Hellenics in South Australia: Sharing migration stories and photos of the days that were

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Photos of picnics, parties, christenings, name days and school celebrations. Faces brightened with wide smiles. Other times, stories about marriages that were not meant to happen, nostalgia for the homeland and tears for those left behind.

As the years go by the photos fade and so do the memories.

“Everything our generation has achieved we owe to these first immigrants. They have shaped our history we have the responsibility to keep their stories alive for the generations to come,” Doris Falidis Nickolas, author of the book ‘Life Has Two Doors’, tells The Greek Herald.

Born in Adelaide in 1967, to immigrant parents, Eleftherios from Elassona and Niki from Agios Panteleimonas in Pieria, Mrs. Falidis – Nickolas, recently created the Facebook group ‘Hellenics in South Australia’ to encourage more people to share their families’ immigration stories.

Doris with her husband Jim and her parents at the launch of the Greek version of her book/ Supplied by: Doris Falidis Nickolas

In 2016, Falidis-Nickolas self-published and launched her first book, a memoir of the lives of four young women from her mother’s village, who left their homeland in the 1950s and 1960s to embark on an adventure in search for a better future in Australia. A year later, the book was translated in Greek.

“After my book launch, I had people approaching me and sharing their stories. This is when I realised how many of them are untold. If we don’t have these [stories], are they happy or sad, easy or hard, we don’t have the facts to record history. Lessons can be learned even from the more difficult stories and the hardships.

“II would love if the group ‘Hellenics in South Australia’ motivates more people to share stories and photos and becomes a platform for them to connect,” says the author explaining how she rediscovered her own connection to her Greek heritage when she visited Greece after 34 years.

“My brothers and I grew up in a traditional family. We used to go to Greek school, attend dance classes and follow the traditions. I had been in Greece in 1976, when I was 9 years old. It was not before the second time though, that I felt I belonged, I felt at peace and at home,” she says.

Doris in Edessa with her family, 1976 / Supplied by: Doris Falidis Nickolas

Mrs Falidis -Nickolas is currently writing her second book.

“I’m writing another memoir about Greece, family and the connection our children form with their grandparents and the love affair with our home country,” she reveals.

Asking her to share her advice for the new generation of Greek Australians, she chooses to share what she always tells Angelo, Terry, Alicia and Christo, her own four children

“You are privileged to be of Greek background. Always embrace it and never lose it. Our parents and grandparents worked through the toughest of times yet they kept moving forward. Learn from them as much as you can. Resilience is embedded in us Greeks”.

READ ALSO: Begona Untold Stories: ‘I was not one of the brides. I enjoyed the journey’
READ ALSO: The story of a friendship that formed alongside the Greek brides of Begoña

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