Memories, History and Identity

People’s relationship with the past plays a significant role in shaping their identity. In Arediou this relationship is experienced at various levels in many different contexts within the village.

Greek Version

There is a sense of great pride in the 15th century church of Panagia Odigitria, which lies on the outskirts of the village. This building merits a tourist signpost and an image of the church has been used locally to promote community identity, most notably in conjunction with the new municipal building. According to local tradition the church marks the site where Arete (a princess from the nearby Iron Age kingdom of Tamassos) buried a golden chariot. Arediou itself derives its name from Arete. This story has been related to us with pride by many different members of the community and is fundamental to a local sense of place and identity.

Panagia Odigitria

Identity and relationships with a more turbulent recent past is equally evident in the local kafeneio, the Parthenon.  A strong sense of Greek identity is evident not only in the very deliberate choice of name, but is equally iterated by its decoration. The kafeneio is painted the (Greek) national colours of blue and white. In addition to a massive picture of the Parthenon (a strong metaphor for being Greek), the walls are covered with pictures of famous freedom fighters from the Greek War of Independence (such as Kolokotronis and Bouboulina), as well as EOKA andartes, and an image celebrating Ohi Day (28th October). The undeniable message for those who frequent the place is one of shared struggle and a common identity.

Inside the Parthenon