Thursday, 25 July 2013

A falling out in the village

There were long faces outside the kafenion.

The village panygyri, the long-awaited festival to celebrate St Paraskevi, was off.

With a week's notice, the organisers were told by the owner of the field where the festival has been held for years: 'Oxi.'

Which, in Greek, means no.

It was a blow for the village, for community life. It was a blow for the organisers, who work hard to put on these events for the benefit of all.

And it was a blow to us, too, as my brother and his family had booked their holiday dates around it. They're due in later today and were looking forward to the festival tomorrow night.

When you see this YouTube video, you can see why.
The reasons for the refusal, as conveyed to Mr Grigg and me, seem pretty petty. You couldn't make it up. Village politics, eh? Still, there are always two sides to every story and this blog is not the place for a rant.

But to say we were excited about the event was an understatement. We have walked past this field of olive trees for the past ten months. We've seen the stage and the stacked-up chairs, the light fittings and the ice cream fridge - or was it for beer?
We saw the YouTube clip, we heard the stories. How would it compare with our own weekend of fun back in Lush Places?

We were ready for the St Paraskevi Panygyri and sold it lock, stock and barrel to my brother's family.

Yes, there are other panygyri throughout the summer months. And I know there are some people who've lived here for years who are sick and fed up with them.

But I'm only here for a year and want all the village culture I can get. And this was our panygyri, a chance to see the people we have lived with since October get up and dance, join hands with them, and have a good time on home territory. The saving grace is that there is another panygyri in the village later in August.  But by then, my brother's family will have gone.

So we look at all the banners and posters on the roadside to see what other festivals are on while they are here. It won't be the same but at least we have plenty of choice.
And then today our neighbour and a friend in the plateia, who changed his sweat-soaked T-shirt at least five times when he danced at the last event, tell us they are all off up to the village on the hill tonight for another panygyri.

So don't tell my brother but if he thinks he's having a rest when he gets in on the plane tonight, he's got another thing coming.

We're off to the panygyri.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the clip, tapped my toes and thought of all the times, at family parties, that we danced a similar dance, when I was a child. I'm glad you'll be able to enjoy a panygyri!

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