the great taxi strike
18 July 2011 - the great taxi strike began- and we were caught in the middle of it. For weeks and weeks it meant roads blocked and no access to ports & airports, except on foot or by public transportation. For us it meant leaving the Pireus harbour on foot and walking to catch the train into the city - and getting to see a little bit of this area... it was hot and we had a baby in a stroller. Striking taxi drivers were really nice to the baby and apologised for the inconvenience. Pireus was quite fun, after all.
In the 1920s, Piraeus was overloaded with Greek refugees from Turkey, many who spoke no Greek. They had nothing, no place to live, no jobs. They quickly became the new underclass.
One thing they did bring was music. It sprung up in the tekedes (hash bars) of Piraeus and was called Rebetika, or the Greek version of Blues. The songs about a harsh life involving drugs, crime, and life in the gutter quickly became mainstream, and musicians like Markos Vamvakaris made popular recordings.
In 1936, the Greek government began to censor the recordings by not allowing references to drugs or crime, tearing down tekedes, and harrassing and throwing many Rebetes in jail. They even outlawed the bouzouki for a short time.
After WWII and the civil war, the Rebetika started making a comeback in the mainstream and became popular all over the country with composers like Vasili Tsitsanis, but this time the theme of the songs were mostly about love.
The decline of this style of music began in the 1960s, but it is kept alive today by musicians like Giorgos Dalaras, who is an amazing performer and popular around the world.
In my opinion, the sounds of this style are the best of all the styles of Greek music.
Like you all know, fishing is one of the most important economic activity in Greece.
Like all day, the fisherman are working on their nets!!
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