Free time and the use of computers (11th interview)
We will now begin with the 11th conference of the program and hosting Leoni Irakleidou, resident of Halki, 25 years old, and Spiros Kamatero, a partially resident of Halki being a Halkitis emigrant, who will tell us his story.
The topic we will discuss is free time and the correlations with the use of computers, of course not in the past since there were none there, and how it affects the free time of people , how will it correlate with volunteering and whatever else come out of the conversation.
- Leoni, tell us, how do young people of your age spend their free time?
Today things are different depending on the time spent in Halki, ie whether it is summer or winter. Usually in the summer we do not deal a lot with computers, our free time is usually spent in the port. We go for coffee, food and dealing with our mobile, ie with social media present in our cell. In winter more of our free time is spent on the PC. This is how things are.
- How is free time designated here in Halki? Do young people work?
They work occassionally. There are not many jobs around so there is a lot of free tie available.
- So in the case that someone works in the winter, is there enough free time to deal with some other activities?
Yes although Halki is a very small place and there are not many things to do in your free time.
- How about yourself Spyros? What was the meaning of free time when you were at a similar age?
We had some free time, because we had the happiness of not having to work and in fact the free time was the time after finishing reading. I am somewhat a special case because i did not grow up in Halki, but in Egypt, in a community of Halki people and other islanders who had emigrated there three generations before me and had gone to Egypt and continued with the manners, customs and lifestyle of Halki. They spoke older Halki dialect and this way we learned and loved Halki, but because we were in a special situation where we did not need to work, and by not having neither TV nor phones, we had time to spend at the sea and we were swimming 2- 3 times a day.
I remember that my neighbor had a phone that was there for the entire neighborhood to use. We were scouting which connected us with Greece and we followed that with great warmth, because it gave us a chance to go on trips, because the school did as scout excursions, and we had the opportunity to visit Greece and that was a big deal for that time. We also did sports, had an area that we played football, table tennis and basically did what children did through the ages, ie sports, sea scouting, we did not have today’s media available.
- Did the young people that were a bit older need to work in the community and how did they spend their time?
The children back then, followed the tradition of most Dodecanesians that became sailors and were embarking on journeys with ships. The reason was that they needed money to go to school or university. They were coming from the Gymnasium, taking their brochure and boarded. Therefore spending their free time was limited, these guys were the Navy people who worked on the ship.
The rest of the world lived a quiet life, and we were reading, going to some Greek clubs dedicated to such activities.
- Were there any other communities in Egypt except Greeks?
Of course, there were Italians, French, British, Maltese but the largest community was the Greek one.
From the Greeks, in the Suez Canal where I grew up, the Cassiotian people were the most. It was the oldest colony, from 1850 or earlier. Indeed, from 1824 onwards there is evidence that there were Cassiotian people there. The Halki people came there from 1860 onwards and the reason was that the French engineer had decided to open the Suez Canal, opened so many jobs, especially for Halki people who had the experience of being divers for sponges, a qualification not many others had. They were very well paid, they became fast-sellers, so they brought their relatives from Halki so that devastated Halki. The rest of the Halki people that did not came to Egypt, went on to emigrate to Tarpon Springs in America.