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Issue 12.2, May 1997

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Essay Excerpt

"This article has its origins in an incident that was related to me by a friend during fieldwork in Cyprus. It involved an Austrian United Nations officer stationed on the island and his interpretation of littered village streets as a sign of the Greek Cypriots' inability to "de-Ottomanize" themselves. "If you Greeks wantto show that you are better than the Turks," the Austrian officer pointed out tomy friend, "you must learn to respect the environment and keep your country clean." A case of ethnocentric bias, one might say. But what is one to make of the following slogan, repeatedly broadcast in the summer of 1994 by the local radio station O Logos? "A clean Cyprus means a civilized Cyprus, [a] European [Cyprus]. Let's always keep it clean" (Kipros kathari simeni Kipros politismeni,Evropaiki. As tin kratisoume panda kathari)."

From "'Keep Cyprus Clean': Littering, Pollution, and Otherness" by Vassos Argyrou