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Lone Student at Remote Greek Island Celebrates Greek Bicentennial

Greek bicentennial
Christos Kampousos, the lone student on the Greek island of Arkioi, celebrated the Greek bicentennial today. Credit: Twitter/Alkiviadis Stefanis

The lone student at a tiny elementary school on the Greek island of Arkioi, near Patmos, celebrated the Greek bicentennial by donning the iconic costume of an Evzone warrior and raising the Greek flag on Thursday, March 25.

The student, who is taught by one teacher, Maria-Faidra Tsialera, who requested to be transferred to the island although she was brought up in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.

She makes it possible for Christos to be able to stay on the island year-round and receive the normal education that all Greek children are entitled to.

Credit: Facebook/Maria Tsaliera

A gentleman on the island spotted Christos today during the commemorative ceremony on the island and snapped a photo of the little boy, decked out in a traditional foustanella and vest.

He posted a photo of the moving ceremony on Twitter, and stated “Pride and emotion for Christos Kamposos, the only student of Arkioi, who holds the Greek flag high again this year!

“Greece has a future as long as there are enlightened teachers like Mrs. Maria Tsialera and Ellinopoulos like Christos.”

Marina Tsaliera
Credit: Facebook/Maria Tsaliera

The Greek Army helps the school with some of its everyday needs and the local community, along with Greeks from the diaspora, is attempting to create better conditions in hopes that more people may be able to live on Arkioi.

This small, remote Greek island is part of the Dodecanese archipelago. It is situated in the eastern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish Aegean coast. It belongs to the municipality of Patmos.

The school’s situation is precarious, due to the lack of children living on the island during the wintertime.

Greek Bicentennial celebrated on island with only 35 year-round inhabitants

The remote, yet stunningly lovely, island has only 35 year-round inhabitants. Tsialera was recently honored by the Academy of Athens for her dedication and professionalism as she carries out her job teaching all the subjects Christos studies.

Recently, Christos entered a competition titled “The Water We Want!,” which was hosted by the Water Museums Global Network, a group that seeks to bring attention to climate change’s impact on the world’s water sources.

The submissions were to “reflect novel ideas and perspectives on the importance of our liquid heritage and its relation to Climate Change” through a short video, drawing, or photograph, according to the competition’s official website.

Over 7,000 students from around the world participated in the competition, which lasted from October of 2019 until April of 2020.

Along with the school at Arkioi, four other schools in Greece were given honors for their submissions to the competition.

The submission from Europe’s smallest school was a video featuring the tradition of “Perperouna.” This Greek tradition is an ancient one in a country with a rich history of farming and agriculture.

During periods of drought, a farmer, bedecked with various plants and flowers, would walk throughout the village as other residents doused him with water and sang a song calling on God to cause rain to fall.

The lone Arkioi student, and his teacher, chose this tradition not just because of their interest Greek folklore, but also because their island, which has only 35 year-round residents, was facing a period of drought — a full six months with no rain whatsoever.

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