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You came over here to shoot the weeds?

You came over here to shoot the weeds?

  • March 1986, and Kostas Stamoulis captures wild tulips at the edges of Kalimassia and Tholopotami
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A bunch of kids from Kalimassia surge onto the vast meadow which blooms with scarlet tourkalalades, ready to playfully roll around among them and take photos that would keep the memory alive. It’s a local custom that’s been around for a long time, as numerous generations grew up looking forward to March, when their beloved flowers would lay down this red carpet.

Mr Dimos, however, seemed reluctant to share their enthusiasm. His plot was teeming with lalades, which would not only make for some unsuitable fodder but would also prevent the grass his animals were supposed to graze on from growing. “Hey, you Kalimassia boy, you came over here again to shoot the weeds? You may like them, but to me they’re a plot-eating disaster. I’m going to weed out every one of them; and what about those tourists who stomp all over my land!” Year after year, he would plow deeper and deeper to root them out in hopes of even completely hindering their sprouting the following year.

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Kalimassia’s Dimitris Melahrinoudis recalls: “During the German occupation, they used to eat tourkalalades bulbs. One day, when I was a kid, my mother had me get my father lunch in Vrahelno, where he and Koulaksis were digging with forks, so I got them a casserole filled with tourkalalades that my mother had stewed. I too grabbed a bite, but my stomach turned out to be too delicate for that, and that’s why I still remember it. Rarely would people put them in a vase, plucking them was considered a luxury back in the day. That’s the way it was back then. Fertilizers or pesticides that would eliminate them just weren’t available”.

Translated into English by Nikos Loutraris

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