1302 – Dutch newspaper article from 1938: Alika Diplarakou on Athos and the 80-year old man, who never saw a woman in his live!

Today I found this article about Athos (and lot more!) from 23th of May 1938, published in a newspaper “De Sumatra Post”.

1938 23-05-1938 de Sumatra Post artikel vrouw op athos

It discribes the story of the Greek beauty queen and miss Europe, Alika Diplarakou, who illegally entered Athos in 1938. Soon after she arrived, dressed as a man, she was discovered by Vatopedian monks, who immediately expelled her. With different rituals and prayers the “impure” ground of Athos had to be cleaned…….

With this incident old traditions were broken. We read that later on the monks of Athos protested against some new developments on which Vatopedi decided, because they allowed female cats and chickens on the peninsula. Not only electricity was introduced, “to make it easier to study the Bible at nighttime”, but they even allowed a telephone !

The article also discribes the story of the 80-year old monk Michael Kolottos. After a revolt against the Turks in a Macedonian village his mother died a couple of hours after his birth and his – wounded – father took him to Athos. He grew up without knowing “creatures like girls and women excisted”, because Athos monks don’t talk about this subject! Only at the age of 40 he, for the first time in his life, saw a picture of a woman! When asked if he wanted to go out in the world and see a woman he answered: “no”.

On 19th of October 1939 a Dutch newspaper reported this: Father Michael Colonthos (Kolottos?) died in his cell a couple of days ago at the age of 81.

He was probably one of the only human creatures, never has seen a woman in his entier life! (and I wonder how he could survive as a newborn baby without any milk? Could there have been female donkeys on Athos who gave milk?).

Wim, 3/6

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