Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Καλό μήνα - Απρίλιος ...

Kalo Mina - Good Month - Aprílios - April ...

Another beautiful sunny 'ferry strike' day, down here on the rock.

Back on March 1st, Junior came home with a new bracelet ...

Its a piece of red and white string, tied round the wrist. We assumed it was one of the friendship bracelets, and all the children had them. Now junior would not let us take it off, so to 'keep the peace' it has remained in situ ...

So last week we were given another poem to learn, this one for today - April 1st ...

The children have in most part, retained their bracelets. However last week the teacher explained to me, what was happening.

March 1st sees spring returning, along with it the migrating birds, which pass the island. Some which return here to spend the summer with us. The Swallows, the House Martins etc - as notified here by our island friend 'twitcher Jayne'...

The string is said to protect its holder, the child from the effects of the strengthening sunlight. If worn for one month, it will protect the child, for the whole of the summer sun. To seal the deal, the child must learn a poem about the migrating birds.


Today, they recite the poem together, those still wearing the string, seal the deal, and it is removed.

The strings are attached to a piece of bamboo, or tied loosely to a rose bush, or a twig or a branch, and placed in a tree. The Swallow or House martin, comes and takes the string as a gift from the child, and uses its magic to create its nest, on someones house.

Most of the children take a twig or stick to school today, we had a piece of bamboo, but on the way noticed that the fig tree stems - Look 'just right'. So Junior wandered into class, carrying a flexible stem, leaves and three figs to the teachers table. I can tell 'Teacher' was impressed, as were some of the mums ...

If the magic works, then the birds will lay eggs. Their young will fly the nest, to return to Skiathos again next year. So on continues the magic, and the relationship, between us, and our visiting wildlife ...

Later Update:

Its worked ...

There must be something in it - Tonight I watched hundreds of swallows, doing acrobatics over the town at sunset. This evening is the first time, that I have heard their evening chorus, as they flew screeching low over the rooftops.

I can still hear them now outside - 19:42pm local time ...

Amazed ...

3 comments:

  1. Posts like this one, and similar ones over the last few weeks, must make parents of young children in the UK quite jealous, and are another good reason why you chose to raise your family in Skiathos. I can't help but feel, not for the first time, that we've lost our way in the UK...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The children all brought home a branch, wrapped in Ivy.On it a small bird they had made at school. We were taken to be shown where they had placed the strings in the orange trees ...

      Delete
  2. Brilliant! There is a real sense of cohesion in the community which I fear we have lost.

    ReplyDelete