March 7th Dodecanese, Greece
Looking at the week ahead and we have the March 7th parade on Wednesday. This celebrates the day that the Dodecanese Islands were officially handed back to Greece in 1948. For ‘handed back’ you can also read integrated into the nation of Greece, or freedom.
On Symi, as on other Dodecanese islands, the event is celebrated by a church service in the morning and a parade afterwards. This is one of the times of the year that the school children dress in school uniform, practice marching (I can hear the whistles in the playground being blown in strict rhythm), and then parade with the military, scouts, nurses and others. On Symi, they usually parade from the clock tower, past the war memorial and to the town square. There might be speeches and presentations at the memorial like there is on Oxi Day (October 28th) and afterwards, families go for giros and coffee, chats and catch-ups with friends who might have come over for the day.
I may not have translated this accurately, but the inscription on the war memorial reads: “Today freedom whispered to me, cease, twelve islands from your struggle.” Which always gives me goosebumps.
Also in my diary for this week is… Nothing much. Nothing at all, actually, which means I can get on with what I do, tapping on the keyboard, dreaming up stories, trying to think of something for this blog, discussing what needs doing in the house and courtyard and then not doing it, and starting to think about packing for our trip in a couple of weeks. And that’s how my Monday is starting – let’s see what the rest of the week brings.
(The photos are from last year Oxi Day on Symi and a parade in Rhodes.)