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Geske

Ομόνοια / Omonia

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From the new album.

Ομόνοια_____||_____ Omonia

Μουσική: Γιώργος Τσεπίλης_____||_____ Music: Giorgos Tsepilis

Στίχοι: Λίνα Νικολακοπούλου_____||_____ Lyrics: Lina Nikolakopoulou

Κοιμάται το όνειρο σε υγρά πατώματα_____||_____ Dream sleeps on wet pavements

κι ένα πανί λευκό γεμίζει ονόματα_____||_____ and a white sheet fills with names

Στα βαθιά οι ζωές μεσ' στα αμπάρια και τα κύματα_____||_____ Over deep waters, in the ships' holds and on the waves, the lives

ψάχνουν λιμάνι _____||_____ are seeking a harbour.

ποια μάνα κάνει την καρδιά της πέτρα τις βραδιές_____||_____ Which mother hardens her heart to stone at night?

Είμαι εδώ είμαι καλά_____||_____ I am here, I am well

σε μαύρο ακουστικό μιλά_____||_____ speaking into the black telephone receiver

του τρίτου κόσμου τα πουλιά_____||_____ the third world's birds

τη νύχτα στην Ομόνοια_____||_____ at night in Omonia square

Είμαι εγώ και είμαι εσύ_____||_____ I am here and I am you

και πάνω το ίδιο θαλασσί_____||_____ and above the same sea-blue

για μουσουλμάνο, Βουδιστή, Χριστό χωρίς διχόνοια_____||_____ for moslem, boudhist, christian, without discord.

Κι αν είσαι πρόσφυγας εγώ που είμαι Έλληνας_____||_____ And if you're a refugee, I who am Greek

το ξέρω τ' όνομα του ξένου εγώ καλά_____||_____ I know the name of "stranger" very well

του λαού η ψυχή με τραγούδια και με ποιήματα_____||_____ The soul of the people, with songs and poems,

όνειρα υφαίνει _____||_____ weaves dreams,

μα τα πεθαίνει σφαίρα η φτώχεια πιόνια αρχηγοί_____||_____ but it will die - poverty is the bullet, the leaders pawns.

Είμαι εδώ είμαι καλά_____||_____ I am here, I am well

σε μαύρο ακουστικό μιλά_____||_____ speaking into the black telephone receiver

του τρίτου κόσμου τα πουλιά_____||_____ the third world's birds

της φτώχειας χελιδόνια_____||_____ poverty's swallows

Είμαι εγώ και είμαι εσύ_____||_____ I am here and I am you

και πάνω το ίδιο θαλασσί_____||_____ and above the same sea-blue

για μουσουλμάνο, Βουδιστή, Χριστό χωρίς διχόνοια_____||_____ for moslem, boudhist, christian, without discord.

Αχ πατρίδα φως μου και πληγή_____||_____ ach my dear homeland, my light my wound...

Είμαι εδώ είμαι καλά_____||_____ I am here, I am well

σε μαύρο ακουστικό μιλά_____||_____ speaking into the black telephone receiver

του τρίτου κόσμου τα πουλιά_____||_____ the third world's birds

τη νύχτα στην Ομόνοια_____||_____ at night in Omonia square

Είμαι εγώ και είμαι εσύ_____||_____ I am here and I am you

και πάνω το ίδιο θαλασσί_____||_____ and above the same sea-blue

για μουσουλμάνο, Βουδιστή, Χριστό χωρίς διχόνοια_____||_____ for moslem, boudhist, christian, without discord.

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Maybe I should mention that "Omonia" is Omonia square, in Athens, the gathering place of everyone who hasn't a roof over his/her head (and, most of them, "no fate under the sun" as they say in Greek). In earlier generations, the people there where Greeks from the small towns and villages, come to Athens as economic refugees. Nowadays they come from other countries, either neighbours (Albanians and so on) or from overseas (Africans). Foreigners who go to Athens and aren't rich enough to stay in Plaka usually make the acquaintance of Omonia, since around it is where the cheap hotels are.

It's one of the saddest places I know.

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Thanks to Alona (aaz) for reminding me to add that the litteral meaning of the word "Omonia" is "concord" (as in "harmony between people").

The pair of opposites in Greek is "όμονια" <> "διχόνοια",

so I've altered the translation and put "discord" for "dixonia".

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Thank you so much Geeske for your translation.

I loved it from first hearing not understanding much of the lyrics

but now, realizing the painful predicament of the refugees

or asylum seekers or guestworkers, whichever way one calls

them, makes this song even more powerful.

Thanks again

Alona

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For me, too, it's also one of the saddest places I know in Athens and one of the unsafest, as well.

What are you saying, Hristaki! That's where I always stay :) True, the last time coming from the airport I witnessed a quarrel between a guy and a woman who claimed he tried to snatch her pocketbook.

But that's the place I can still afford. When I won't be able any more - I will still come to look for a lodging info: there is a Russian church nearby, and the light poles are all filled with paper fliers offering rooms. And of course, little groups of people speaking many languages including Georgian and Armenian. (might be not too safe to talk to them, too). :wow:

So far, there have been nothing sad for me about Omonoia (except of having almost frozen to death in a hotel without heating when I've come to see Dalaras in Arena in February 2005. Coming for a weekend from Germany where I was doing some library work and leaving the warm jacket behind was a very stupid thing that deserved to be punished by snow and cold :music: - of course, coming to Greece is always exciting, even when it's snowing. But heat wave in 2003 did not leave bitter feelings.

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Thanks to Alona (aaz) for reminding me to add that the litteral meaning of the word "Omonia" is "concord" (as in "harmony between people").

The pair of opposites in Greek is "όμονια" <> "διχόνοια",

so I've altered the translation and put "discord" for "dixonia".

Hi Geske,

yes you're right there are alot of poor people refugees and all.

It's also a great spot to hang out and shop during the daytime.

And to watch the kids come home from scholl there.

However, but only during the day as at night, I hear the crime is horrible there and they will rob & hurt people there only for the money

so stay away from Omonia at night

This is how I remembered it back in 1999

and I don't think its changed much since then

:D

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I have to admit that Omonia is one of my favourite places in Athens. And to me it feels neither sad nor dangerous. Which isnt to say there isnt sadness there, but I dont think thats what defines it. It's far too complicated, busy and alive for that.

It was the first place I ever went to in the city because that's where (in those days) the bus dropped you. And I almost always stay in one of the cheap Omonia hotels. As Hristaki says, if you're staying for more than a few days it's just about the only option, and a perfectly good one.

I love the place most because of its complex humanity. It's always so alive, even very late at night. And the kiosks are great and Hondos Centre has a nice cafe on the top floor with a terrific view of the Acropolis.

As for safety, I did have my bag snatched there in a motorcycle drive-past job a couple of years ago. But then I've had a bag stolen in London's Covent Garden and I wouldn't call that dangerous. It just pays to be a bit more cautious than I was then. Both before and since I've many times walked back late at night through Plaka, Athinas, Omonia, and sometimes beyond, and never felt threatened or unsafe. (Although youre right I think, Christo. From what Ive read it wasnt like that some time ago and everyone has to make their own decision about how and where they feel safe.)

Of course the fact that it serves as a badly designed and unscenic traffic system isn't a plus. Its seen much better days, and probably will again, although hopefully not so much better that its character goes with it.

Anyway, here are a couple of info links:

Athens Guide

Matt Barrett

and Φώντας Λάδης on Omonia: (with a translation)

Omonia

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