Summer in the village


Φωτογραφία: Siryo Nave

Greek Mum Correspondent: Chrysoula Koutsouri, Munich (

- What plant is this?
- I don’t know, will you tell me?
- This is a watelmelon….

This is only one of the several similar conversations in my everyday life with my 3 year old son, after having spent one whole month in the village with his grandparents. I happen to have a blessed child, who is fortunate enough to spend one-twelfth of the year in a blessed place with blessed ancestors… He reminds me of his mom, that is me, who had the same tremendous luck: every year, at the beginning of August, we would gather our belongings, we would enter the ship and we would spend the last month of the summer on the island, in our grandparents’ village. I can still remember waking up in the morning and running to the barn to fetch the first egg, watching my grandfather digging in the garden, watering the plants with my grandmother in the afternoon, and then feeding the animals just before getting dark. Being a city-child for eleven months in a row, I was transforming during this twelfth last one, connecting with nature, gathering experiences, running everywhere barefoot, free, my soul was rejoicing…

I could never imagine that my children would somehow have the same luck… Not until my parents had to watch their both kids moving abroad. This is when they decided to make their secret dream come true. They built a house on the top of a hill outside of my village and with a lot of patience they grew a big garden all around it. So big that they no longer have to buy vegetables and fruit. Next to it, they built a chicken barn. Next to it, a vineyard. They have their own eggs. Their own chicken. Their own wine. I am sorry that we are not always here to taste them all year round. At the same time, however, I am very happy for 2 reasons. The first one is that my children grow up, knowing all these valuable goods of mother earth, they know very well when the okra grows or how to recognise a zucchini plant. Even if they can only taste them for a month. One month is for sure better than none. The second reason is just as important as the first one, perhaps even more important. I am glad for my own parents, who chose wisely. Instead of staying in the city and packing their loneliness in an apartment, they created a magical shelter in the middle of nowhere and they are happy. They occupy their mind and body 24 hours a day and rejoice every moment. Like for example when the first strawberry grows or when they gather their grapes at the end of August. Well, when their grandchildren come, these are even more magical moments. They never stop showing them their creations, turning them into little farmers, learning them the secrets of nature. Even if they fall asleep totally exhausted in the evening. It is enough that they are full inside. This is happiness…for them, for my children, for me. I am still blessed, therefore, and I have one more reason among countless others to be grateful to them…

Would you like to share your experiences and thoughts from your summer holidays in Greece? Send us your stories and photos at and we will create a New Diaspora ‘post-summer’ compilation!



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