a poem as a gift

Jenny Woolf said...

Maybe giving a poem attached to a gift to departing guests is something we could do for our grown up friends too.

flaubert said...

I like this, Dave. Reminds of when we first moved to Mexico. We lived in a tiny village. I experienced some of that "fear of gringos" syndrome.

Pamela

Lena said...

Yeah. I see what you mean.

Mind you, there are some X-'rated' words I'd like to leave on certain kids' party bags but I'm much to polite and friendly....*ahem*...to do so!

TechnoBabe said...

Yikes, when you put it like that, maybe the little gift bags for kids are not such a good idea?
On the other hand, maybe putting poems on a gift bag is good to give adults.

Windsmoke. said...

Are kids becoming xenophobic about party bags or doggy bags as we call 'em down here in OZ how sad. The poem idea is a good one :-).

blackswanpoetry said...

very creative this one.
happy potluck

my post was here
http://blackswanpoetry.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/poem-smeared/

Dave King said...

Mary
Knowing that does the old heart a power of good. Thanks for telling me.

SG
Or its strange hospitality!

David
And I didn't even realise at the timje that that was what I was being! Can't be bad! Thanks.

Carl
Thanks for those kind words, but don't worry about not responding. Aftter another weekend of celebrations I know wiped out!

Jenny
Even a poem AS a gift! I wonder how they would be received...

Cait
Me too.

flaubert
Yes, we tend to forget that it's universal and not all one way.

Lena
Ah, now that's a different ball game altogether, but I do know what you mean!

TechnoBabe
I think the idea could be extended. I thought this when I saw good luck quotes and mantras etc on the sides of tennis bags at Wimbledon.

Windsmoke
I did hear of one child who wouldn't accept a gift bag from the hostess who was a different colour. Makes you wonder why he agreed to go to the party in the first place!

Blackswanpoetry
Hi and a warm welcome to you. Thanks for the good wish.