Friday, July 4, 2014

Striving for traditions in Athens.

When I learned that I am going to a place called “Athens” in Ohio, I laughed. I laughed about the fact that the USA has so little of its own that it even had to borrow town names, but nevertheless I wondered why it was named that way.
 When you think of the USA,  things that come to mind first are the Hollywood, first man on the moon, the stars and stripes on the American flag, skyscrapers, BBQ parties, the statue of Liberty, rednecks, cheerleaders and American football, well anything, but tradition.
Athens on the contrary is a small town of traditions. It hosts the oldest university in Northwest, the architecture is preserved to fit the Greek-styled two-storied buildings, the first Christian church in Athens proudly displays the date on its wall.
 Athens takes pride in its history, hosting weekly the oldest Farm Market in the state, Athenians still shop locally and resist occurrence of Starbucks, instead choosing local coffee shop that serves caffeine with conscience. 

Obviously, globalisation didn’t leave Athens aside, bringing Apple stores, thousands of overseas students, international cantines and Russian language classes in town. But when it comes to tradition, Athens shows its best.  Athenians smile at you nicely, take their time to greet you and make sure that guests notice every tradition that Athens has to cherish. 

The memorials of Native American and Hopewell cultures once nourished in this land, surrounding Athens are another silent reminders of what can happen to a culture stripped of its traditions.
Likewise contemporary Athenians, first permanent European settlers, who arrived in Athens in 1797 and chartered the Ohio University in 1804, named the country for the ancient center of learning, Athens, Greece, so that centuries after, people, like me would travel to Athens, Ohio to study and to remember how to strive and cherish the traditions.

P.S. And following the newly acquired American tradition, Happy July 4th, everyone ;)!

Nargiza Ryskulova 

1 comment:

Lionel Brossi said...

Who took that wonderful picture of the cat? I think he deserves a beer!