In the north of Greece, in the Serres refugee camp, 132 refugees from Ukraine live, including 36 children. On the eve of Easter, they try to “cook everything like at home.”
Today, women, who make up the majority of the camp’s inhabitants, have gathered to paint eggs, bake Easter, and make candles. One of them is the historian Tatyana, who speaks Russian and Greek. Talking to reporters, she cannot hold back her tears:
For Easter we cook a lot of delicious and good things, Easter is a symbol of rebirth. We bake Easter cakes, paint eggs with flowers and trees. We also draw the sun, we love the light. He gives us strength and courage.
Children also take part in preparations for the holiday – they diligently paint Easter eggs. Another refugee, Kristina Shcheglova, says:
Of course, we tried to make the conditions close to home for the children, you can see that we made Easter like at home, because ours are different from the Greek ones.
All the children living in the camp, 30 of whom go to school, learn Greek. Both adults and children feel the need to pray, to visit the temple. Especially acute – before Easter, on Holy Week. They sincerely believe and hope that the resurrection of the Lord will be the beginning of the end of this bloody war. Refugee Tatiana Babaru dreams:
We will return and restore our homes, make them stronger. We had a great life and we want it back. We don’t want to wander in foreign lands. We don’t want our children to be bombed and die.
Over the past two months, about 21,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Greece. It is certainly a difficult Easter, away from home and from those they love. However, the people here hope that the war will end soon and they will not spend the rest of their lives as refugees.