The Profane Meets the Sacred: Metsovo, Ioannina and Meteora

When traveling through a foreign country, one easily finds themselves stuck between the dichotomy of the profane and the sacred. One experiences the ephemeral realities around them, so vastly different from their home environments, and they wish to capture these rarities so as to keep them forever. Yet, they are fleeting moments, and cannot be contained for more than the present in which they are experienced.

I, for one, can admit to falling in love with the land and being in awe of the surrealism of my surroundings, while simultaneously struggling between wanting the perfect photograph, and actually living in the moment. I have also, many times, failed to be cognizant of the normality and profanity of these environments for some.

Even as we were driving back to Athens, I could not help but stare out of the window and gawk at the incredible beauty of the mountains, trees, and nature-thriving topography of Greece.

While this optional trip has brought to mind many of these controversial questions, I wish to accentuate the way in which our professors brilliantly wove together these two worlds: the profane and the sacred; the everyday and the ephemeral.

 

 

We felt, we experienced, and we even lived both connections with the everyday and with the ephemeral. We saw how smaller villages maintain themselves through tourism and how history has changed ethnic groups and their ways of life in these areas. We stood at the tops of rock pillars in Meteora, and we ate galotyri cheese and kokoretsi (chopped organ meat wrapped in lamb intestines and grilled), like we had been doing it every day. In Metsovo, Ioannina and Meteora, we truly experienced Greece.

Rachael Bittick

Rachael Bittick

Rachel is studying Anthropology/Arts and Ideas in the Humanities at the University of Michigan

CYA Fall '17
Rachael Bittick

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