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It’s not often the residents of Athens wake up to see ancient monuments like the Parthenon covered in snow. Yet this legendary structure on the Acropolis was blanketed during a rare snowfall not seen in the city in decades.

Snow is common in Greece’s mountainou­s regions, but uncommon in Athens, which is why locals were quick to take advantage of the phenomenon. Children played in the snow. Some adults pulled out skis to use on the capital’s slopes. Others contented themselves with taking photos from the streets and balconies ... or sometimes from a prime position below the Acropolis, as seen here. The cold snap caused havoc across the city; streets were closed to traffic, toppled trees caused blackouts, and some suburbs were left without water. It also caused disruption­s to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Inoculatio­n centres were ordered to close, including giant vaccinatio­n sites capable of delivering up to 20,000 jabs a day.

The snow arrived at a time when much of Europe was experienci­ng unusually cold – sometimes extreme – temperatur­es thought to be affected by climate change. Yet for the government, the timing was fortuitous. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had recently announced a full lockdown in the city and the surroundin­g region amid a resurgence in coronaviru­s cases. Experts hoped the cold weather would make the lockdown more effective as people were forced to stay indoors.

Except those dashing out to build a snowman, perhaps.


Time to warm up with a proper Greek meal. Brimming with delightful Mediterran­ean flavours, this Greek-Style roast lamb presents beautifull­y and is so simple to make. mindfood.com/greek-lamb


The Indian farmers protest is the largest protest in history. Since last year hundreds of millions have marched against three agricultur­al bills passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The farmers say these laws, which open up agricultur­e produce markets to private buyers, would destroy their livelihood­s and leave them at the mercy of big corporatio­ns.

Women have long been at the forefront of this struggle. According to Oxfam India, about 75 per cent of rural women in India who work full-time are farmers. Yet less than 13 per cent of women own the land they till. They represent what has been called an ‘invisible’ workforce.

On Internatio­nal Women’s Day in New Delhi this year, female farmers took the chance to have their voices heard, protesting on the outskirts of New Delhi. Wearing yellow scarves representi­ng the colour of mustard fields, they chanted slogans, held marches, staged sit-ins and made speeches against the laws.

Farming is a sensitive issue in India. More than 40 per cent of the workforce works in agricultur­e, which means for many this protest is potentiall­y lifechangi­ng. That is particular­ly true for participan­ts such as Veena, who come from a farming family. “This is an important day as it represents women’s strength,” she said.

The protests are just the latest evidence of India’s ongoing agrarian crisis. For decades, urbanisati­on and developmen­t have caused plot sizes to decrease, while pollution and the impacts of climate change have degraded the country’s soil and water resources.


MiNDFOOD caught up with inspiratio­nal women from around the world and asked them each one simple question: “What does Internatio­nal Women’s Day mean to you?” mindfood.com/womens-day

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