From There To Here
Author: Penny Sanantis
Storyteller: Michael Peros
Community Language School: Greek School Wollongong
Main School: St Patrick’s
A story about my grandfather.
Where do you come from?
I come from Greece from an island called Lipsi.
Describe the place where you lived.
It is a very small but beautiful place with lots of beautiful beaches, lots of harbours and many houses.
Was it a very popular island?
What was your house like?
Small and not very comfortable.
Describe a normal day. What did you do?
On a normal day I would wake up early and go to work.
Why did you leave?
I left because back at Lipsi there weren’t many jobs.
Why did you choose to come to Australia?
It was easier to come to Australia than to go anywhere else.
How did you come and what was the journey like?
I came by boat and it was very tiring.
What did you bring with you?
I only brought my clothes.
How old were you when you left?
I was 23 years old.
What was your arrival in Australia like?
I lived with one of myUncle’s with my sister.
What did you want to do when you came to Australia?
I wanted to work and then leave, but I stayed.
What was it like learning English?
It was very difficult.
What’s it like here and now?
Have you been back to your country?
Yes, I have – 3 times.
Has it changed? What are the changes?
Yes, it has changed. There are more houses and better harbours.
Is there anything you really miss?
Do you think of Australia as your second country?
What food did you eat?
Same as now.
Did you have a lot of food?
Was it found easily?
Yes, if you had money.
Was it mostly hot or cold in your country?
Were winters cold and summers hot?
Did you attend school?
What was it like?
I enjoyed it.
Did you attend high school?
Yes, for two years.
What was it like?
It was very difficult because I had no books.
Were there any sports? What were they?
The only sport was soccer.
Did you play it?
Yes, and I really enjoyed it.
Did you like music? If so, what music?
Yes, I likes music, and still do a lot. My favourite music is laika and nisiotika.
Did you have anything like a radio to listen to music?
Yes, we did have a radio.
Do you remember any songs, rhymes or stories?
No, I don’t.
Were there any big buildings in Lipsi?
No, there weren’t any big buildings.
Were the houses similar to Australia?
No, they are very different.
What were the houses like?
They were made out of white stone. They all look the same and they aren’t very big.
Did you have a big family?
Yes, very big.
Is your family the same as then? Why?
No, it isn’t because my parents are dead.
What did you celebrate?
We celebrated Easter and Christmas.
How did you celebrate this?
We celebrated with music, dance and wine.
Are you married? If so, how long?
Yes, I am married and I have been married for 38 years.
Where did you marry?
Do you have children? If so, how many?
Yes, I have 2 children.
How old are they?
My oldest one is 35 and my youngest is 33.
Did you work here and in Lipsi?
What was your job?
In Lipsi I was a fisherman and in Australia I worked in a factory.
Did you make enough money?
It was enough to raise a family.
What is your religion?
It is Greek Orthodox.
Did you go to church? If so, how often?
Yes, I went to church whenever I could.