A VILLAGE THAT WAS A CLAN OF 1000 PEOPLE

I LOOK BACK AND I KNOW NOW

EVERYBODY HERE, CALLED THE PRIEST AT EASTER!!!

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THIS IS THE CHURCH OF SAINT GEORGE, STILL STANDING AND WAITING PATIENTLY FOR US ALL TO RETURN! STILL THE SAINT, ST GEORGE’S ICON, LOOKS AT ME WHILE HE SLAINS THE DRAGON. I LONG TO SEE, I LONG TO FEEL AND LONG TO TOUCH!!!


WHY DID WE YOUNG PEOPLE CALL ALL MEN UNCLES AND ALL WOMEN IN THE VILLAGE AUNTIES? WHY DID WE HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR OUR ELDERS NO MATTER WHO THEY WERE AND WHAT RELATIONSHIP WE HAD WITH THEM? WHY THE TEACHERS INSTILLED IN US, ALONGSIDE OUR PARENTS UTMOST RESPECT FOR EVERY OLDER PERSON OR THE PENALTY WAS SEVERE BODILY PENALTY FIRST BY THE TEACHERS AND THEN BY THE FATHERS?

MY VILLAGE, MY BIRTHPLACE, THE LAND AND AIR THAT GAVE ME LIFE WAS JUST ABOUT ONE THOUSAND SOULS, ADD A FEW FEW OR TAKE AWAY A FEW. THAT WAS THE LOT OF US, BABIES AND YOUNG ONES, MATURE MEN AND WOMEN, OLD AND OLDER MEN AND WOMEN. ALL OF US WITH LOVE FOR EACH OTHER EVEN THOUGH POLITICS IN THE MID-FIFTIES AND LATER POISONED LIFE IN THE VILLAGE AND CREATED HATE AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO USED TO LOVE EACH OTHER LIKE BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WELL, EXCEPTIONS ALWAYS BUT THE NORM WAS THAT AS I LIVED IT AND FELT IT.

THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO GO TODAY. WHO WERE THE INHABITANTS OF THE VILLAGE? HOW COME THEY WERE LIVING IN THE VILLAGE AND WHAT SORT OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS WERE THERE? LOOKING BACK, REMEMBERING HOW THE VILLAGE WAS LAID OUT, I STARTED TO REALISE THAT THE VILLAGE WAS MADE UP OF ONE OR TWO FAMILIES AND THE EXTENDED FAMILIES FROM THERE. WE WERE ALL RELATED AND FROM THE SAME FAMILY TREE IF ONE LOOKED BACK TO THE FOURTH GENERATION.

MY GRANDFATHER ON MY DAD’S SIDE HAD FOUR OR FIVE SIPLINGS. HE HIMSELD HAD ELEVEN CHILDREN, ONE OF HIS BROTHERS HAD FOUR CHILDREN AND SO ON AND ON. MY FATHER HAD FOUR CHILDREN AND MY UNCLES AND AUNTIES HAD ANOTHER THIRTY CHILDREN. IF I LOOK SERIOUSLY INTO OUR GENEALOGY TREE, IT IS DIFFICULT TO TRACE ANYBODY IN CYPRUS IN VIALLAGES BEFORE 1850. THAT IS WHY THE BONDS WERE SO STRONG AMONGST US, THAT IS WHY WE HELPED EACH OTHER AS A UNIT AND THAT IS WHY THE LOSS OF THAT LIFE, THE LOSS OF SO MANY REAL PEOPLE AND LOVED ONES EARLY ON IN MY LIFE IS HARD TO ACCEPT AND DIGEST. WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS IN AUSTRALIA, IN AMERICA, IN EUROPE? WHO KNOWS, I KNOW JUST A FEW, WHO I SAW ONCE OR TWICE AFTER WE WERE DESPERSED BY VIOLENCE AND OCCUPATION. YEARS HAVE TAKEN AWAY MANY AND THE REMNANTS, US, ARE DISPERSED  EVERYWHERE BY THE HARSH HARRICANES OF LIFE.

BUT THERE IS HOPE AND THAT I PRAY IS IMPLANTED IN MY OWN CHILDREN AND THE CHILDREN OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE, WHO I KNOW HAVE OFFSPRINGS TOO AND LIVE IN HOPE TOO. LONDON IS A GREAT CITY TO LIVE IN AND BE IN COMFORT EVEN THOUGH COVID HAS DESTROYED THE MOST VALUABLE ASSET THE CITY OFFERS: HUMAN CONTACT, HUMANITY, LOVE FOR THOSE FEW WHO YOU CARE ABOUT AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE, EMBRACE AND GIVE A KISS ON THE CHEEK AND FEEL THE BLOOD FLOWING ACROSS.

HOPE IS LIFE AND THIS EVENT I DESCRIBE HAPPENING IN LONDON TAKES ME BACK TO THE LOST BIRTHPLACE, TO THE LOST LANDS AND THE GENUINE RESPECT AND LOVE YOUNG AND OLD ENJOYED IN THE OLD , HAPPY DAYS OF CYPRUS.

ON THE BUS IN LONDON. IT IS FULLY OCCUPIED AND SUDDENLY THE YOUNG MAN APPROACHES ME AND SAYS

” UNCLE, HAVE A SEAT”

UNEXPECTED BUT WELCOME. I LOOK AT THE YOUNG MAN, UNKNOWN TO ME AND I GATHER

HE IS A TURKISH YOUNG MAN.

RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY AND ADDRESSING ME “UNCLE” IS ONLY THE WAY A TURK OR A GREEK ADDRESS OLDER PEOPLE. THE YOUNG MAN MADE ME IMMENSELY HAPPY BUT AT THE SAME TIME SAD BECAUSE I REALISED THAT I LOOK VERY OLD AND ALSO FOR REASONS HIDDEN DEEP INSIDE I HAVE A PART OF MY BEING BURIED IN ENMITY FOR THOSE WHO UPROOTED ME FROM THE HOME AND LANDS I WAS BORN AND BROUGHT UP WITH IMMENSE LOVE FROM EVERYBODY AROUND ME.

GENUINE LOVE, GENUINE FEELINGS OF BELONGING!!!

PETER CONSTANT, STILL A REFUGEE FROM CYPRUS

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