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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Greece Series at GreekPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Greek holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17. Ohi Day. In Greek, it's called [Επέτειος του «ΟΧΙ»].
On October 28, Greek people celebrate the Anniversary of "OHI," which means “No”. It's a day of national celebration and a holiday, in memory of the "no" that the Greek prime minister and dictator [Ιωάννης Μεταξάς] answered on October 28, 1940 to the Italian government’s ultimatum, received via the Italian ambassador, which demanded that Greece provide access to its territory to Italian troops.
In this lesson, you'll learn about the events related to October 28.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Historically, Metaxás did not just reply with a simple "no," or in Greek, [όχι]. Do you know how exactly he did reply?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The refusal by Metaxás of the imperialistic policy of the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, also known as [Ντούτσε] in Greek, resulted that very same day in the Italian troops invading Épirus. Thus began the involvement of Greece in World War II with the Greco-Italian War, called [Ελληνοϊταλικός Πόλεμος] in Greek.
The Italians retreated in the spring of 1941. This first victory of the Allies against the Axis powers boosted the morale in enslaved Europe. What followed, however, was the German invasion of Greece and the Occupation or [Κατοχή], which lasted four long years.
During the Greco-Italian War, morale in Greece was boosted by music and caricatures appearing on the front pages of those times. [Σοφία Βέμπο] was the national voice that provided encouragement to the Greek soldiers on the front line with patriotic and satirical songs. Popular satirical songs include "Children of Greece, oh children", [Παιδιά της Ελλάδος παιδιά], "Duce puts on his uniform" [Βάζει ο Ντούτσε τη στολή του] and "Sucker Mussolini" [Κορόιδο Μουσολίνι]. Today, every year during the events on October 28ーespecially during school eventsーthese songs are always heard.
The military and student parades taking place on this day have a special solemn quality to them, and sometimes involve the participation of wounded war veterans, or [ανάπηροι πολέμου], as well. However, every year there are fewer and fewer veterans attending these parades, due to their advanced age. The events of this celebration feature Greek flag decorations, wreath laying at military memorials throughout the country, and of course the singing of the Greek National Anthem. The Anthem is named [Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν], which means "Hymn to Liberty," and is most often sung during the conclusion of the day’s events. As a sign of respect, one must always stand during the singing of the Anthem.
Mussolini was satirized perhaps more than any other individual of that time. Musical revues, songs, and caricatures always depict him as being weaker than the Greeks, who are usually shown wearing the Greek traditional shoes called [τσαρούχια].
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Historically, Metaxas did not just reply with a simple "no," or in Greek, [όχι]. Do you know how exactly he did reply?
Metaxas replied to the Italian ambassador in French, which was an official diplomatic language at that time. His reply was essentially "So, this means war!" in French. This refusal was relayed through Greek press and symbolized as the word "NO", hence the name "Anniversary of NO" or in Greek [Επέτειος του «ΟΧΙ»].
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
In your country, are there any events related to World War II?
Leave us your comments on GreekPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.

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In your country, are there any events related to World War II?