My village

I’ve talked many times on my blog about the mountainous village I am coming from, Skiadas. A friend, who originates from the same village too (and currently lives in Athens), sent me a URL with a picture of the village. My parent’s home is not visible in the photo though, as it’s on the left side (only half of the village is shown in the pic). I lived less than 6 years there, ages 2-4 & 9-12, but it’s what I consider “home” (I was born in Athens, then moved to the nearby city Preveza, and later we stayed for good in Louros, a nearby town). When I close my eyes at night, that’s the only place I find myself into.

My favorite times there were during Easter. So many people would come back to the village from the surrounding cities, Athens or even Germany. For at least a week the village would be buzzing with 400 people who came back to their birthplace for the biggest celebration of Orthodoxy. Everyone knew everyone too, so there was not much you could do to escape the social requirements of being presentable and well groomed at all times.

And at the Easter night, at 12 AM, either at the Saint Paraskevi or Saint Christopher church, the mass would take place and the whole village would be there. All 400+ of them (not all fit inside the church). The lights would go off, and the priest would share his candle flame with someone, and the flame would spread among the crowd. Soon, the only light available would be candle light. Some people would use fireworks in the later times, but originally in my village some men would usually used their guns to shoot towards the sky (hehe…).

Then, we would go home and feast on either fried, or as a soup, lamb/goat intestines (the animal was given to us from my uncle, as in my own family we never herded big animals as my father is a house builder instead). I preferred them fried personally, with home-made fries (potatoes usually from our garden, stored from the previous year). And that felt as an amazing food, as we had to fast for at least a week before Easter (a strict vegan diet, while on Good Friday we were not allowed to eat anything oily either — some people would fast like this for 40 days, e.g. both my grandmothers).

And the next day, what a feast with our extended family! Greek easter lamb (or goat). Best. Food. Ever. Food coma for the rest of the day. And many bathroom visits too.

But the day after Easter, the village population would go down to about 100 people again, and today, only about 35 people live there. Since most inhabitants left the village at around 1990, the school was abandoned, and none of the six churches have a mass anymore as there is no priest to fill in. An abandoned village, just like so many others in the Epirus region. Mass migration to big cities to seek better employment and a better life. Life at these villages is hard in the winter…

I miss my hens though. 🙁


Mike wrote on March 28th, 2008 at 11:42 AM PST:

Do you think telecommuting will ever be important enough to make enough jobs for the young workers save villages? Even out here in California, our smaller towns are just for children and the old, and everyone ends up in our megacities to work.

The problem is networking, I guess. Someone would have to represent and promote rural workers to companies in the cities.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 28th, 2008 at 1:42 PM PST:

In Greece there are no DSL lines at these villages, and there won’t be for a long time, so I don’t see telecommuting having a chance there. Besides, it’s not in the culture of Greeks to work from home, neither there are many computer jobs anyway.

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