By Lorraine Eyre on January 17, 2012 in Interviews

American novelist and painter Henry Valentine Miller was once quoted as saying  “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Here in an exclusive interview, Ilias Missyris, originally from Xylokastro, Peloponnese, shares his thoughts and first-hand experiences on moving to Finland as a young man and how he adjusted to a new way of life and a fascinating culture.

First of all Ilias, I’d like to learn a little about your Greek background, your family here in Greece and where you grew up.
I was born fifty years ago in a very beautiful Greek town, Xylokastro, which is situated in the Peloponnese. I was one of three boys and my father was a telegraph school graduate who started his studies at the break of the second war and worked later on for OTE, the Greek telecommunications organization. My mother was a house wife, a brilliant cook and the manager of our home.


We were really lucky to be brought up by such good parents, so the first seven years of my childhood were just brilliant.  I still recall many great moments that we shared with our friends and relatives during our family get-togethers, and I can still hear the “clop-clop” of the taxi (a horse-drawn carriage) passing our street. Back then this was the transport for taking people to the nearby railway station, which was also our playground.