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Month: June 2023

Dialect death and Sior Nionio

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece, Language

I’m going to conclude with something silly. Except it isn’t. Like many Greeks of my age, I was brought up with the televised shadow puppetry of Karagiozis, as performed (for colour TV!) by Evgenios Spatharis; in fact, one of the few Greek recordings of anything my parents had in Tasmania was a recording of Karagiozis. […]

On the songs of Italian retirees

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece, Music

A random observation, as I sit in Foscolo café-and-cinema. Greece is full of retirees from elsewhere in Europe. Some of them find out how the place works; some of them pick up some of the language. There was a tableful of Italian tourists behind me. There was a tableful of Italian retirees in front of […]

Kalvos, Foscolo, and not letting exiles be exiles

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece, Language

I don’t like the poetry of Andreas Kalvos. I don’t like it, because I find his archaic Greek stanzas stiff, and lifeless, and bombastic. Especially compared to the vigour and passion of his contemporary, Dionysis Solomos. I may well continue to hold that judgement, but there is yet another bias behind it; the legacy of […]

Dionysis Romas and the Popolari

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

I notice ironies. Or at least, things that strike me as ironies. The Venetian Ionian Islands, like Venetian Crete, was run as a feudal kind of place. When Napoleon’s troops came to town, after Napoleon had kicked aside what little was left of the Venetian Republic, the people ceremonially burnt the Libro d’Oro, the listing […]

Solomos Museum, Zante

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

I came out of the Solomos museum sobered. Through my trip to Zante, I’ve been doing cute acerbic asides about the museum name (Solomos and Illustrious Zacynthians), and about how much I dislike the poetry of Kalvos. I’m going to ease up on that. There is a tragedy to Kalvos’ life that deserves a bit […]

Our Lady of Episkopi, Crete via Zante

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

I forgot to post this earlier when I was going through the Post-Byzantine museum. It’s a link back home to Crete. This icon of Our Lady of the Village of Episkopi was brought to Zante from Crete by refugees from the fall of Crete in 1669. “Cretan” in Zante meant “refugee” for a very long […]

Nougat in Zante

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Nougat and sesame bars (παστέλι) are everywhere here. It seems to me more like 20 than 2 workshops making the stuff. Picked up a sample, pictured. … And yes. They were some of the nougat and sesame bars I’ve ever tasted.

How to do regional government offices properly

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Attentive readers will recall the brutalist disaster of the regional government offices in Corfu. I attach for your consideration the regional government offices of Zante. Complete with busts of local notables. This is how you actually do it. Even if you don’t make your air conditioning units an architectural feature.

Church of the Ascension, Zante

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

This Church of the Ascension grabbed my attention, because of how its bell tower dominated its Street, south side of town. It’s a recent church, it turns out, not a restoration: 1980. But the icons over the gate are too Western to have been painted in this past century, the century of Kontoglou’s Byzantine Revival. […]

St Fyodor Ushakov

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Countries, Culture

Outside the church of St Dionysius, a bust of Fyodor Ushakov, Russian naval commander. The Russian inscription indicates the statue was a Russian idea, but it isn’t absurd to see him here: Ushakov won the sea battle that wrested control the Ionian Islands away from Napoleonic France for seven years, of autonomy under joint Russian […]

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