Author Topic: The Teddy Boy law  (Read 919 times)

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Offline Maik

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The Teddy Boy law
« on: Saturday, 06 October, 2018 @ 11:51:27 »
When Greek Police Could Arrest Young Men for Being ‘Teddy Boys’

Greece’s post-war years were marked by poverty, political turmoil that led to the seven-year dictatorship, and the struggle of young Greeks to follow the trends of European and American youths. At the same time, authoritative laws did not allow Greek youths to adopt lifestyles of their western counterparts as presented in the movies or through rock and roll songs.

The behavior, dress codes, and hairstyles of American or English teenagers as portrayed in movies were admired by many young Greeks but derided by the conservative society of the time. Any type of delinquent behavior — or behavior that authorities could arbitrarily define as delinquent — was unacceptable and punishable. Rock and roll music was seen as corrupting by the Church and society.

At the end of the 1950s, some young Greeks tried to imitate American and English teenagers by wearing blue jeans with rolled cuffs, grow long hair and grease it back, or wear suits like England’s Teddy Boys of the time.

Law authorities — in lack of some other suitable term — labelled teenagers with longer than average hair and suits exhibiting provocative or offensive behavior as “Teddy Boys”. Judicial authorities — also in lack of a better term — passed Legislative Decree 4000/1959, widely known as Law 4000, or the Teddy Boy law.