Disappearing Greece: Bye bye kastana man, send my regards to the laterna player

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Disappearing Greece: Bye bye kastana man, send my regards to the laterna player

ΠολιτισμόςPoverty gave rise to traditional professions, but is now sweeping them away in post-bailout Greece. Catch them before they disappear altogether.

Desperate for revenue, the Greek government is clamping down on the poorest professions in Greece. The story of the elderly kastana (chestnut vendor) who was rendered unconscious by over-zealous policemen caught fire on social media. The vendor could not afford a license, and became one of the latest victims of the economic crisis. Here are some traditional professions struck by the crisis in Greece.

ΠολιτισμόςKastanas – Chestnut vendor

As the weather cools down, chestnut vendors appear on street corners offering the roasted treat. Unfortunately, with less people buying them there are less vendors selling.

Salepi vendor

The chilly Salepi is a thick and frothy winter drink that is just rightΠολιτισμός to warm up on your insides. Not only does the drink offer steamy warmth on a cold winter day, but thanks to its semen-like texture it has been considered for centuries to be an aphrodisiac.

ΠολιτισμόςKoulouras – Koulouri bread vendor

Greece’s tastier response to the U.S. bagel, street koulouria are sold almost everywhere for just 40-60 cents.  A bargain!

ΠολιτισμόςPeripteras – Kiosk owner

The kiosk (periptero) is an important part of Greek daily life as you can found anything here – newspapers, cigarettes, gums, beer, etc. The periptero owners are something like a mini-market/neighborhood watch/info stand in their area, but have fallen victim to the economic crisis with the institutions demanding their closure as part of the prior actions Greece has pledged to.

ΠολιτισμόςLaterna (piano barrel) player

Laterna (piano barrels) players once walked up and down the streets with their instruments. Made popular by the film, “Laterna, poverty and goodwill” (Laterna, Ftohia ke filotimo) and its sequel, the laterna players survived on the kindness of passers-by. Now, they need to cut receipts for their donations.


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