Natassa Georgoulia, a Greek architect who spent five years working in Tinos, comes back this July to the island, this time as a new author, with her first novel «Dearest Ourania», that tells the story of a young Tinian girl who leaves her home and travels to Istambul at the turn of the 19th Century in order to make her living, as many others contemporaries from Tinos and the Cyclades.
Georgoulia came to Tinos in 2009 with a working contract. During her stay in the island, she spent a great part of her free time following hand crafts lesson as cooking, ceramic art, basket weaving and textile weaving.
The latest became an inspiration for a novel to Georgoulia, when she took textile weaving lessons at the Zarifεios Textile School in Tinos, founded in 1897 by its benefactor Zarifeios, who lived in Istambul and required the services of a Tinian wet nurse for his child.
The still standing textile school in Tinos has given a craft, work and hope to hundreds of young poor girls through three centuries who as other girls in the Cyclades Islands had to travel to Syros, Athens, or Esmirna, Istambul and Cairo, to work for rich families and were away from home for many years.
Ourania is away from Tinos for 10 years, while being in the Greek community of Constantinople at the old Ottoman Empire, she works, falls in love and bears a child, a girl, who she brings back to Tinos in 1897 and starts working at the just founded textile school.
«The history of the textile school was an inspiration for me. The story of all these women that went away. I identified a little bit myself with them: as a foreigner in Tinos, working away from home,» she said to vista.
«It took me a lot of research and endless hours at the local library studying historic books and old newspapers in order to collect the necessary information. And I had the kind help of the local ethnologists and academics,» she added.
Georgulia confessed that she didn’t expect such a prompt positive answer from an editing house. «Everything happened so fast. And when I said to myself that I wanted a break, I was already thinking on the subject of a new novel. This time it will be about an architect who inspires herself in the local customs and the popular philosophy».
Natassa Georgoulia’s book will be presented in Tinos at the Cultural Center of the Catholic Archdiocese «San Antonio» on Friday, 14th July at 08.00 pm. The local Choir of Komi will perform a repertory of songs with reference to the emigration and the alien status through Human history.