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  • Julian Napier

OXI DAY - 28th October

The day the greeks said no to an ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940. Mussolini demanded Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy strategic locations or otherwise face war. Greek dictator Ioannis Mataxa allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!). However, his actual reply was, “Alors c'est la guerre!” (Then it is war!).

Oxi Day is commemorated annually in Greece and Cyprus with military and student parades and with festivities among Greek communities all over the world. It is a day which captivates the great pride of the Greek nation, for their courage in defiance of overwhelming military opposition.

Residents of the village of Kritsa, Crete, turn out in number for the commemorative service at the church of Panagia Odigitria.

It is a day when young and old all take to the streets

It is a day of pride and also remembrance.

Students of all ages parade in the street, some in school uniform, others in traditional village costume.

A little stage fright can overcome anyone!

These photos were taken in my new home village of Kritsa in the province of Lassithi, Crete. I extend my gratitude and blessings to its wonderful residents, who are making mine and my partner's transition there a warm and welcoming one. Xronia Polla

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