In the first volume of my books series titled ‘KYPREI – CYPRIOTS’ I will be telling the story of family from a village called Athienou, in Cyprus, who came over to England in 1961 aboard a ship. They settled in Northampton where the eldest son who had moved over the previous year was living and then began their lives in another country.
Life is never plain sailing for Cypriots, there is always drama, jealousy, family politics, social politics, cultural obligations, customs and taboo, so as you can imagine, there are many stories to tell. Over the years, this family integrated very well, becoming more English than Cypriot, but beneath the surface, many of the cultural influences that have weighed heavily on most Cypriots living abroad, never ceased to exist. The effects of the cultural influence remains, decades later, some good, but some not so good.
What is interesting, is how the children who were born in the UK, raised in the UK and even married English people, can still display the signs that they are influenced by cultural matters that they seemed to have inherited.
The book will be available later this year in both digital and print, further details will be posted when it is released.
I came up with the ‘One Minute Cypriot’ concept over 3 years ago, I was inspired by conversations that I had with Cypriots from different backgrounds who displayed a n unconditional love for Cyprus without the political, ethnic or religious divisions that has torn the island apart. Continue reading
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.
When I visited Agoi Vavatsinia, I met a lovely couple who were from the village of Vasileia, which is a few miles west of Kyrenia. 'Kostis & Avgousta' have been together since 1957 and clearly love each other to bits. When they arrived at the restaurant where we were due to meet, they were holding hands! It was one of the sweetest sights I have ever seen.
I spoke to them quite a bit during the day and watching them was really amazing, since the day the got married, he calls her his 'Πέρδικα' (Partridge) We were sat outside drinking coffee and Avgusta was inside talking to the ladies, after a little while (less than half an hour) Kostis got up and mumbled something about wondering where Avgousta is, he went to find her because he always wanted her to be by his side.
This is Zoe Lavithis, she was on holiday in Cyprus and just before she left, we managed to get some video footage of her experience. We didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare or even to find a suitable venue as Zoe was leaving straight after and she had spent all day at the beach! Now this is very unusual for a visitor in Cyprus!
I’m hoping to get a skype video with Zoe and her mother very soon.
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.