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April 2010

 

Dear Friends of Kythera,

as many of you have already experienced, the design relaunch of Kythera-Family.net is completed and, except for a few "bugs" which we have been working to eliminate, the site is running smoothly and is more popular than ever! Like a newspaper, the site now features new articles and pictures each day, and on each category page you can see the most popular articles in that particular category in the right-hand column. Thus simply browsing the site - as opposed to searching for something specific - is even easier and is sure to reveal dozens of great entries you might otherwise never have discovered.   

Although the relaunch is complete, we are still implementing improvements such as allowing YouTube videos about Kythera to be "embedded" in the site (thanks for the suggestion Vikki!). Please send us your suggestions too!

At the beginning of the week the decision was finally made as to which airline will fly the Athens-Kythera route this summer. Athens Airways has had its concession renewed, and it should be possible to book tickets on their website at http://www.athensairways.com/en soon. The tickets should cost about €50 each way. 

Some Dutch friends of mine living on Kythera - Anita and Albert - not only have built an enchanting traditional guest-house on Kythera (see www.agreekisland.com), they've also taken hundreds of pictures of the wild-flowers and churches on the island and created a collection which must be one of the most complete of its kind. And the best part: they've put them all online for the world to enjoy at the click of a link. Scroll down to see a couple of their pictures as well as the links. 

Regards from a beautiful Spring day in Berlin,

James Prineas
KFN Team-Leader Europe



Visit our partner websites:

www.savekythera.com
 (english)

www.save-kythira.com
 (greek)

www.kythera-hiking.com


www.kythera-island.com


www.visitdaphne.com


www.pantonia-apartments.com


www.agreekisland.com


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Asarti
Agricultural products & associated activities on Kythera Island
"Our company Astarti is based on the island of Kythera-Greece and has been involved in organic farming since 1992 when Harry Tzortzopoulos, on completion of his studies in agriculture, returned to his forefathers’ island to take over the family olive groves"...
Visit the Website

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CHURCHES AND WILDFLOWERS OF KYTHERA

Click here for more than 250 Wildflowers of Kythira
In the next months we will continue our search for new flowers and add them to the collection. 
 
Click here for more than 70 Churches of Kythira
We will not stop until we have photographed every single one of the approximately 400 to 500 churches of Kythira.


www.agreekisland.com


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JAMES FARDOULYS: A QUEENSLAND NAIVE ARTIST
27 March – 20 June 2010
Xstrata Coal Queensland Artist’s Gallery (Gallery 14)
!!Please note the program advertised in this newsletter in January for Sunday 18 April is no longer going ahead!!
Queensland Art Gallery
James Fardoulys (1900–75) was born in Kythera in Greece and came to Australia in 1914. In his youth he worked in various cafes in south-western Queensland, married a ventriloquist and conducted his own troupe of performers in the country. When the Olympia Café at Goondiwindi was destroyed by fire in 1931 he and his family came to Brisbane where he worked as a taxi driver for the next 29 years. After his retirement, Fardoulys began to paint seriously and by the time of his death had a substantial output of paintings. Naïve art became generally appreciated throughout Australia from the early 1960s and James Fardoulys' work was enthusiastically promoted by local art critic Dr Gertrude Langer and artist Roy Churcher. During his short burst of activity, Fardoulys became one of the most prominent and widely appreciated naïve painters in Australia.
Gallery talks
2.00pm Thursday 8 April | Queensland Art Gallery 
Insights into the work of James Fardoulys with Glenn Cooke, Research Curator, Queensland Heritage and the artist's son, Peter Fardoulys. Free. No bookings required.
11.00am Thursday 20 May | Queensland Art Gallery 
Join Glenn Cooke, Research Curator, Queensland Heritage, on a tour of the exhibition. Free. No bookings required.
Exhibition catalogue
The exhibition is accompanied by a 64 page publication that includes essays by Glenn Cooke, Research Curator, Queensland Heritage, QAG, Denis Conomos, the author of The Greeks in Queensland: A History from 1859-1945 and senior Brisbane artist Leonard Brown. This will be available for purchase from the 27 March at the Gallery Store or online at www.australianartbooks.com
Street address:
Queensland Art Gallery
Stanley Place,
South Bank,
Queensland, Australia
 
General inquiries:
Telephone + 61 (0)7 3840 7303

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The American College of Greece presents the exhibition

"The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn"
Author of Japan that was born in Greece

WHAT: Art Exhibition "The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn" to celebrate the 110 years of Friendship between Greece and Japan.
WHERE: ACG Art Gallery, The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street, Agia Paraskevi.
WHEN: 13 October 2009 – 28 May 2010.

ATHENS. – ACG Art of The American College of Greece, on the occasion of celebrating the 110th Anniversary of Friendship between Greece and Japan aiming at its perpetuation, launches the contemporary art exhibition entitled "The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn", curated by Megakles Rogakos, for the Greek-born Japanese writer Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904).

Born in Lefkada Island of Greece to Irish surgeon-major Charles Hearn and Rosa Antoniou Kassimati from Kythera Island, studying in Durham of England, working in the United States, and choosing to make Matsue his home and Japan his country, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) became the epitome of a personality bridging complimentary cultures. Lafcadio is the supreme embodiment of the achievement of open mind. His example teaches the fact there is no higher calling than tolerating 'otherness', and no richer way of life than one spent pursuing the creative truth, no greater responsibility than holding a mirror up to society, no greater challenge or mystery than marrying our dream life to our waking life. By opening his mind Lafcadio opened his heart to humanity, and led to peace within his self and ultimately the world.

"The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn" exhibition features artworks from 47 artists, inspired by Lafcadio Hearn's life and work, from the ACG Art collection that cover all art forms (painting, photography, sculpture etc.) and types (from naturalism to conceptual art). 

The exhibition is enriched with contemporary music composed especially for the occasion by the noted composer Frans-Jan Wind (Holland).

The exhibition will remain open to the public Monday through Friday 09:00 – 21:00 until 28 May 2010.
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue with original texts by ACG Art Curator Megakles Rogakos will accompany the exhibition gratis.

On 27 June 2010, which marks the 160th anniversary from the birth of Lafcadio Hearn, the exhibition will reopen at the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue, Japan.

INFORMATION:  Harilaos H. Daskalothanassis, Director of Media Relations, 
The American College of Greece
6 Gravias Street, Agia Paraskevi 15342 Greece 
+30210 6009800 ext.1473 -
 
 
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The Great Walls of Kythera Book Project

If you received previous newsletters you'll know that we've announced a new book/exhibition project entitled "The Great Walls of Kythera". Dozens of pictures have already been uploaded to the Great Walls category of the site. It's not too late to send in your pictures - in fact, you have a whole year so if you'll be on the island this year you still have time to shoot new ones if you don't have any in your current collection. In February next year we'll chose the best of the pictures and in addition to publishing a book of them, we will also try to organise a travelling exhibition of them.

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LIFE IN KYTHERA - BACK IN THE DAY
by Maria of Lourandianika

 
Recently, I said good-bye to my beloved mother as she was taken into God’s care. She has now joined the love of her life, my father, and although the pain is still so difficult to bear, I take comfort in knowing that my parents are together again. 

Memories came flooding back to me as I received messages of condolences for my loss, from friends and relatives from my past.  This caused me to find my old “trastrio”, which is the name for the bags which we buy in Greece. This “trastrio”, such a simple bag, was purchased over 50 years ago and is filled with memories. Photos of loved ones are kept here with other special memories. Searching for photos to put faces to names, most taken at my 21st birthday party, I found myself looking at them as they were then. I had not considered that the years had changed the faces I remembered so well. Not having a photo of my mother in her latter years has played heavily on my heart and mind.  I chose a photograph of her with my father taken at my 21st birthday party. How beautiful she looked, dressed simply but smartly, as she was well known for, sitting next to my father who was as always, groomed so perfectly.  I stood beside them, my hand on my mother’s shoulder. The years seemed to melt away as I look at this photo, bringing back even more memories, filling my heart again with sadness as I selfishly long for my parents.

My parents sent me to the hairdresser to have my hair styled for the wonderful party which was going to take place that evening. The dress my mother had made me was ready, waiting for the evening "glendi", after days of preparing food. My mother will always be remembered for her elaborate spreads. As my mother put the final touches to her food, my father began setting the lights which would be turned on that evening. The lights, in so many different colours, would bring the large garden and outdoor area alive, making the atmosphere so festive. I looked forward to my guests arriving, being welcomed with music and the smell of the delicacies that my mother had prepared.

My memory bag also held photographs of weddings, both of family and close friends.  Photos showing myself as a bridesmaid caused me to ask after one couple, at whose wedding I had been honoured to be a bridesmaid and part of their special day. The memory had never faded, as I remembered the peach coloured dress that the bride had chosen. It was more exciting for me, as it was such a beautiful dress, but not allowed by my mother’s very strict standards of what I was permitted to wear. The piece covering my shoulders could be removed, leaving them bare, thus making this day even more exciting.  
My walk down memory lane faltered as it had done before. I had previously been shown photographs of faces of loved ones, whom I did not recognise. This was not whom I was searching for, forgetting that with the passing of years, their appearance would have changed from what I remembered. I turn more and more to this bag, which has weathered time and shows no sign of how far it has travelled filled with its precious contents. My koumbaro said to me recently that when our Kytherian families come together at funerals, he is surprised to see that the many friends he had lost touch with over the years look so much older now. He reminds himself that he too must look very different now. 

My memory bag contains even more treasures. My mother had made me such an exquisite dress to wear to my first ball at which I was to be presented as a debutante. I had spent eight months in bed with rheumatic fever, followed by many hours of physical therapy to learn to walk again. My night was not all that I wished it to be, as I was limited to only being presented and the debutantes waltz, but I was so grateful that I could attend my first ball.

The evening began with my father having arranged for me to be picked up in a limousine and have my photos taken at a photo studio. My mother had spent so many hours hand-sewing hundreds of diamantes on to the magnificent dress she made for me. As I moved, the lights picked up the diamantes, making my dress sparkle and I felt like a princess. I was presented and then had my first waltz with my partner.  Flowers were delivered to our table… so many sheathes, making this a perfect evening. I was extremely grateful for being permitted to attend as I overlooked the restrictions which I had to adhere to, under the watchful eye of our family doctor. It truly was perfect. 

Back in those days, we lived by strict Kytherian standards in our home and my parents were forever watchful, instilling in their daughters high standards. My father believed strongly in introducing his children to his belief of what standards he expected us to live by. Many parents show great concern that their children may be led astray by peer pressure. My father would sit at the dinner table and instead of having us drink a glass of milk with our meal, he preferred that we drink a glass of beer with lemonade or a glass of stout beer. Each time when a special Holy day was being observed, he would bring out his treasured crystal glasses from where he kept them, in the unit that he was so proud of. He would carefully pour in the brandy, adding clove cordial and then we would raise our glasses, acknowledging the day that we were celebrating. My father’s pride and joy, his magnificent unit, was a point which caused my father and my husband to differ in their opinions. My father strongly believed that the pattern on the panels of his treasured cabinet was cut from trees and part of a log with this beautiful pattern extending through the thickness of the panel.  My husband was a cabinet maker who worked with such timber since finishing high school and entering a trade school. He told my father that the panels were a veneer finish. My father refused to believe this and it was felt that it would be for the best to allow him to have his opinion. The Kytherian community embraced my husband and recognised his talent, asking him to make many pieces of furniture for them. He always speaks so highly of our community, having been warmly accepted.

As we approach our 42 years of married life, I find myself still turning to my father’s photograph on my wall each day, saying a prayer as I wake, speaking to him and also to my beloved mother now. My parents will live on in the hearts of all who loved them. When strangers stop at the gate at the front of the family home, will they see the baby pink roses which would bloom so beautifully on the white lattice? The small pink roses became so special to me. They symbolise my father to me. 

Does the rockery along the side path still have the huge clam and sea shells set amongst the flowers that my father loved so much? I remember my mother collecting sweet peas from the fence, which extended the length of one side of the garden. Even after blooms were cut and given to guests as they were leaving, there was no sign of the missing flowers as a blaze of colour brightened this garden, tendered so lovingly by my father for as long as he was capable of doing so. Is my father’s treasured garden, in which we spent so much of our life tending together still full of blooms? I dedicate this final farewell to my parents, together once again by the Grace of God. I pray, knowing my prayers are not going unheard.  The special ‘feeling’ which I receive when I ask for guidance from my father, my Uncle Nick, The Mertidiotisa and now my mother, is being answered. I thank God that they are together once again.
 
Maria (Marcellos) Whyte

4 Trinity Crescent.,
Sippy Downs 4556
Queensland.

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RECENT MESSAGE BOARD ENTRIES


Looking for a Kytherian friend I met a long time ago
My name is Mariola and I'm from Spain. In July-August, 1992 I went to Greece. During that trip I spent about 10 days on beautiful Kythera, over there me and David, my boyfriend then, met this great person named Nicholas (if I recall correctly I'm really bad at names). His family was originally from Kythera, although he was Australian first generation. He was very ill I remember.... anyway he showed us the island and was the best host and guide one could ever imagine, he was in his late 30's early 40's at the time, he also introduced us to his lovely family. He drove a blue English convertible luxury sport-car. He got sick during our stay and had to be taken to the hospital on the mainland. We haven't heard from him since then. If anyone can help me find "Nicholas" please contact me at mariolareyATTyahoo.es
thank you very much

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Topic: The Book Of Vilah - Greek Festival of Sydney 2010
It is with great pleasure we announce that the performance THE BOOK OF VILAH will be part of The Greek Festival 2010.
Here is a brief description of the performance.

The Book Of Vilah is a story told in dialogue, music and painting. The inspiration for the performance is drawn from the rich history of the island Kythera during the times of the infamous pirate "Barbarossa" 

Vilah, the bastard son Barbarossa, tells his story from a goal cell after wrongly being imprisoned for his lover's murder. With his mind now free he is able to explore the depths of his emotion and immortalise them on canvas.

With a moving performance by Alex Sideratos and original, live, music written by Valerios Calocerinos The Book Of Vilah embodies that of the classic tragedy in an innovative and gripping manner.

We will be performing a full show at The Vangaurd in Newtown on May 27th. There will be other shows TBA. Dinner is also available at The Vangaurd. 

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Family Tree of Diacakis-Megalokonomos family
submitted by Antigone Diacakis, 10.02.2010

Going back until 1883 we are under the name of Diacakis. Then it seems they were called Megalokonomos or Diacakis/Megalokonomos. Anyone knows anything relating those names? 



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Topic: children's poems
My YiaYia taught me a poem when I was a child but I can only remember the first words: Koukla agapemenou...Does anyone know the rest? Also, there's a counting poem that's religious. In English it would mean "1 God....4 Gospels". Does anyone know the Greek words to this?
Anne Coward

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George Emanuel Kasimatis Family History Search
I am looking to get information on my grandfather George Emanuel Kasimatis. I believe he was born around 1888. His siblings names were Anthony (Antoni) Demitri, Angelo and Froso. He may have had one more sister who died young named Sophia. He migrated to America in the early 1900's and ended up returning to Kythera around 1925. He was married to Grigoria Lazaretou and had 3 sons Emanuel, Kostantinos and Angelo. Any information you may have could be helpful.
many thanks
Helen Kasimatis-Papanagnostou

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42 Megawatts of Turbines above Agia Pelagia?


Our campaign to stop the desecration of the Kytherian skyline is well underway. The SaveKythera.com site is a mine of information regarding the number and source of applications from big-business to construct hundreds of MW of Wind-Towers on the island. Those businesses - they are profit motivated and not ecological foundations - are looking to cash in on the lucrative subsidies on offer in Greece. Subsidies which have, by the way, been phased out in most other European countries because they have discovered there are more efficient ways to reduce CO2 with the billions they have already wasted on subsidising wind-farms. By 2020 Germany, for example, will have spent a whopping 77 Billion Euros (A$119 Billion) to prop up the wind-generator sector, and that will only reduce the CO2 emissions from the energy sector by around 20%. Using the same money to improve existing efficiency of current technology and to develop CO2 capture technology might have created a reduction of at least twice that. So before you make the assumption that any wind-generator is a good wind-generator, take a look at our site and find out more. The Greek version of the site is now online at www.save-kythira.com. And our new online petition is gathering signatures and comments. You can view and/or sign it at http://savekythera.com/the-resistance-petition/.

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A Not So Bare Tree
by Gaye Hegeman

At the very heart of searching for our ancestors is the desire to connect and belong. Always on the look out for clues, to fill in the missing pieces of our Andronicos family tree, my habit of regularly checking the ‘recent entries’ on the kythera-family.net web site has finally paid off. By ‘regular,’ I mean at least once a day and more often than not, twice a day - morning and evening. I decided to do this after I found that it took far too long to flick through page after page of past entries especially when it occurred to me that I might easily miss a vital piece of information.

After my grandfather, Theo Andronicos, passed away in 1948, contact with family on the Island ended. My mother and her brothers were raised in an era, after World War 1, when the Australian government’s policy of assimilation was emphasised and grandfather, who was a law abiding citizen was eager to comply.  Neither my mother nor her brothers learned to speak Greek. The very thing that gave away their origins however were their names, which attracted hurtful racial slurs from school mates on one hand and unkind remarks from Greek acquaintances because they did not speak the language.  Without the love and support of an extended family of grandparents, aunts or uncles they did not fit comfortably within either the predominant Anglo-Celtic or minority Greek communities. It was only my mother, who had always been close to her father who carried a sense of pride across to the next generation.

Through the kythera-family.net web site I recently discovered that we have relatives in the U.S. To be more exact, they are my mother’s second cousins and their descendants.  Ironically, when we travelled to the Island in 2005 we obtained, through the archives at the castle mount at Chora our direct Andronicos line dating back to 1670. However this information was like a bare tree, just names and dates which did not bring us any closer to finding a living relative.  On our return to Australia, we were so excited and couldn’t wait to tell our mother about the many ancestors we had discovered. Disappointingly, she expressed disbelief - not at all the kind of response we had expected.  

Doing the ground work was essential. Grandfather’s Australian marriage and death certificates provided information about his parents, their names and his father’s occupation. A certificate obtained from the records office at Potamos in 1983, confirmed that grandfather and his family had lived in Potamos and also included the age of each family member.  Knowing the approximate year of their birth helped immeasurably in finding my great-grandfather’s birth and marriage certificates. My great-grandfather George Andronicos was born at Kousounari in 1849 and his birth certificate not only included the name of his father, Manoli, but also the name of his grandfather, Zacharias.  It was with all this information in hand that we sought out the archivist at Chora in 2005. Besides filling in a few gaps in the information that I had already researched she provided much more. I discovered that Manoli, my great-great grandfather was married to Kalomira Theodorakakis, and that his father Zacharias my great-great-great grandfather, had married Zoe Logothetis. Imagine my excitement and utter disbelief when I clicked onto ‘recent entries’ in December 2009 on the kythera-family web site and read a message submitted by Nikos Andronikos in which he mentioned that he was a descendant of Zacharias and Zoe and Emmanuel and Kalomira. 

We were so excited to meet one another. This is the first time either of us had found a living relative from the Island. Since then emails have flown back and forth and we quickly established that his grandfather John, and my mother’s grandfather George, were brothers. We have exchanged photographs scrutinising them for similarities in appearance.  That was a lot of fun. And best of all, Nikos and his wife will be meeting us on the Island in April when we hope to do some really serious research to fill in the remaining gaps in our family tree. Two months ago I could never have imagined anything like this happening.  Life can be full of surprises!

Gaye Hegeman

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Life Story of Stavroula (Violet) Theodorakakis (Cordato)
Interview by Maria Mihailidis, submitted by Anna Avgoustou

I  was born on January 13, 1928, in Potamos, Kythera. My father's name was Dionysius Theodorakakis and my mother's name was Marigo Mazaraki. I was the youngest of five, with four older brothers, Kiriakos (Kerry), Ioannis (John), Gerasimos and Manuel. Manual died as an infant at 6 months and Gerasimos at 20 years.

My father (also known as Denny) spent many years in Australia, working with his nephews in cafes throughout country NSW. In Australia, they took on their family nickname as their surname, Cordato, and the Cordato Brothers had cafes in many towns including Dubbo, Casino, Glen Innes, Armidale and Hillston. My father returned to Greece to retire by 1927.

My brothers were sent to Australia to join the family business: John in 1936 and Kerry in 1938. I remained in Kythera with my parents, virtually an only child. As the war was finishing in 1945 my parents fell ill. My father passed away on February 8, 1945 and my mother on October 6, 1945.

Orphaned at 17, I locked the house, packing all its contents into one room, and travelled to Piraeus to live with my mother's first cousin and her family. My father had accumulated reasonable wealth after years of hard work in Australia, and I was a good prospect for marriage in Greece considering my sizeable dowry. However, my dream was to join my brothers in Australia and so my brothers began organising the paperwork for my passage. In May 1946 I returned to Kythera for six months, arranging our family home to be rented. I returned to Piraeus that October, whereupon all my paperwork came through approved for my trip to Australia.

In February 1947 I sailed to Egypt, staying in Port Said for 17 days. I then embarked on my forty-day journey to Australia on the SS MISR. Other Kytherian families opted to remain in Port Said to wait for another boat, but I was keen to join my brothers. There were 18 Kytherians on the MISR, including my cousin Irene Steliou.

As the MISR left the Suez Canal the refrigeration broke down and all the fresh produce was thrown overboard. We lived on a minimal diet of pasta, rice, grapefruit and rotten eggs. 

As the MISR was a military ship, we were confined to sleeping in the galleys below. Bunk stacked on top of bunk in dormitory style. My cousin Irene slept on the bunk above me. When the heat became unbearable we slept on deck, not far from the Egyptian ship-workers. A close family friend, "uncle" Kiriakos Trifilis would often stay close by on these occasions, keeping a watchful eye. One girlfriend refused to sleep downstairs at first because of the stench, and slept on the deck-chairs above. She quickly changed her mind one evening when she was nearly swept overboard during a storm. 

Many days were spent lying on our canvas beds downstairs as the ship battled monster swells. It was impossible to venture upstairs to the dining area, and one could hear crockery and furniture being tossed from one side of the ship to the other. 

We showered with cold sea-water, and were soon lice-infected. Even our "clean" sheets had lice on them. There were some memorable moments on our adventure. In Mombasa we saw monkeys hanging from the trees as we walked from the port to the town. In Durban, we ate at a "posh" restaurant, confused by the different cutlery to be used to eat each course. 

Upon reaching Fremantle, Irene and I came up on dock to see the harbour, but we did not venture out as we had no friends or family to meet. Some of our travelling companions returned with servings of food and shared these with us. 

When we reached Melbourne we were met by my brother John and cousin Archie. There were no trains due to a strike, and transport by private bus was arranged to Sydney, after a few days stay at cousin Archie's house at Enfield (Archie was married to Irene's sister, Poppy). I continued my journey with John to Hillston, where I would be living with Kerry and John for the next 18 months, working at our family cafe (Called the "Real Cafe"). I was to learn English then in 6 months, visiting the local convents to have English tutoring by the Catholic Nuns. My brother and I moved to Campsie, Sydney, to open a new cafe, and I worked there for the next 7 years, until meeting my husband, Harry Dimitratos, and opening our fish and chip shops on Victoria Rd, West Ryde. We remained there for 14 years until our retirement and raised our three daughters there - Katherine, Maria and Anna. 

On arrival in Australia the whole family legally adopted the surname Cordato, which had been the family nickname, as it was much easier to use in a new country. In Greece the surname remains as Theodorakakis and this is what I was registered as when I travelled.

Stavroula Theodorakakis (now Violet Dimitatos)
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Help in writing an Oral History
Here are some questions which might come in handy if you are writing your life story or interviewing someone about theirs. It is adapted for this site from a list compiled by Heather Venn.


1. Your Birth
- Where and when were you born?
- Was there anything special about that day?
- Were you born on the way to hospital or in the family home?
- Are there any anecdotes about you as a baby?
- Did you have any health problems or were you particularly lively as a baby or toddler?
- Are there any significant or funny family stories surrounding your birth or early childhood?


2. Your Family
- What do you know about your parents and grandparents?
- What were their names and nicknames?
- Do you know where and when they were born?
- What did they look like?
- Did anything exciting happen to them?
- How many brothers and sisters do you have?
- Were you born into a large family or were you the only child?
- Can you remember your first family home?
- What was your childhood like?
- Did you have to share a room with your brothers of sisters?
- Can you remember what it was like?
- How have your relationships with your siblings and parents developed over the years?


3. Home
- Where did you grow up?
- Did you move house, to another city, another state, or another country?
- What was It like to move?
- What was your favourite home town?
- What was it like growing up where you did?
- What were the people in your home town like?
- What did your home look like?
- What changes did you notice over time?


4. Childhood
- When did you first go to school?
- What school did you go to?
- Who was your best friend when you were small?
- Was school a positive experience for you?
- What did you do during the school holidays?
- Did you play sport?
- What toy was all the rage when you were at school?
- Did you learn to dance?
- Did you have any favourite toys?
- What were your favourite books?
- What work did your parents do?
- Did you help them?
- Do you remember any extreme weather you experienced as a child?


5. Animals
- Did you have any animals around the house or in the fields?
- Did you help with them?


6. Special Events
- Do you have any memories of Christmas Day or Easter?
- Did you go to church?
- Did you have a special family traditions?
- Did you visit relatives for special events or holidays?
- How did they celebrate their special days?
- What was the rest of the community's reaction to your family's special celebrations?
- Did your family have a special tradition all of its own?
- Did you go on holiday to a special summer/winter place where your family went?
- What was your favourite New Year's Eve?
- Where did you go?
- Who was with you with?


7. Teen years
- What can you remember about becoming a teenager?
- Did you grow quickly or did your school mates sprout up before you?
- Did you cruise through puberty or was it a difficult time for you?
- What secondary school did you go to?
- What differences did you notice about the kids around you?
- Did you settle in easily?
- Did you find study difficult?
- What were your favourite subjects?
- Who were your favourite teachers?
- Did you play sport for your school?
- Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Did you ever get to the movies as a child?
- What movies did you watch that you remember fondly?
- What did you do for entertainment?
- Did you listen to radio?
- Were you interested in the fashions of your day?
- Did you wear clothes that are funny to look at now?
- Are they back in fashion?


8. Adulthood
- What was your first job?
- Did you enjoy your job?
- What career did you hope to have?
- What was the best/worst job you ever had?
- When did you move out of home?
- Did you travel?
- Who was your first love?
- When did you marry - do you remember the first time you met?
- What was the first home you owned like?
- Did you join any community or political organisations?
- Did you continue or return to study?
- What changes in career path did you choose to take them?
- When did you decide if you wanted to become a parent?
- What were your reasons?
- What other life decisions did you make as an adult, that was different from how you were raised?
- Did your beliefs change, as you grew older?


9. Migration (If you or your parents migrated)
- When was the decision made to migrate? Did you want to stay?
- Did your whole family come?
- Where did the journey start and where did you stop on the way?
- What was the journey like?
- Where did it end?
- What were the first reactions upon seeing the new country?
- Were relatives awaiting you?
- Did you feel welcome?
- What did you do in the first few days after the arrival?


10. Highlights
- What were the most wonderful experiences of your life? (falling in love, getting married, children being born, winning something, helping someone, meeting someone?).


11. Tragedies
- Do you remember the most difficult moments in your life? Would you like to reveal them?


12. Differences
What cultural differences did your family have from mainstream society?
Did you experience a culture clash?
What cultural traditions did you follow?
Did you experience greater difficulties, as you grew older?
Did you embrace your family's traditions or rebel?


13. Your Wisdom
- What experiences have made you who you are?
- What things have you learned which you would like to pass on to the reader of your biography?
- Experiences about family, friends, money, expectations, life?


14. Friends
- Try to remember as many of your friends as you can.
- If you have any school photos, go through them and try to remember their names, then try to remember something about them.
- Who were your school-yard friends?
- Who were your work friends?
- Who were your special friends?
- Did you lose contact with some friends and then meet up with them years after?
- Did you become friends again?
- Think about the friends you have today and compare them to the friends of your past.
- How different or similar are they?


15. Conclusion
- How would you sum up your life?
- What would you like to be remembered for?