submitted by Vikki Londy on 17.10.2006
2nd International Symposium of Kytheraismos
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Mary Londy; I am 18 years old and am currently in my second year of Primary Education at Griffith University.
Today, I would like to offer my perspectives and observations as a second-generation Kytherian-Australian and present my findings of a recent investigation into the attitudes of the Kytherian youth of Brisbane. I conducted this investigation by interviewing a group of young Kytherians, only six of whom I managed to capture on video (due to study, part-time jobs and soccer finals), and collected their thoughts on a variety of Kythera-related issues. To give you an idea of the topics I will be covering today, I would like to show you this brief video.
Before I continue with my speech I would like to thank my good friend Georgina Baveas, who unfortunately couldn’t be here today, for giving up her time to film, edit and star in these interviews, I would not have been able to accomplish this by myself.
I would like to begin by getting the bad news out of the way first. As you all saw, it was uncovered in the video, and also in subsequent interviews, that a large portion of today’s Greek youth, can not read or speak the Greek language, unless they want yiayia to make them some avgolemono soupa for dinner. The language issue can be partly addressed by immersing youth in a fully Greek environment, and I will discuss this further in a few moments. The repercussions of the language barrier are that the youth are not interested in maintaining their Greek ties, even if it’s just by reading a Kytherian newspaper. This barrier is not exclusively felt by my generation, but also that of my parent’s, whose limited ability to read Greek does not allow them to fully understand the content of the Kytherian newspapers. I am proposing that there be more English in any publications from Kythera so that it can reach a wider audience. Who knows… it might even inspire some overseas travel… which brings me to my next point.
Approximately half the people I interviewed had been to Kythera, and those who hadn’t were keen to go. Of those who have been, all enjoyed the experience and made the point of how easy it was to connect with Kytherians from around the world.
As mentioned in the video, some Brisbane-ites met people from interstate Australia, others from the Middle East, as well local Kytherians. Some mentioned that it would be great to take a trip independent from our parents, which would allow us to network and find ourselves all on our own! Several people made the point that they would like to go to Kythera as a part of a large group, not necessarily from their home town, but to meet up with Kytherians from around the world in Kythera. But firstly we would have to meet our fellow Kytherians, and I believe that all this could be possible through the power of the Internet.
As you saw in the video, it was ascertained that the youth would be interested in participating in a Kytherian based web forum. While I am all for the idea, I believe it would be a more successful and simpler venture if we use were to use a more familiar medium such as Hotmail. I believe that we have to make it as easy as possible for Kytherian youth to communicate around the world, and as almost all young people have a Hotmail account, we would simply be incorporating these connections into our everyday lives. For those unfamiliar with Hotmail’s practices, it serves e-mail accounts in many countries, supporting 17 languages and is one of the largest webmail providers in the world. Not only is Hotmail an e-mail provider, it also has "Windows Live Messenger" which allows you to “talk” to other people who have an MSN account. In addition to allowing you to talk to others, it also has features such as games you can play with other users as well as allowing users to see what music you are listening to. In order to utilise this free service to satisfy our need to communicate with our global Kytherian neighbours, I propose that we upload our hotmail email addresses onto the Kytheraismos website. This way, young Kytherians could simply look up email addresses, add them to their Hotmail accounts and begin chatting and making connections all around the world. If this idea gets some force behind it and becomes a reality, the next step could be posting a monthly summary onto the Kytheraismos website about “what’s goss” in the lives of our Kytherian youth around the world. I truly believe that we have to embrace modern technological advances to make communicating around the world easier.
Today I have spoken to you about 3 key issues close to the hearts of the Kytherian youth in Brisbane: our lack of practise of the Greek language, a longing to travel to Kythera and the ability to communicate with our neighbours overseas via the internet. I pose these perspectives and issues to you today to raise awareness of our situation in Brisbane, and to also begin the networking process – (so if anyone wants to keep in touch, I’ll be handing out my email address!)
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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