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Greek dancing is all about expressing emotions and telling stories.
Traditional Greek dancing had plenty of stories: some were to ensure
fertility, preparing for war, celebrating victories, overcoming
depression and even curing illnesses. They are usually named after
villages or places where they originated from.
is a solo dance usually performed by men (eh but you get the odd
'modern' woman sneaking in these days too!). The songs that you dance
the 'Zebekiko' to (can also be called the 'vareto') are
always very passionate and often reflect struggles and broken hearts.
Hence, why it is also known as the 'drunken' dance... It's usually
performed very late into the evening (once the booze has taken full
effect, you know how it is...). The moves are generally actually very
sporadic and drunken looking and although there are some signature
moves, it is generally freestyle; just moving to your emotions. It is
always danced with an audience knelt down in a circle clapping you on
and appreciating your deep felt expressive emotions (unless you're in a
fancy dress apparently...)
Six months came and went. Moraitis didn’t die. Instead, he reaped his
garden and, feeling emboldened, cleaned up the family vineyard as well.
Easing himself into the island routine, he woke up when he felt like it,
worked in the vineyards until midafternoon, made himself lunch and then
took a long nap. In the evenings, he often walked to the local tavern,
where he played dominoes past midnight. The years passed. His health
continued to improve. He added a couple of rooms to his parents’ home so
his children could visit. He built up the vineyard until it produced
400 gallons of wine a year. Today, three and a half decades later, he’s
97 years old — according to an official document he disputes; he says
he’s 102 — and cancer-free. He never went through chemotherapy, took
drugs or sought therapy of any sort. All he did was move home to Ikaria.
I called Moraitis a few weeks ago from my home in
Minneapolis. Elpiniki died in the spring at age 85, and now he lives
alone. He picked up the phone in the same whitewashed house that he’d
moved into 35 years ago. It was late afternoon in Ikaria. He had worked
in his vineyard that morning and just awakened from a nap. We chatted
for a few minutes, but then he warned me that some of his neighbors were
coming over for a drink in a few minutes and he’d have to go. I had one
last question for him. How does he think he recovered from lung cancer?
“It just went away,” he said. “I actually went back to America about 25
years after moving here to see if the doctors could explain it to me.”
I had heard this part of the story before. It had become a piece of the
folklore of Ikaria, proof of its exceptional way of life. Still, I asked
him, “What happened?”
After a 40-year hiatus, malaria is returning to Greece.
70 cases have been reported there this year, and at least 12 people
appear to have been infected in the country. (The others picked up the
That's a concern for health workers
because it means malaria may now be endemic to Greece — and not just
hitching a ride with travelers.
Plus, the parasite is
showing up in regions where it has never been reported, the U.S. Centers
of Disease and Prevention said in a statement last week.
What's fueling malaria's comeback?
Budget cuts have been tough on Greece's health services, causing medication shortages and a sharp rise in HIV cases over the past year. Cuts to public health spending could also be contributing to malaria's reappearance, says Dr. Apostolos Veizis, who directs Doctors Without Borders' operations in Greece.
majority of municipalities around Athens did not have enough funds to
spray for mosquitoes this year, Veizis tells Shots. That's why West Nile
Virus appeared in the summer. Bednets have not been readily available,
But Veizis thinks there's more to the malaria
story than just budget cuts alone. "It's a combination of factors that
make Greece more vulnerable to the reestablishment of malaria," he says.
Warmer winters may be lengthening the malaria season, for one.
So last night was the very important "Epitafio" at Church whereby Jesus' "tomb" is decorated with flowers in each Greek Orthodox Church around the world and then carried out into the streets while all the Greeks walk behind it holding candles. This is the night when Jesus died on the cross and is a serious time of mourning and should be respected.
Of course I did take it seriously in my heart, however there are comical moments in our culture that no matter how serious it is, you gotta just laugh and I like to share those moments, so sorry if you got offended!
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