Search Results: Kalamata

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An old poet scales the age barrier

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 19 June 2018
    12 Comments

    An old man boarded the bus, seating himself next to me and behind the boys. He was unshaven, and his jeans had seen better days. He sat quietly for a few minutes, observing the scene, and then he tapped the nearest boy on the shoulder. 'I'm impressed by your enthusiasm, and it so happens I've written a poem about that subject. Here it is.'

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Remembering Palestine from Greece

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 May 2018
    7 Comments

    A little over 77 years ago, Allied forces fighting in northern Greece were overwhelmed by German strength. In Kalamata, for years now there has been a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial close to the waterfront. It occurs days before the Nakba, the remembrance of Palestinian displacement that this year marked 70 years.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Greek village rides the rise and fall of plastic

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 March 2018
    7 Comments

    Yiayia Aphrodite always practised frugality. She cut old dresses into strips and wove cotton rugs out of them, and used matches twice if she could. When plastic bags came into supermarkets, she immediately made use of them: I think every house in the neighbourhood received presents of circular blue and orange bathmats and doormats.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kindness is still everything

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 September 2017
    20 Comments

    The old grey mare she ain't what she used to be: so the song says. Well, I'm definitely grey, but thought I was trotting along satisfactorily on the sands of time until about a month ago, when I was calmly crossing a Kalamata street. I remember stepping on to the pavement, and then nothing more until a passerby was helping me up and dabbing rather ineffectually at my face and shirtfront. There was blood everywhere.

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  • EDUCATION

    Christmas encounter with an unremembered student

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 19 December 2016
    9 Comments

    I have no idea how many students I've taught in two countries. I remember, usually, the high achievers and their troublesome and often troubled opposites, but most are a blur: the human memory has its limits. On the other hand I think I can name all the teachers I ever had: this, of course, is much easier to do. There was more evidence of this today. I was in the Kalamata post office, waiting my turn and clutching a fistful of cards bound for Australia, when a bearded young man asked me a question.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Flagging patriotism in a divided world

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 October 2016
    8 Comments

    Before I turned five, I was in the serried Monday morning ranks of children who had to swear, among other vows, to honour the flag. Years later I watched, shocked, as a Greek friend burst into tears at the sight of the emblematic blue and white stripes at a soccer match: big, strapping Panayiotis sobbed helplessly for quite some minutes. Today the American elections are almost upon us, and Old Glory has naturally been very much in evidence throughout this most gruelling and worrying of campaigns.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homage to the king of herbs

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 December 2014
    7 Comments

    In pride of place on this feast day, a modest silver cross lies in a glass case. The cross is surrounded by leaves of basil, the plant that was supposedly found growing on the True Cross when it was discovered by St Helen in 326. The word basil means king, the plant is considered the king of herbs, and bunches of it are always used in the sprinkling of holy water.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    What will survive of us is love

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 July 2014
    11 Comments

    So there the marble figures lie, grey and blurred, and with an infinite capacity, I think, to touch the heart. The tomb was radical for its time, in the sense that Richard had decreed that his effigy should not be higher than Eleanor's; her figure also appears to lean towards his, and most moving of all, Richard's has one gauntlet removed, so that his bare hand holds that of his wife. Her feet rest on a little pet dog, his on a small lion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Old age is not for sissies

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 February 2014
    10 Comments

    London journalist Adrian Gill refers to the 'incremental shutdown' of old age, British Prime Minister Disraeli, who died at the age of 77 after a life of great and varied achievement, stated that old age was a regret, while noted Hollywood star Bette Davis roundly declared 'Old age is no place for sissies.' In rural Greece, it is considered shameful to instal an old relative in a home, and most aged people see their days out amid their family.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Greek consolations in stone

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 November 2013
    9 Comments

    Although the tourist season in Greece was better than expected, there is otherwise not much cause for cheer. PM Antonis Samaras says recovery will take six years: other people are more pessimistic. Suicide rates have risen alarmingly in a country where formerly they were very low. The youth continue to seek opportunities elsewhere. Strikes and demonstrations occur regularly. In the midst of it all, a new statue appeared in the city of Kalamata.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2012: Greek peasant's faithful fatalism

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 January 2013
    4 Comments

    Maria was born into poverty and did not have much luck in escaping it. Yet she was an unchallenged believer, who would say regularly, Oti thelei o Theos: Whatever God wants. This, while I would huff and puff and mutter that God helps those who help themselves. But part of me envied Maria her certainties. Wednesday 28 March 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    After Greece's party ended

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 14 August 2012
    3 Comments

    Things were speeding up. Greece entered the European Community, banks were throwing money at every Tom, Dick and Spiro, credit cards seemed a form of modern magic. The party is over now, and the ones who have survived in the best shape are the older villagers who never expected a party and so did not join in the spree.

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