The place of women in Skopelos' cafe society
By Sofia, Dec 14 2019 10:02AM
They might not be seen in the atmosphere of the traditional kafeneon of Skopelos but women are very much a part of the cafe society in Skopelos. Unlike their menfolk, women prefer an elegant and comfortable establishment to meet their friends for a cup of coffee and a chat, usually in the morning.
An interesting diversion from the traditional kafeneon is the IDEA Emporium Cafe. The owners (a mother and daughter) display the latest fashions which they brought to the island to sell. Part of the shop is a smart elegant clothes shop; the other is the bar, serving all kinds of drinks and refreshments. In early morning there are freshly baked pastry and pies to enjoy with the cup of coffee. The Little Coffee Shop is another establishment favoured by Skopelos women for its atmosphere and seclusion in the lanes of the old town.
The days when a woman was - in the main - around her home and family seem to be fading. Then, women were mostly confined to the neighborhood they lived in. A coffee break was taken between the daily chores in the company of other women of the neighborhood and they would take turns to make the coffee for the whole group. Over a cup of coffee, many a varied problem was solved and the women would catch up with the gossip, usually brought in by the men from their places of work. 'Advice' on the relationships of the younger generations was a further popular theme! One still comes across such traditional coffee group circles in the lanes of the old town (near 39 Steps), usually of older generations surrounded by grandchildren, whilst the young women prefer their choice of a kafeneon.
The modern Skopelos women - be they single or married - is independent and enjoys far greater freedom today. Many young women work, taking up professions, running small businesses or carrying on with a paid job, not necessarily reliant on the income brought in by their menfolk.
Aside from lending life to the historical part of the town, the women's kafenons meet halfway the old traditions of their mothers and grandmothers. As they did in the past, the women of today meet for the same purpose their mothers did. To resolve between them problems and mutual concerns.