Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                             OCTOBER 2012

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

 

Despite the problems we have been having on Aegina, such as the accumulation of un-collected rubbish, spates of time without water and the general world crisis, September was the month when the Fistiki Fest was celebrated for the fourth year running.

Possibly the only non-religious celebration on the island, it is wonderful to be given the opportunity to celebrate the fruits of nature and it is a time which brings together the whole community, not to mention the attraction it provides for tourists. The fest is becoming a date in many diaries locally, nationally and internationally.

My sister and her daughter visited us especially to attend the fest and being ecologically aware, they were impressed by what they saw. Most memorable for all of us though was the music of Yiannis Papantoniou. A man well known to Aegina, he used to work from the basement of the club called EN ΑΙΓΙΝΗ and although he no longer lives on the island, he does return to bless us with his talent. If anyone could personify music, it is he. On stage, he dominates the space by his spell-binding delivery of notes, words, rhythms and music. He BECOMES music; by tapping his feet, clicking his tongue, clapping and rubbing his hands, challenging his voice to all sorts of vibrations , pitches and volumes…and this is before he even starts on his instruments. His instruments, mainly the bouzouki are his lovers and he plays them gently and expertly to covey his musical language. Listening to and watching him is a feast for the senses. A slight man with kind, doleful eyes, he is agile and light-footed as he quietly moves from one position to another, a zephyr of activity; he makes music because he must .He is doh ray and mi skittering along the bars and he is completely immersed in his passion for singing, melody making, and bouzouki playing music. He is captivating and his audience is truly engaged by him

We stood bewitched by his music for 3 and a half hours (there were no seats available) but we could have gone on for longer. The stage was based on the port side of town and as the roads were closed to traffic, Greek people danced in the street and others sang without invitation or encouragement, for this is what they do, this is their life and expression of the soul is their right. Even Coutalas, a local man who plays the spoons was left alone to play in tandem with Yiannis’s music. Perched on the edge of the stage, he clapped his spoons energetically throughout most of the concert and nobody minded! And when the audience applauded, he too would get up and throw open his arms, bowing to our gratitude.

My sister was impressed by the uninhibited audience and envied the Greeks their freedom of expression

Celebrating is definitely something that Greek people do well and all was evident during the fest.

To see images and to read more, visit; www.aeginafistikifest.gr

                                 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2012

 

 

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