Tuesday, 12 September 2017

School's IN!

Schools all over Greece opened for business today.  Not for school but for a communal blessing.

The three island priests went from school to school this morning blessing pupils, teachers and parents.  It is a short ceremony followed by a brief sermon telling the boys and girls to do their best.  The Chief Big-wig then gave a, mercifully, short speech without a microphone so not sure what he was babbling on about.  The Headmistress followed suit and told them that the school now had three new computers.  That is probably the only thing any of the children remember.   All the rest would have been blah, blah, blah until that magic word computer.

The three priests line up for business

 She is far more than the 'tuck-shop lady'.  She is their 'care-taker', knows all the children and their parents, and what is going down in the school.  She is a motherhen, knows all the kids by name, stands at the gate when they leave making sure that each of the younger children has a parent or grandparent to go to and does not just wander off or be taken away by a stranger.  She knows all of us as well and always has a smile and a happy greeting.  Mari-Tess is a foreigner like me married to a greek.

All the Very important people lined up for show.  This was only their second school, 2 more to go and then the kindergartens.

Part of the ceremony involves a bunch of basil. On the table are a lighted candle and an incense burner, a book of holy words (missal?), an icon of the Madonna and a bowl of holy water

And the Most important little people all lined up

The newbies with their teacher in the flowing robes and all their mothers standing protectively next to them

Papa Haralambos dipped his bunch of basil in the holy water and went from parent to parent sprinkling them all with Holy basil water.  He held in his other hand a small icon of the Virgin Mary which everyone kissed after being blessed.  The children were blessed en masse.

Wise words on the steps leading to the second level of the school.  Interesting that they were in English

The good food pyramid drawn on one wall

After all that excitement it was time for mothers to have coffee at the 'green chairs' opposite the school.  Those with older children could, and did, sit it out here and await their return.


  1. All very civilised; even the priests were quite decorative (Don't they wear big tall black hats anymore?).

    1. They certainly do wear the tall hats. Must have taken them off for the service . And wearing ceremonial robes of course for such an important occasion. Actually the ceremonial part is like an embroidered scark they put on over the black robes

  2. Were there many tears from the preppies (new littlle ones) or did they all take it in their stride. Come the first day here - End of January- there are tv cameras all over the place - more if there are triplets (or more) starting. Not quite like the crowd for Prince George but getting there 😊
    Were you there to cheer on grandchildren or because it's the thing to do? ~ Cathy

    1. The preppies are usually ok. Most of them have already been one or two years at preschool.
      Cameras here only go with the pm to whichever school he visits. I haven't been for a couple of years actually. Grandchildren are old enough now to go by themselves and I really have been there-done that!!
      This year I just went to take photos.

  3. I found it interesting that the words on the steps were in English, too. Do children learn English as one of their subjects in school? -Jenn

    1. The younger children do have English lessons at this school so I guess it was the English teacher that did it all. At high school they all learn either french or German as well

  4. It wouldn't be allowed in the UK. It would be adjudged to offend a refugee or immigrant of another faith.