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Papandreou Georgia | Chios | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Volissos, Chios
• Short biography

Georgia Papandreou was born in Volissos, Chios, in 1926. She was an amateur singer, while working – when she was younger – at his father’s store, and in agriculture: “We were born up in Pyrgos, where there’s a church, in Pyrgos, up in Aghios Ioannis, up there. That’s where we grew up, and I went to school, until the fourth grade […]. Until the fourth grade we stayed there, in Pyrgos, then […] my father opened a general store. It was here, in the square, where the old café is, a bit further down, where there’s a block of flats, that used to be an old house. Yes. Chartoularis, Dimitris Chartoularis. […] He was a butcher, too, he slaughtered, he sold meat on the weekend. The rest of the week they didn’t sell meat. We baked bread, too. In the oven, yes, but the farm ovens. There were five of us, five daughters. We came down from Pyrgos, Aghios Ioannis, we came down here, just a bit further from the square. My father built a house and an oven downstairs, and upstairs was the house where we lived. Well, we helped our father out there, we were five daughters and a son. My brother was first, then her [she means her sister, Sofoula], I’m the last one, Georgia […]. Well, we had the store, we worked, we went out, now we have branches but we used to have this wood, and we’d take our donkey and we’d go load it up”.

Georgia Papandreou pointed out that many of the songs she knows, she learnt from her family: “My grandmother used to sing them, and my mother, too.” Some of those are “Agio – Thodoritissa”, “Oso varoun ta sidera”, “Fora ta mavra, fora ta”, “Agouros petra peleka”, “Sto gialo min kateveis”, “San pothano sto karavi”, “Aman giatre mou [Doctor]”.

Speaking of the local festivals and celebrations, she said: “The festivals here started with Aghios Dimitrios. The festivals started – my father’s name was Dimitris, too – in the summer we lived out in the country, many people did. Even now, they still go, if they can. We had a garden, big garden with fruit, all that, and in October we all came back up to the village. It started then, on the day of Aghios Dimitrios, the nameday of Dimitris, and everyone had to go round, with music, the youth, let’s say, but also married couples, older folk, and they’d go round the houses where there were people called Dimitris. There was one instrument, a violin, an oud, we had ouds at the time, there weren’t any bouzoukia then. And they’d go round the houses, have a drink, stay a while, have a dance with the lady of the house, or the wife [of the owner]. They they’d leave, go to another house. They only went round the houses where there was someone called Dimitris, on the Holiday of Aghios Dimitrios. Then it’d be Aghios Nikolaos, Aghios Ioannis, I won’t [repeat myself], it was one after the other. There were parties over the holidays, at Christmas, at New Year’s. For New Year’s, we had to set all the tables, in all the houses, and put almonds on every table – but we had a lot of almonds in Volissos – and sometimes local olive oil […]. Around here, christenings and weddings were usually held on Sundays, every Sunday, and they lasted a week, depending, three days, depending on the families’ finances. Both families paid for the food.”