Smart Hands Kid's Workshop

Ages 3.5-12, 2 hour class/once a week

Life for rent - Paula Manoli-Gray

It's that horrible time of year again. The one when we get a whole pile of end-of-year bills all at the same time, totalling an amount that will cripple the average household, mine included.
And to top it all off, we have new bills, such as the infamous and much despised new property tax. It hardly makes owning a home worth it when you can't afford to maintain it, and I think we are going to see a big shift in attitudes towards certain things that were always considered the 'right-thing-to–do-as-a-grown-up'.

By this, I mean the old ways of getting an education in order to secure a decent job, and owning your own home as a natural next step in life. Even getting married may soon become obsolete.
With so many highly educated young people struggling to find work, and ultimately ending up in jobs that are not reflective of their skills and education, it seems as though the way forward is no longer to have a degree but to simply leave school and start working from the bottom up - or take on an apprenticeship for experience on the job. I know of many people who – whilst others were spending 3-6 years in education – quietly worked their way up the ladder and found themselves in a far more favourable position at the end of it then their peers who left university with a slew of papers. And with technology being what it is nowadays, it isn't hard to fabricate a degree. I am in no way advocating this, but I have to admit that having a degree didn't help me much in my chosen career as a writer (but I did enjoy university life immensely!).

In the same vein, renting seems to be the way forward when it comes to property; you may not own your property, but even many of those who own, do not truly 'own' (the bank does!), and if you are renting, then there is no headache of fixing and maintaining the property or having to fork out when things go wrong. There are also no property related bills and taxes to pay outside of your utility bills… they all go to the landlord. On top of that, you can rent the property of your dreams, for example, with a swimming pool, whilst those who own theirs can only dream of affording to put in a pool. Then if you get fed up, simply rent somewhere else!

As for marriage, in many European countries it isn't financially worth it to walk down the aisle – not before (with the astronomical costs of a wedding), or after (when you lose the tax breaks and benefits of cohabiters).

For Cypriots at least, the Cypriot wedding tradition of gifting money still often allows the couple to buy their first property, or at least put a hefty deposit down, and Cypriots still value education to the point that they will work two jobs to send their kids to university abroad. But with this current crisis, and my generation being the first to be worse off than the last, I do fear for my children and can't imagine what kind of rented, borrowed or heavily loaned life they will have to lead if ours is getting this bad, this quickly…

First appeared in The Cyprus Weekly 17/10/14

YOLO´s Halloween-Fun for Kids

Dimitraki Dianellou 90, 6050 Larnaka, Larnaca, Cyprus
Sunday, November 2
at 4:00pm - 7:00pm

Scary fun for children in the age of 5-10 yrs
Halloween themed theatre games, Scary parade, talent show disco and much more. Lots of fun for the small ones with entertainer Catherine Berger

Our quiet Garden is reserved for the parents

Drinks and treads for the children are included
entrance 5 € per Child

"Russian Masterpieces" - The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra

"Russian Masterpieces" - The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra with participation of the members of the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, maestro Yiorgos Kountouris and pianist Nicolas Melis interpret three outstanding symphonic works by three Great Russian masters of the romantic era: Glinka, Tchaikovksy and Rachmaninoff which encapsulate the passion, lyricism and strength of the Russian spirit! Co-organised with the Cyprus-Russian Friendship Association and the Russian Cultural Centre.

"Ρωσικά Αριστουργήματα" - H Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα Κύπρου με τη συμμετοχή μελών της Συμφωνικής Ορχήστρας Νέων Κύπρου, υπό την διεύθυνση του μαέστρου Γιώργου Κουντούρη και με σολίστ τον πιανίστα Νικόλα Μελή, παρουσιάζουν τρία αθάνατα συμφωνικά έργα των κορυφαίων Ρώσων συνθετών της ρομαντικής εποχής Glinka, Tchaikovsky και Rachmaninoff που αποτυπώνουν το πάθος, το λυρισμό και τη δύναμη του Ρωσικού πνεύματος! Σε συνδιοργάνωση με τον Κυπρορωσικό Σύνδεσμο Φιλίας και Πολιτιστικών Σχέσεων και το Ρωσικό Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο.

с участием членов Кипрского молодёжного симфонического оркестра

Ларнака: Четверг, 16 октября, Муниципальный театр
Никосия: Пятница, 17 октября, Муниципальный театр Строволос
Лимассол: Понедельник, 20 октября, Театр Риалто
Начало концертов в 20:30

Кипрский симфонический оркестр при участии членов Кипрского молодёжного симфонического оркестра под руководством известного кипрского дирижёра Йоргоса Кундуриса и с участием талантливого молодого кипрского пианиста Николаса Мелиса представляет концертную программу под названием "Русские шедевры". Оркестр исполнит три произведения гениальных русских композиторов, которые содержат в себе страсть, лирику и силу русского духа:
1. Глинка - Увертюра к опере "Руслан и Людмила"
2. Рахманинов - Концерт для фортепиано с оркестром № 2
3. Чайковский - Симфония № 5 
Вступительное слово об этих произведениях представит кларнетист и музыковед Ангелос Ангелидес.

Организаторы концерта: Фонд Кипрского симфонического оркестра, Ассоциация дружбы "Кипр-Россия" и Российский культурный центр. 

Билеты продаются в театральных кассах (тел. 24 665 794, 22 313 010, 77777745)
€ 12 и € 7 (18-26 лет и пенсионеры) / бесплатно до 18 лет.
Информация: 22 463144, 

При поддержке: Муниципалитета Ларнаки, Муниципалитета Лимассола, Театра Риалто. Информационные спонсоры: CYBC, радио «Русская волна», газеты «Вестник Кипра» и Cyprus Mail.

Laws? What laws? - Paula Manoli-Gray

Last week, the non-government organisation 'Reaction' called for stronger penalties for drivers 'who do not ensure their child passengers are seated properly'. About time, but I doubt it will be enforced.

It is horrifying to see how many parents pick their children up from school and pop them in the front seat, often without a seatbelt, and many times standing, or moving around.
I am in no way going to justify this extremely dangerous habit, and it is certainly not something I would ever do, but this is once again one of those situations where cultural attitudes play a large part, rather than neglect. Most of these parents are otherwise good, loving, committed parents, but they are completely ignorant and blasé about the dangers, because we live on a small island that is more like one big neighbourhood. They reason that they only live a few minutes from the school so it is okay; their journey is too short for anything to happen, and it is not worth arguing with the child about sitting in their seat for the sake of travelling a small distance, so what harm is there?

The harm is over 4,300 children killed in car-related accidents in the EU every year, with 32% of these pertaining to children who are actually in a vehicle at the time of the accident. In no way, shape or form is it something you can rationalise, and it is not okay to expose vulnerable little lives to these risks, when as a parent or guardian, the responsibility for a child's safety is in your hands.

In the same vein, people still smoke in the car, speak on their mobile phones, speed, drive under the influence of alcohol and avoid wearing a seatbelt. The reason is again a cultural one; it has always been this way in Cyprus and as the laws are rarely enforced, what's the big deal?

We desperately need an attitude change. Firstly, and most importantly, the powers-that-be need to enforce the laws they make. Whilst law-breaking citizens are at fault and are not justified in their actions, one can almost understand the attitude of not taking the law seriously when the lawmakers themselves don't. And anyway, most of the time you can dodge any penalties courtesy of koumbaro or the flash of some bare skin if you are tall and blonde.

We all know that despite a no-smoking law in covered/public places, lawmakers themselves are lighting up left, right and centre (visit a court on any given day...). We all know that after 11pm, club and bar owners are 'unofficially' given the green light to allow their patrons to smoke, and anyone who complains is a social pariah. We all know that only a small percentage of perpetrators of any law breaking (traffic violations etc) will actually be booked in the first place, whilst a blind eye will be turned to the rest (traffic wardens in Larnaca are good at this). Laws on the island are basically one big joke.

So, let's have a pop quiz. Which of these (very) common practises are illegal: parking on the pavement, planting trees on the pavements outside your house, letting your dog foul the streets, lighting a bonfire on a beach. Do you know? Who cares anyway… this is Cyprus my friend!

First appeared in The Cyprus Weekly, 10/10/14

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