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Anna narrates that she arrived in Greece from Iasio (Romania) in 2000 and, when she last visited her parents’ house in 2014, she wanted to take something with her, to remind her of home. She explains that, while she was still in Romania, she started studying in university, but she struggled with paying the rent, so she decided to go to Greece for a year, because she had an aunt living there.

I said okay, I will go to work, save some money and in a year I will come back and continue. I thought that in Greece the dogs walked and money followed. It’s an expression in Romanian, you know, that dogs have money hanging from their tail and you just go and pick them up.

Of course, one year is not enough to save up the money for a house, then I got used to living here, I was thinking, go back where, do what… Ten years after I first came here, I managed to buy a house in Romania but then I decided to sell it and buy a tavern, and so I did. It doesn’t exist anymore, because then I got pregnant and I couldn’t work anymore. At first, while I was pregnant, I would go to the tavern and there was another girl also working there. Later, once Maria was born, I would leave her for a few hours to my mother and I would go there from the tavern to breastfeed her, but I would see her eyes and that she was crying and I decided to stop doing that. I thought I can’t have both a family and a job, especially one like the one I had. Now I have four kids and I’m doing well.

When I came to Athens, at first I lived in Ilioupoli to work at a woman’s house, then I left. Generally, women that have come here from abroad have this story. Afterwards, I started working as a server, and then I got the tavern, which I kept for eight years, but because the job would start in the morning and finish at night, you couldn’t both have a family and work, no way. It was here, in Tavros.

At first I lived at Ilioupoli, then Nea Filadelfeia, then Kallithea, and eventually I came to Tavros. I moved house six times. Ever since I started a family, I’ve been living here.

Leaving from your own country… I’ll never do that again. I think that when someone leaves their roots, they enter this in-between state. I feel neither Romanian nor Greek, it’s incredible. I can’t say I’m either. I don’t know where I belong anymore. If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t do it again, I wouldn’t leave.

Anna tells us that she booked tickets to visit Romania for a month, along with her children.

I will go to the mountains again, to the fields, I’ll pick up flowers. I go crazy when I’m there. I’m counting the days to leave.

She continues explaining that this icon was her mother’s and that she never knew her father, as he died when she was only three years old.

It’s from the house I grew up in. Even if you’re doing well, once you’ve left the place where you grew up, you always feel like you’re missing something. A void, a melancholy. I keep the icon in my bedroom and every time I look at it I remember my childhood. It doesn’t have value as an icon, but to me it holds great value. It’s important because, to me, God is everything.


Creator of object:
Place / Country of creation:
Romania (Iasio)
Year / Era of creation:
Anna Zogaki
Type / Description of object:
Religious icon (Trinity)
Object route:
Romania (Iasio) – Greece (Ilioupoli – Nea Filadelfeia – Kallithea – Tavros)
Year / Era of movement:
Reason of movement:
License of digital image:

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