A guide to some of the world’s peoples II

Lets get back to our deliciously, political incorrect dissection of peoples of the world.

GREEKS: There’s no such thing as a meek Greek –  A Greek cannot talk unless he has his hands free, and a soft-spoken Greek is one who can be heard only as far as across the street. Two Greeks having an amiable conversation sound as if they are ready to murder each other, and a party of exuberant Greeks having a good time could be described as a pack of hounds that has just sighted the fox.

ICELANDERS: The joy of the jibe – The essence of Icelandic conversation is the insult. Icelanders are born with a talent for it and use it with ease from an early age. Because of their farming and fishing ancestry the most telling jibes involve sheep and fish. It is a very serious matter to refer to someone as a sheep or a codhead.

IRISH: Avoid the void – There’s no use denying it, Irish people talk a lot. They don’t know why. It just seems to pour out of them. Maybe it’s something to do with living on a lonely mist-covered island on the western fringe of Europe. Whatever the reason, they just can’t abide silence. It’s a vacuum that must be filled.

ISRAELIS: Gift of the gaffe – Israelis have never accepted themselves as part of the Middle East. It is well known in Israel that when God asked Moses where he would like to lead the Israelites, Moses (who had a severe stutter) had his heart set on Canada and answered:”Ca…Caan…Caaaan…”. ”Canaan it is, then”, ruled the Almighty. The rest is history.

ITALIANS: Always look on the bright side of life – Generally speaking, the Italians tend to look on the bright side of life – a positive outlook aptly illustrated by their touching salutation: ‘May the saddest days of your future be the happiest days of your past’.

NEW ZEALANDERS: Optimists one and all – Whether or not there is a need to worry about something, the obliging Kiwis tell one another that it will be ‘good as gold’, ‘right as rain’ and ‘no prob’ (short for problem), usually qualified by one of those great reassurers in any situation, ‘She’ll be right’, or ‘Piece of cake’.

POLES: A polarised people – The Poles are either bubbling with life, or comatose; they love or they loathe. It is this total commitment to the occupation of the moment which earns them the reputation of being mercurial. As Hemar wrote in his song: ‘If only Poles did systematically and economically what they do spontaneously, they would be perfect.’

SCOTS: Rob joy – Calvinism is still deeply ingrained in the Scottish soul. A Scottish poet, overcome by the joy of sunshine and blue sky, once cried out what a fine day it was. The woman to whom he spoke replied, ‘We’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it’.

SPANISH: Everything in triplicate – It is impossible to reside in Spain without spending part of your life applying to an authority for some sort of permit, either to be allowed to go on existing once you are born, to be allowed to stay if you have come from abroad, to be allowed to start a business, drive a car, build a house, pull one down or be buried in reasonable comfort.

SWEDES: Soulful sadness – A common trait among Swedish people is a deeply felt svårmod, a dark melancholy born out of long winters, high taxes and a sense of being stuck far out on a geo-political and socio-economic limb. They brood a lot over the meaning of life in a self-absorbed sort of way without ever arriving at satisfactory answers.

SWISS: Degrees of unease – The diversity of the Swiss is apparent in the degree to which they worry. The German-speakers do little else. The French-speaking Swiss are great visionaries and philosophers with noble thoughts and global dreams. They worry that their Swiss-German compatriots do not share these dreams. The Italian-speaking Swiss are less interested in the solid values of work and have a terrible tendency not to worry nearly enough.

More To Come….


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