Today, I had the pleasure of being taken to a village called Koilani, in the Troodos mountains to meet a man called Apostolos Giannakas. He is exactly the type of person I am looking for to participate in my ‘Cypriot Diaspora’ videos.
He left the village at 12 years old and went to Limassol to go to school then in 1955 aged just 18 he left for the UK. He was met by an Uncle at Victoria station who took him to Bradford where he lived for 2 years before moving down to London.
Milikos Xenophontos is from the village of Agoi Vavatsinia, he was born in 1941 and left for the UK in 1959. He is the cousin of the famous Greek composer Manos Loϊzos.
Please excuse the mis-focussing, camera was on AF and it re-focused on the gate, but this was a one-off opportunity so I still used it.
An introduction to my new series of videos titled ‘Cypriot Diaspora’ Tales from Cypriots Abroad. I’m hoping to give people who migrated or were born or raised outside of Cyprus the opportunity to tell their story, their feelings about their lives and their feelings about Cyprus.
For many people, especially those who have left behind them poverty, or civil unrest in Cyprus, the prospect of a new life offered a real dream. Many of those who left have prospered, at least financially, but is that the only barometer for success?
Years later when the original migrants have aged and raised their own children outside of Cyprus, if they were to be really honest, how successful would they deem themselves to be?
Has there been a cost to their prosperity, how have their dreams changed from those early days of being part of a Cypriot community abroad? Was there a cost to the Cypriot people as a whole, be it culturally, socially or morally?
I would love the opportunity to film you sharing your life experiences.
If you would like to participate when I’m nearby, please Contact me.
A few miles to the west of Kyrenia, there is a village called Vasillia, and nearby another by the name of Vavillas. During the 50s & 60s, many people not only fled their village, but also Cyprus due to poverty. Then, after the invasion by Turkey in 1974, these villages along with many others were ethnically cleansed, forcing the residents to scatter all over Cyprus and beyond.