Energetic and creative, the people of Kythera carry within them the island’s history, written by cultures and civilizations mixing of over the centuries. Wherever Kytherians go they spread their own characteristic elements and adopt others: in Izmir, Alexandria, Athens, Australia and America, in every corner of the world, they have kept their roots and continue to write their own chapter in history.
The island society is strongly characterized by the element of communication, as sailors are the messengers and each port is a lively beehive of culture and action. The local population of Kythera has been strongly influenced by the people and civilizations that passed from the island. Later on, the migration of Kytherian people and the communication of the island metropolis with urban centers opened up new horizons and enriched their culture with new ideas; it is a permanent "give & take" that continues in the new "globalized era" offering new potential to the global community of Kytherians, wherever they are. The Internet also serves this new development ideally.
The language, the expressions and the pronunciation bear the Western and Cretan influences. The strong religious and traditional element explicitly declares the relationship between the Kytherians and Byzantium. The arts, songs and dances combine a mixture of elements from Crete, the Ionian Islands and Mani with that of Kythera. Island people are open-minded; they travel around the world exchanging knowledge and experience. Kytherians are of high educational level, mainly due to the policy of the nations that passed from the island. In nowadays, Kytherians continue their cultural activities on the island, in Athens and in cities abroad. Their characteristic tendency for collective and joint action results in the operation of many clubs and organizations.
Historical facts since Venetocracy provide clear insight into the personalities of Kytherians and their excellence in the arts, politics and commerce. Due to the historical relationship between the Ionian Islands and Italy, many Kytherians studied in Italian cities. Their work and action spread throughout the Ionian Islands and the capital of Corfu but also in Italy. Iosif Kaloutsis was an intellectual who lived in Venice. He had legal knowledge, dealt with literature and had strong political activity in the Greek community of Venice. Georgios Mormoris, Antonios Fatseas and Emmanuel Stais, all of whom lived in the 19th century, belonged to the Ionian School and produced a significant literary work. Yet another example is that of Giorgio Paulini, the humanist and writer who lived in Italy. Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), hailing from Kythera and Lefkada, lived in the second half of the 19th century and is Japan’s national poet. General Panos Koroneos was in action from 1843 onwards, as a Member for Kythera, Attica and Minister of War. Panagiotis Tsitsilias was an Liberal Party MP, Spiridon Stais was an MP for Harilaos Trikoupi’s party and Minister of Education, the list goes on with academic Grigorios Kassimatis and other personalities; MP Grigorios L. Kassimatis, with strong resistance activity. Giorgos Kassimatis, one of the most distinguished professors of the Law School of Athens and a writer. Painter Georgios Drizos, the engraver and lithographer Vasilios Charos, the painter and engraver Manolis Charos. Photographers Panagiotis Fatseas and Manolis Sofios, whose body of work makes a priceless cultural heritage. The poetry collection by Panos Fillis is also important-a splendid man who gave a lot to Kytherian literature. Doctors such as Ioannis Stratigos, Emmanuel Kalokairinos and Panagiotis Vardas are internationally renowned.
In nowadays a large community of academics, intellectuals and artists can boast a rich body work, with actions such as the rescue of historical data, surveys, studies, art exhibitions etc. Such a large and progressive group of people keeps history alive and has the power to move forward.
The island’s economy is based on rural life and tourism, while many locals are employed in services, trade and public organizations. Kytherians of the diaspora have distinguished themselves in new communities and their financial state is very good.
New Kytherians are renowned for their active social participation. They head into the new era, to an open and global level of creativity. A large percentage of them get academic education, while many of them have distinguished in science and business.