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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Greece: Back to the Country, Back to the Village

I wish more young people would return to agriculture or to life in the countryside, and to repopulate the empty "geriatric villages" in Greece.

See Kathimerini article.

This Reuters report is also on the Athens News portal. It must strike some chords.

New website, agricultural advice offered: Horofaki (update May, 2013)

In fact, there's nothing to stop someone pursuing a career as a web-designer from a mountain village in Epirus, now that broadband is widely available.

Another article on a similar topic (Sydney Morning Herald)

Bright Lights, Big City, by Jimmy Reed


  1. I've added the link and some comments on this intriguing subject; my friend's cycle ride across Canada researching Sustainable Communities in that country, comparing them with similar communities in Australia. I am finding your blog an invaluable aid to my own pursuit of this elusive idea. In Greece are we seeing it accelerating in crisis. The Kathimerini piece suggests Spiridoula Lakka is under pressure to observe conventions she was able to shed in the city she's left. I do not preserve romantic illusions about village life, nor of the joys of making a living off the land. The other day I googled sustainable communities and found - even using English alone - that there's not a country in the world where the idea of a sustainable village is not being realised in one way or another, and with the internet all these vastly dispersed settlements can learn from one another; so that a creative and practical initiative in one place can be diffused across the globe - in words, images and - with skype - through dialogue. Were I in one of these villages (in a leadership role) I would seek out someone to be our inter-village communicator keeping us in touch with opportunities to learn and teach across a vast network.

  2. Thanks for your comments and helpful suggestions.
    I have no romantic illusions either, but when I see what two young women have achieved with their small shop "I Sterna" in Kapesovo, where they sell many of their own local products, or indeed what many people have discovered about the variety of edible mushrooms (free food), or the distilling of tsipouro, I wonder why people don't at leastconsider commuting to Ioannina from the Zagori villages, keep chickens and maybe some livestock, grow their own vegetables and have the best of both worlds. No need for young people to cut themselves off completely from the bright lights and good parea. They don't have to become shepherds or goatherds, or to start threshing grain on the abandoned threshing-floors!