By Nick Stamatakis
It’s not the purpose of this short note to write the history of hand-kissing – the oldest among us have a very clear understanding of the practice as a show of respect to the elderly or the teachers and also as a chivalrous gesture when it comes to women – an excellent example below when French president Macron kisses First Lady Melania Trump’s hand:
But when it comes to Karloutsos kissing Biden’s hand during yesterday’s ceremony of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, we are forced to remember that he is fond of hand-kissing in a different way, always denoting submission and subjugation… It certainly brings back very negative memories… The most annoying of all of Karloutsos’s hand-kissing instances is the one where he, an Orthodox priest, bends to kiss the Pope’s hand… To most Orthodox people this is extremely repulsive… It takes us Greeks back to an era where the “Turk’s turban was preferable to the Catholic tiara…”, which refers to the devastation the Crusaders – supported by the Pope – brought to the Greek Lands… (Parenthesis: Even today when we visit Venice we admire the four horses resting inside St.Mark’s Basilica – but those of us who know history are full of anger because these wonderful sculptures were plundered from Constantinople!!! We are keen to demand the Parthenon marbles back from Britain but we forget the rest of our history!!)
And so when Karloutsos takes subjugation and submission a step further by kissing Governor Cuomo’s hand as in the photo below, the connotations are clear and they take us
to Sicily where hand-kissing was a widespread and necessary mafia ritual denoting the subjugation to the Godfather… Some among us remember numerous occasions from Crete in Greece where people were seen kissing the hand of the local “mafia leader” Constantine Mitsotakis (the late father of Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos…) who had anywhere between 8-10,000 godchildren (mostly in Crete)!… And of course, we cannot fail to remember the famous scenes from the “Godfather” series…
And so kissing Biden’s hand yesterday cannot be taken as anything positive. On the opposite, it’s a completely repugnant gesture – and please allow me to stop here with the Biblical verse “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips….” We were scandalized enough the last few days by “Karloutsos & Co”….
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.