Men in Skirts

Greeks have their own traditional pleated kilt that comes of the 19th century: it is called “foustanella”. It is worn by the guards of the former Royal Palace, the Evzones, (meaning the “well-belted” elite soldiers, a term traced in Homer’s times). It is made of 30 meters of white cotton material consisting 400 pleads symbolizing the years during which Greece was under Ottoman occupation. Nowadays, young men doing their service time are hand-picked for the Presidential guard according to specific categories, such as height (they have to be over 1.87 metres), character, moral outlook and good health, general appearance and stamina (just think how they’d look like in these kilt and the tights if they were short and not muscled). You can take your picture next to them and see if they blink. Every so often they do a little march to break the monotony of standing still all day and at 6pm you can watch the changing of the guards. Just make sure that you do not stand in their way; they are not allowed to stop for no reason and they are allowed to march-kick the obstacles with their pompom shoes.

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©Thanassis Karatzas

©Thanassis Karatzas