MANIOT SOLIDARITY”:  20-YEAR ANNIVERSARY  –  CONCEPT AND EVOLUTION

The current “Maniot Solidarity” is the 241st issue is our newspaper. This means that for 20 continuous years, our newspaper has been reaching its Maniot and philo-Maniot readers every single month, without interruption or multiple-month issues.

   At the beginning of 1999, when our association decided to publish a Maniot newspaper, we were not aware of the difficulties involved in such an undertaking. However, for those of us who were determined  to devote our precious free time to this effort, our love for Mani was stronger than the difficulties. For the past 20 years, we have kept researching and publishing data referring to the heritage that our ancestors have bequeathed to us, connecting elements of the past to the needs of the present and the prospects for the future. We have been envisaging a bright and prosperous future for Mani and its future generations. With optimism and strong will we are devoted to continuing our publication.

The course of our efforts has not always been smooth. We have encountered many obstacles in our path. Through team work and determination, the members of our association and its leaders managed to overcome these obstacles. Print media has been hit hard in recent years, and the economic crisis in our country has made matters even worse. We had to mobilise all our forces and resources in order to survive. We are grateful to our loyal readership who has supported us during these hard times. It is due to their support and our determination that we have managed to survive.

At the 10th anniversary of our newspaper, we decided to go further by expanding our publishing efforts. As our knowledge of the history and the evolution of social data in our area improved, we broadened our horizons, and ventured for the first time into the publication of books referring to Mani. Our publications so far have been: “Guide to Tourist Investments”, “Pages from the History of Mani, Volume I”, and “Western Mani: Sightseeing  Important Sites, Starting in Kalamata”. We continued with the publication of the 2-volume book “Travel Routes in Outer, Inner and Lower Mani and Vardounia” with detailed information on various villages.

   As the 20th anniversary of our newspaper drew near, our publishing efforts turned to electronic media. We have redesigned our website www.maniatiki.gr , which is being visited by a disproportionately high number of readers, given the small population of Mani. We have also completed the second volume of the book “Pages from the History of Mani”, which covers the historical period until the revolution of 1821, which will be published soon. Through both our printed and electronic press publications, we have strived to present to Maniots and philo-Maniots the history, geography, customs and traditions of Mani in a structured and objective way. We feel that in the multicultural Mani of today, it is our moral duty to showcase the long history of small Maniot societies and their achievements as well as their struggles for retaining their freedom and administrative autonomy through the centuries.

In closing this article, we think that is is timely to repeat an excerpt from the lead article of our first issue of April 1999: “By publishing this newspaper, we hope to fill a void. Mani is characterised by sparse settlements and populations. The infertile soil, the need for work and the civil conflicts have forced a high number of Maniots to emigrate to other areas of Greece and abroad. However, Maniots retain their main characteristics: their love for the land of their ancestors, its institutions, the activities of its inhabitants and their concern for a prosperous future. Our newspaper intends to inform on all these issues, as they are developing in the present time, so that Maniots can learn reliably and objectively the news of our area. Mani is an area integrated with its inhabitants, who through heredity and century-long living in the same physical area have developed a common way of life and have distinguished themselves in the Greek struggles for independence. Our newspaper will strive to locate relevant information and data in hard-to-find archives and resources , so that it becomes known to Maniots, and particularly young Maniots, and so that it can inspire all of us in our way forward.”

   On the occasion of our 20th anniversary, we assure our readers that today, in 2019, our newspaper continues on the same course. The main ideas which were expressed in the previous paragraphs should be considered as an open invitation to our younger readership, to align with the goals of our publishing efforts and prepare themselves for the future.

                                                                                                                                                THE EDITORIAL BOARD

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