This year marks the 101st anniversary of the establishment of one of most popular institutions in Athens – the ubiquitous kiosk (periptero in Greek) – and its centenary is being celebrated with a series of events, organized by the Association of Kiosk Owners, the City of Athens and the Kiosky's Network of Kiosks. The events kicked off last Saturday, with a 50s party on Syntagma Square, and continue with events around the greater Athens area on July 14, 21 and 28.
A commemorative book marking the centenary, titled A Century and a Year of the Kiosk, 1911-2012, will also be made available, containing rare historical and contemporary photographic material.
The city's first kiosk opened on Panepistimiou St. in 1911. Since then, kiosks have become a lasting feature of the Greek urban landscape and have played a major role in the everyday life of city dwellers, shaping urban social history in the last century.
The first kiosks appeared in Athens as a way to secure employment for war veterans - mostly wounded - through the sale of tobacco products and newspapers.The 50s witnessed an expansion of the kiosks which started to sell soft drinks, snacks and chewing gum, a novelty at the time.
They also provided telephone services to city residents lacking separate connections at home - a familiar image in many Greek movies.In later decades, the kiosk increased in size from its original 1 m² cubicle to almost a small shop, where one may come across the most improbable items.
Source: Greek News Agenda