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An attempt at humour, being a proposed set of regional rivalries among the Heptanese
I didn’t have a local guide in Corfu, so I couldn’t work out what the local rivalries are among the Seven Islands. Working out what town the locals resent is ground zero for establishing contrasts and getting people on side, I’ve always felt. (Mainly because of how much Salonicans resent Athens.) I tried that technique out with Vangelis Lolos in Larisa, and the “Austrians” of Volos, but he wasn’t biting.
I couldn’t work out the regional rivalries of the Heptanese, but that doesn’t stop me guessing. Some of these guesses, I have to warn readers, are less well informed than others.
- Kerkyra, aka Corfu, on Corfu: We are the premier island of the Heptanese, and the rest are lesser imitiations.
Everyone else on Corfu: (True, which is why the only reaction is resentful seething.)
Zakynthos, aka Zante, on Zante: We are the Flower of the Levant! All your culture and music comes from us! We are the brains of the Heptanese!
Corfu on Zante: … Well, we’ve got three philharmonic societies here. How many have you got again, Zakynthos?
Cephallonia, aka Cephallenia: All your culture and music comes from us! We are the brains of the Heptanese!
Zante: … Is there an echo in here?
Everyone else: That’s the place everyone blasphemes, right? No wonder their leading author got excommunicated. (Andreas Laskaratos.)
4: Lefkada, aka Santa Maura: WHY DO YOU KEEP FORGETTING TO INCLUDE US IN THE LIST OF IONIAN ISLANDS?! WE ARE BY FAR THE MOST UNSPOILT ISLAND!!
Everyone else: You’re only an island because the Ancient Greeks dug a canal. And the way you speak Greek, you still act like you’re attached to the mainland. (Lefkada has the same vowel reduction as Greek mainland dialects north of Corinth do.)
5: Ithaca, aka Thiaki: HOME OF ODYSSEUS!
Everyone else: Yeah yeah, Thiaki, Home of Odysseus, whatever. After the first 2500 years, it gets old.
6: Paxi: “Paxi and Anti-Paxi, Worth Sixteen Londons!” (A couplet I learned in school: Παξοί κι Αντιπάξοι, Λόντρες δεκάξι.)
Everyone else: That couplet’s bigger than the island of Paxi. I mean what next, do we count the Diapontian Islands to get to 10? Ereikoussa, Othonoi, Mathraki, total population 1200?
Paxi: We’ve got double that population, we’ll have you know!
Everyone else: 2400. Uhuh. You do realise London is 4 thousand times bigger, right?
Paxi: Not to change the subject, but… how did we get to seven islands to begin with?
7: Cythera, aka Cerigo: Birthplace of Aphrodite!
Everyone else: Right. Venetian conquest they held on to after the fall of Crete, and them lumped in with us. Have you even looked at a map, Cerigo? The Ionian Sea doesn’t go that far south. No wonder the Greek government lumped you in with Attica. (Nick Nicholas’ Answer To: Why does the island of Kythera belong to Athens although it is geographically near Peloponnese?)