Don’t Let the “Ballet Skirts” Fool You

Boys from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Macedonian Costume

Boys from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Macedonian Costume

Here’s another photo from the Valley Greek Festival in Northridge that Martine and I attended yesterday.

It has always seemed strange to me that the Greeks favored starched white skirts for their male dancers and soldiers. It certainly does not imply any lack of masculinity on their part. As a wartime correspondent, Ernest Hemingway was with the Greek forces invading Turkey in the aftermath of World War One. It was the first time, he wrote, that he had seen “dead men wearing white ballet skirts and upturned shoes with pompoms on them.” Below is a photo of Greek Evzone soldiers on guard duty:

Greek Evzone Troops

Greek Evzone Troops

Don’t let the “ballet skirts” fool you. Although it has not always been well led, the Greek Evzones have always been a formidable fighting force.