Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The world in a neighbourhood
Greeks do not any more make use of the public urban spaces in Athens. They prefer to have their expensive coffee inside, they dont hang around with their neighbours any more, they don't even know them, and they don't let their children play on the streets. They are afraid. The so called gitonia in Greek, the neighbourhood has gradually been dying during the last decade.
But now the migrants who come from all over Europe, Asia and Africa and live in the centre of Athens seem to revive street life and the spirit of the gitonia. Everywhere in Athens, where migrants live, one can see children of different races playing and shouting, laughing and crying. Their families came from Albania, Ukraine, Sudan, Nigeria and from many other countries but the majority of the children was born here. Athens is in transition and the migrants are surely the ones who give it a more human face with a huge smile.
by Christos Stefanou