Located on the remote island of Arkioi in the Dodecanese archipelago, Europe’s smallest school — which has only one student — was honored for its video submission in an international competition.
The competition, titled “The Water We Want!” was hosted by the Water Museums Global Network, which seeks to bring attention to climate change’s impact on the world’s water sources.
The submissions were to “reflect novel ideas and perspectives on the importance of our liquid heritage and its relation to Climate Change” through a short video, drawing, or photograph, according to the competition’s official website.
Over 7,000 students from around the world participated in the competition, which lasted from October of 2019 until April of 2020.
Along with the school at Arkioi, four other schools in Greece were given honors for their submissions to the competition.
The 102 submissions that received distinction, including those from Greece, along with the six winning submissions, will be part of a digital exhibition. They will also be displayed on screens at every UNESCO site.
The submission from Europe’s smallest school was a video featuring the tradition of “Perperouna.” This Greek tradition is an ancient one in a country with a rich history of farming and agriculture.
During periods of drought, a farmer, bedecked with various plants and flowers, would walk throughout the village as other residents doused him with water and sang a song calling on God to cause rain to fall.
According to Greek media, the lone Arkioi student, Christos, and his teacher Maria-Faidra Tsialera, chose this tradition not just because of their interest Greek folklore, but also because their island, which has only 35 year-round residents, was facing a period of drought — a full six months with no rain whatsoever.