About the records of the Reading Room

Summing up the "aspects" of the Agiaso Reading room, we resort to describing various basic activities as presented in the book by Mr. Gianni Chr. Chatzivaileiou titled: READING ROOM- I ANAPTYXI- OF AGIASO ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF ACTION (1894-1994). Amongst other things the author of the book mentions [excerpts of the book are presented in the following text]:

Reading Room Library

The books of the Reading Room, which cover many fields of knowledge, are old and new, Greek and of foreign language. Many of them refer to ancient Greek and Latin philology and mainly derive from the library of the Philologists Dimitrio Chatzispyrou and Dimitrio Kypriou from Agiaso. In 1967 the library of Pano Papastavrou, special counselor to the Ministry of Labor, was handed to the Reading room. The library has many volumes and covers almost all fields of law. Special interest can be found in the older publications as well as in the few manuscripts.

Today, the Reading room offers a large study room. It also has a lending department that operates on a daily basis and accommodates many locals, especially students. The number of readers is vast mainly during the academic year.

Music

The Reading room has never lost its interest in music, phonetics and instrumental music. From the olden days, musicians were assigned to teach their art to the members that were talented and had an artistic disposition. In 1963 European music lessons were provided. Many years later, in 1954, a mandolin orchestra was established.

Due to the eagerness of Pano Pratso, plays that required music and dance, such as operettas, were performed. His attempt at collecting, preserving and utilizing the musical- folklore material of Agiaso is worth admiring. This material (video tapes) is a very valuable accession to the Reading Room.

Lecture- Literary Events

The Reading room has instituted, according to the first article of the Regulation of 1894, the realization of lectures.

Apart from the speeches many other events took place (memorials, literary memorials, musical-literary nights, dances) that were very successful.

Amateur Theater

The Reading room naturally adjusted to the spirit and the repertoire of the age and presented idyllic dramas, tragedies of national content, single act comedies and other similar performances. During its first stages, according to the information that exists, the following plays were performed: Sp. Peresiadis "Golfo"- "Slave"- "Esme", Nik. Karas "The lovers of an elderly man", I. Votsari "I psychokori kai o listarchos Krikelas", Vakalvasi "Dead without a candle", Bobby Anninou "Servant wanted", A. Pisti "Of course, of course", "Athanasios Diakos", D. Misitzi "Fiakas", Nik. Laskari "The bat's bone", K. Perveli "Giannoula" and perhaps a play by Dimitrio Vernardaki "Maria Doxapatri".

After the re-establishment of the Reading room, many attempts were made to improve the theatrical equipment. Old settings that had been destroyed due to use were replaced and the cloak room was completed.

Carnival

The Reading room was interested in the carnival from early on. In fact, in 1937, wanting to honor the benefactor Theodoro Koukouvala or Dougramatzi, it was decided that each year, during the carnival, the "Valeia" would be proclaimed and awards would be given to the best carnival participants. The union's goal was to maintain the custom. It was recommended that the carnival participants work in groups, attend to their costumes, respect the local dialect, maintain the natural satyr and sing "Sousa" and other traditional songs.

The Valeios contest was proclaimed for the first time 1938 and during the following years in 1939 and 1940. During the years of occupancy the contest stopped. In 1944 there was an attempt at trying to vivify the carnival events.

After the re-establishment of the Reading room there was an attempt at trying to vivify the custom of the "Headpiece" and the Valeios contest was proclaimed again (1955-1961, 1966-1970, 1975-1984). During 1971- 1974 the organization of the carnival events was handled by the Municipality of Agiaso. From 1985 onward the "Carnival and Cultural Union of Agiaso o Satyros" took its place.

Resource:

Chatzivaileiou G., Reading Room- I Anaptixi- of Agiaso, one hundred years of action (1894-1994 ).