Interview with locals

We interviewed two persons, a former priest and a middle-aged man from Kalamata. The older priest lives in Methoni for 60 years and was a priest for 10. Through his life he has lived in big city, Athens, for some time. The other is a permanent resident of Kalamata and he has a house here in Methoni.

Participant youth exchange (P): Which are the disadvantages of living in a small village?

Men (M): The villages since many years are not taken care of, their only income was from agriculture and parents (like himself) advised their children to go to a big city like Athens.

 Facilities and healthcare are not advanced in small villages and the people living there feel insecure.

P: Which are the advantages of living in a small village?

Μ: Life in the village makes you feel more peaceful, free and be closer to the environment.

P: How is it living in a big city?

M: I lived in Athens during winter for a decade or more and I believe that Methoni is a living paradise and in Athens is hell because of the closure and noise-pollution. I’m in favor of decentralization.

P: How do people interact with the nature in the village?

M: The people in villages have been so used to living in the village and some do not find nature special. People in villages sometimes connect nature also with economic benefits they can get from it. Villages have many issues with recycling because even though the people try to recycle the local authorities mix the garbage from different bins.

Despite all the above, nature has a positive impact to people’s lives, it makes them more comfortable and relaxed. It is like psychotherapy.

P: How do people here spend their free time?

 M: Enjoying the nature, the environment by doing some related activities such as cultivation, fishing and swimming.

There are a lot of cultural activities in Methoni related to local history and tradition. They have representations and dances where the locals participate a lot.

P: If you could choose where would you like to live?

M: I would choose to live in a city like Kalamata and have the ability to go often to a village.

To conclude, the people complained about the situation at the Venetian Castle. That it is abandoned and not being taken care of even though the sea destroys it because of the strong waves. In the winter, like many touristic places in Greece, after the end on the touristic season there are less residents who cannot go out that much due to economic difficulties. Despite these complaints, they didn’t stop telling us how much enjoy living here!

Later we walked around Methoni for our interview about “Living in a village vs living in a big city”. We met Polish women who lived in big city in Poland and now she lives here, in Methoni. We asked her about a few things connected with nature.

P: What do think about living in a village and a big city?
Women (W):
I worked in a huge company in big city in Poland from 9 until 22 and i hadn’t time to myself. I must be close my phone especially on Holiday, Christmas time, Easter time, Pasha. The telephone had be open all the time.  By everything what happened in my life I decided “I have to come in place where I will rest and I will take a distance from everything.”

P: What do you think about advantages and disadvantages to living in a big city and here?
W:  Big city give us a lot of opportunity for spending time, go somewhere with children but all the opportunity to make us busy. We have no time to our-self. It is a reason that people don’t know what is really necessary in their life, we don’t know what we should do to be happy. We have no time to really enjoy our life. We have time to work, to do things what we must what we have to but we have not time to enjoy life.

P: Do you like coming close to the nature here?
W: I am a person who was trying to be close to the nature. When I worked in Poland I charged my battery by going 200 km far away to my parents not to speak with them but to see the nature. And now I took my dog and my bike and I spent hours and hours outside.

P: How people who live in big city have an interaction in nature and how they do that here?
W: In big city they don’t, because they haven’t to time for this. Here, they interact more they see that nature has a influence to their life.

P:  Are you environmentally friendly?  What are you doing to be environmentally friendly?
 Environmentally friendly isn’t only picking garbage or sorting. We should less watch TV, use bike instead of car. People in village don’t think how to take care, how to be environmentally friendly because they are too busy earning money or paying the bills. People don’t think about this because they haven’t time.  In villages we haven’t a lot of shops so we don’t have very much to choose. Everything is packed in plastic bags so it isn’t environmentally friendly.

P:  Thank you for sharing your point of view about different daily life of people leaving in a village and big city. Nature is the most important for human but everybody can not respect it. First of all responsibility for learning about being environmentally friendly are parents. Well, Dear Parents, remember and teach your children.  

Participant youth exchange: Efi, Fotis, Ivan, Darek, Bartek, Patrycja

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