The Historical Society group, Grafton NSW
Author: Chryssanthopoulou, Vassiliki
Abstract: "www.kythera-family.net and www.australianfriendskastellorizo.org are two websites created and maintained by members of two greek-Australian ethno-regional diaspora communities, namely the Kytherians and the Castellorizians of Australia. The sites include information on Kythera and Castellorizo, their history and culture, instructions on how to create family trees, etc., all of which is interactively shared among users of the websites. The sites also include personal blogs, newsletters, questionnaires and petitions to improve quality of life on the two islands, Kythera and Castellorizo. Narratives, mostly written, but also visual, form a large part of these websites, covering various areas of folk culture and tradition, such as local history, social life (festivals and rituals, traditional skills and professions), local stories and jokes, people’s memories, material culture and songs. By analyzing a number of these narratives, I attempt to discuss the role and the importance of diaspora community websites in: 1. providing space for the collection, preservation, development and sharing among their member-users, of material pertaining to the folklore and ethnography of these communities; and 2. contributing in this way to the forging, maintenance and negotiation of a powerful and real – albeit virtually manifested – sense of origin and belonging among their users."
Presented in the 16th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research, Narratives Across Space and Time: Transmissions and Adaptations, June 21-27, 2009. Athens.