Thursday, March 31, 2011

Europe...According to the Greeks!

From www.pocket-talk.org via the Athens Daily Newspaper  Ta Nea

A unique analysis of how we Greeks see our European neighbours!
With much love from all of us who live in 'the Best Country in the World!'

Enjoy! :))


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 March 2011: Happy Birthday to Global Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou!!!

Vangelis playing at the Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony... 


Happy Birthday to one of our most acclaimed Global Greeks, Academy Award winning composer Vangelis Papathanassiou.

In the picture above we see Vangelis playing at the Opening Ceremony of the 1997 World Athletics Championships at Athens' magnificent Kallimarmaro Stadium, the stadium built specially for the 1896 Olympics. The music was a mix of original compositions created just for the ceremony along with some of his most well-known pieces.

For those of us who were there on August 1, 1997, it was a memorable experience- a beautiful, inspiring and emotionally-charged ceremony in a marvellous setting... a showcase for Greece's unique history and legacy to the world.

Vangelis' music, sometimes gentle, sometimes powerful, sometimes haunting but always so evocative and compelling,  was the perfect background for the events unfolding on the stadium ground. When he took his seat to perform live and fill the stadium with his music, the 90 000 plus crowd went crazy but the high point of the evening for us was not the brilliant laser show or fireworks display, it was Vangeli's literally electrifying rendition of Greece's National Anthem, his rendition left no-one unmoved - goosebump material.... something we had seen before at a charity performance at Athens' Herodus Atticus Theatre.

The successful organisation of the championships clinched Greece's 2004 Olympic Games nomination and this simply superb ceremony is what set the whole thing going for Athens ...

As a tribute to Vangelis, we thought we would share with you our collection of his works  - his collaboration with Sean Connery for Cavafy's Ithaca, his Oscar winning Chariots of Fire, the incredible Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony,

Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony

Mythodeia at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Odes from the collaboration of Vangelis with Irene Papas - two of our most famous Global Greeks, Alexander the Great, Blade Runner, Missing and more!!

Just click on it to get the music going!




Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony


Vangeli, on behalf of all of us in the Global Greek World, we cannot thank you enough for the magnificent music you have given us!

Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλά! 

Nα μας ζήσεις  - πάντα γερός και δημιουργηκός!

Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour 2011 - In Greece the Countdown begins with the Parthenon...





The Acropolis, a symbol of western civilization, will be the world’s oldest landmark to turn off the lights for Earth Hour and join the global movement against climate change.

At 8:30PM local time the Parthenon, the centrepiece of the Acropolis, will turn black and join hundreds of millions people from around the globe to switch off the lights in the first global election on the future of our planet. 

From Athens to Auckland, London, Sydney, New York and Singapore, we'll be joining the rest of the world today 26 March 2011 to switch off our lights. 

It’s a reminder to us all that we only have one planet Earth. And it’s an urgent message that we want to reduce the impact our energy system has on that planet. Of course this one hour is symbolic, we should all be doing our utmost to reduce our energy consumption,  every day, every hour, every minute...

Join us!

Ready, steady, go...lights out!




Read more at WWF :

Celebrating 25th March - Ζήτω η 25η Μαρτίου! Ζήτω η Ελλάδα!


Yesterday was 25 March - an extremely significant celebration for Greece and for Greek Communities around the world. It is one of Greece's two National Days and commemorates the anniversary of the 1821 uprising against the Turkish occupation as well as the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, o Evangelismos tis Theotokou.

In Greece, the streets are decorated with flags and National Day Parades (Parelaseis) take place around the country, while the main parades  - the Student parade on the 24th March and the Military Parade on the 25th March - take place in downtown Athens, in front of officials in Syntagma Square and down Panepistimiou Avenue. 








  
In all our communities around the world  the day is commemorated in the same way while New York's 5th Avenue closes to traffic on the day of the Greek Independence Day Parade and becomes 100% Greek!

In the years before the economic crisis, Greece used to send delegates, to the main diaspora centres, and part of Greece's elite Presidential Guard, Proedriki Froura, used to take part in the New York Parade too... an awesome sight indeed. 

It really is an amazing feeling watching that parade in the heart of America and if you are ever in New York when it takes place be sure to go!

Our photos are from the 25th March Parelasi in Halandri, one of Athens' leafy northern suburbs. Students from pre-school to high school level take part in the parelasi along with many local and cultural organisations.

Our daughter was in the parade this year too, so it gave it that little extra dimension for us - it was so much fun and she was so excited. Her school, the 9th Dimotiko of Halandri, won the prize for the best entry- as they usually do! 

Their gym teacher, Demetris Gousios, who is in charge of getting the school team prepared is one of our Global Greeks who lived in the US for many years. (Dimitris was actively involved with US baseball and was involved in setting up and training the Greek baseball team in preparation for the Athens Olympics in 2004).

He trains his students with military discipline but the kids adore him. 

Yesterday's 1821 anniversary celebrations started with the laying of memorial wreaths at the statue of the legendary leader, General Theodoros Kolokotronis...

 General Theodoros Kolokotronis Statue in Halandri Square




Getting ready for the Parade - 
Dream Team 9th Dimotiko of Halandri 
with their coach Demetri Gousios

1st Dimotiko Halandriou paraded in National Costume this year

The name bearers - 
great to see the multi-cultural mix

The littlies...  just gorgeous

The littlies... 

The Halandri Philharmonic provides the tempo...

The Parelasi starts off with the members and friends of the National resistance - Ethniki Antistasi 
Members of the Cretan Association


The Cretan Association followed by ...


Members of the Pontian Association




The Pontian Association followed by ...

Members of the Association of repatriated Greeks of Mikrasia - Asia Minor


The Scouts of Halandri

followed by all the primary and secondary schools of Halandri who enjoy the parade cheered on by family and friends...

και του χρόνου!!

From us at Global Greek World 


Xronia Polla kai Kala to all the Vangelis and Evangelias for their nameday!

and to all of us around the world

Ζήτω η 25η Μαρτίου! Ζήτω η Ελλάδα!
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today we are TWO! Happy Birthday to us!!! Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλά!!!


Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

Today, 21 March, officially the first day of Spring in Greece and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, and we at Global Greek World are celebrating our second birthday!

This post is dedicated to our readers and wonderful friends around the world who have supported our efforts and helped this blog develop and grow!!!! We've had a great two years and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to visit, read our posts and leave comments.

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

We thank our followers on Twitter, or our friends who 'like' our Global Greek World Facebook Page and all who have participated in the discussions there!

We have had some lively discussions and debates on that page and some great laughs!

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

Some of us are still laughing at one of our recent posts on facebook which had someone trying to speak Greek in an episode of Xena, Warrior Princess. The writers obviously hadn't done any research on the Greek to be spoken, so the result was something totally ridiculous for anyone who can speak the language! The only thing one could do was laugh...or cry...

You can check it out for yourself - we'd love to hear your comments! Don't be misled by the title, Gabriella's Greek has some Spanish mixed in with it...Yeia sou Kalimera, Yeia sou Kalinyxta, Yeia Sou Kala Noches! (Thanks Vicky D - Sydney for posting it)

Over the last year we have also made a lot of wonderful new friends; we have had readers visit us from 161 countries, up from 117 last year, with the USA, Greece, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom still topping the list .

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

Above all, it has been another great year for our Global Greeks who have worked hard and made headlines in many parts of the world.
  • Chris Pissarides from the London School of Economics won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics;
  • Dr Nicholas Christakis and Greek PM George Papandreou were named amongst Foreign Policy's 100 Top Global Thinkers;
  • Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, Mary Zophres, Alexandre Desplat - three Global Greeks made it to three different categories of the Oscar nominations;
  • Greek America Foundation's Greg Pappas inaugurated the USA's first gathering of global leaders, innovators, thinkers and doers who share Greek heritage, the first-ever National Innovation Conference (NIC) in Chicago;
  • Greek Australian Dimitris Dollis was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Greece;
  • Greek Russian Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin went back into space and
  • Ethniki Ellados, under the guidance of super coach Otto Rehhagel, the architect of Greece's Euro 2004 soccer victory, qualified and competed in the World Cup in South Africa.
We all know that it hasn't been such great a year for Greece economically and we have spent a lot of time discussing the economic crisis with those who care about this country, who have worked hard to keep the flag flying in every corner of the world and who want to know more about what is happening in Greece.
Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

We continue to believe Greece will pull through but not without hardship in the short term of course. In the long run, we think the Prime Minister George Papandreou, a Global Greek himself, is on the right track, but we need to stop blaming everyone else for Greece's difficulties, and get on with the job, making many difficult and often painful decisions in the process.

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

We continue to believe in Greece and the achievements of our Global Greeks wherever in the world they are, and will continue to highlight and promote all the positive things we see.

Greece has much going for it.

Despite the economic doom and gloom and the many natural & man made disasters that our world is going through right now, we need to keep thinking as positively as we can, so that the positive thinking catches on...

We at Global Greek World are certainly trying!

With your support we will continue to spread the word until we're well into our 90's, just like the Global Greek ladies that the cakes below were made for!

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey

Efharistoume Poly!! Ευχαριστούμε Πολύ!!!

Source: (c) Frosted Pink by Stacey made for her grandmother, Kyria Evangelia.
Regrettably Kyria Evangelia died late last year far away from her beloved Arcadia but surrounded by her loving family...

PS The delicious-looking birthday cakes are courtesy of Frosted Pink by Stacey.
Talented young Greek Canadian, Stacey Korolis Sherlock, works from home in Tisdale,Saskatchewan. To get a taste of the rest of her top class creations on Facebook - Click here.

Efharistoume Stacey!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Miss This Greek Experience - 19 to 27 March 2011 - Visit Greece@Westfield London



The Greek National Tourism Organization and Aegean Αirlines Invite you to
“Visit Greece@Westfield London” - an immersive Greek experience.


Following the hugely successful event last year where a Greek beach drew thousands of visitors to the River Thames on a sunny week in June, the U.K. and Ireland Greek Tourism Office launches 

“Visit Greece@Westfield London.”

From the 19th until the 27th of March 2011, Westfield London in Shepherds Bush will feature a 1.500 sq. m Greek Theme Park on its ground floor atrium. 

All of the park’s activities will be complimentary to the public, in a lively, interactive celebration of Greece’s unique characteristics as a major tourist destination.

The Greek Theme Park will offer a range of fun and educational activities, making it a great family day out.

The Greek Theme Park exemplifies Greece as a year-round tourist destination offering an unlimited variety of holiday experiences. 

Visitors to the park will have the chance to
  • learn about Athens and Thessaloniki as thrilling city-break destinations, 
  • play golf in a game simulating state-of-the-art golf courses, 
  • challenge themselves to rock climbing, 
  • explore the Greek islands via a sailing simulator and 
  • treat themselves to a relaxing spa treatment in our Thalassotherapy and Spa Center.

For a short time only, the Greek Tourism Office in London brings you all of Greece in one 'packet'
at Westfield London, Europe’s largest urban shopping destination

Combining a greatly diverse geographical landscape with a wealth of culture from past and present, Greece offers countless opportunities for educational, gastronomic, athletic and leisurely activities. 

We invite you to learn from acclaimed Greek chefs exploring modern takes on traditional Greek dishes and sample complimentary olive oil, wine and ouzo while lounging on sun beds on a ‘Greek beach’ constructed with golden sand and surrounded by a wooden leisure deck.

The Greek Theme Park is open to everyone and welcomes children who can play a game simulating an archaeological dig and learn about wildlife and sea life conservation efforts in Greece.

“Visit Greece@Westfield London” will reveal Greece’s unknown treasures that are there for each and every tourist to discover on their next visit to Greece. 


Come and listen to enthusiastic presentations about Greek destinations, enjoy live music shows and win prizes to Greece! 

If holidays are about dreaming, bring as many dreams as you like with you!
 

ADMISSION IS FREE! 

To Check out the programme at eugreeka, click here or visit the Greek National Tourist Organisation UK's Facebook Page 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A World Premiere in Auckland, A Tribute Concert at Athens' Megaron: a Great Week for Global Greek Composer John Psathas

John with Prime Minister Helen Clark, Justine Cormack, Ashley Brown, 
US Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice, and Sarah Watkins, 
at a performance of Helix at Government House in Auckland, New Zealand

It's been a busy week and a particularly significant one for New Zealand's busiest composers... Global Greek John Psathas!


' New Zeibekiko is my dream realised... it will be the most thrilling, terrifying, and moving experience to hear the music of my two cultures fused together.'
 With these words John Psathas, our celebrated Greek New Zealand composer describes the World Premiere of New Zeibekiko, his major new work for orchestra, which takes place tomorrow, Friday, March 18th, in Auckland, New Zealand within this year’s Auckland Arts Festival

John's fantastic musical journey has not just taken him round the world, it has also granted him incredible and invaluable experiences,  including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create new compositions and musical arrangements for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Athens' Unforgettable, Dream Olympics in 2004 - the highlight of his career, both on a professional and on a personal level.  

Tomorrow's premiere in Auckland is the next major milestone in his success-studded career, the realisation of his dream as he says. 

With the participation of two of Greece's finest traditional musicians, clarinetist Manos Achalinotopoulos and percussionist Petros Kourtis, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will be paying homage to John's Greek heritage with an exhilarating concert celebrating 2,500 years of life and history, the personal, the passionate and the nostalgic and takes concertgoers on a hypnotic journey, inviting responses to the music’s pulsing rhythms and ancient haunting melodies -  

  
'an exciting composition embodying Greece in all its glory, representing the iconic dance, the zeibekiko, and taking audiences on an invigorating journey'

The following is some of what he shared with his followers on Facebook and Twitter, describing the hectic days before tomorrow's Auckland concert..
'last few days of normality. Saturday Petros arrives from Greece. Sunday we start rehearsing with the percussionists. Wednesday to Auckland for 3 days rehearsing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra & performance on the 18th which is the culmination of 7 years dreaming and work on my part' ...

Very busy but very rewarding for John...

Megaron Mousikis - Athens Concert Hall

This last week started very auspiciously for John with a concert at Athens' prestigious Concert Hall, Megaron Mousikis  last Sunday, March 13th 2011, as part of its 20th birthday celebrations. It was the second time one of his works was featured at the Megaron. This time his brilliant 'Djinn' in it's European premiere, was one of the works featured at a concert paying tribute to the Music of the Greek Diaspora ,  


The Athens Camerata paid tribute to four of our highly talented Global Greek composers, Minas Borboudakis (S-Kassiope), John Psathas, (Djinn - I am listening to it here as I write)  Konstantinos Karavasillis (message in a Bottle) and Christos Hatzis (Arabesque)  in the Dimitris Mitropoulos Auditorium.

Performed by the Athens Camerata, and conducted by Alexandros Myrat  with soloists Demetris Desyllas (percussion), Giorgos Panayotidis (violin) and Tasos Pappas (piano), the concert was preceded by a lecture in the Megaron's Lilian Voudouris Musical Library with two of the composers, Minas Borboudakis and Christos Hatzis, with conductor Alexandros Myrat and Musicologist Elias Giannopoulos presenting the works to be performed.  


An excellent evening, a tribute to our very talented Global Greek creators! 


Incidentally, since we are talking about John's recent successes - on the international scene again, but on a different level, the first film score John composed, for Kiwi Western 'Good for Nothing', has received excellent reviews!
"One of the principal glories of the film is the score by John Psathas in which genuine sweep and poetry are combined with affectionate send-ups of Ennio Morricone. It would be a major achievement for an experienced film composer; as a first film score, it's little short of astonishing.Jim Svejda
"John Psathas' score is perhaps the most fully realised aspect of the film" with its "symphonic John Barryesque sweep".  Josef Woodard The Independent

 John with then PM Helen Clark at the launch of 'View from Olympus'

Bravo, John! We are very proud of you and your achievements and hope that tomorrow's concert is exactly what you hoped it would be - the realisation of your dream and the most successful ever! 

We were thrilled with Sunday's concert at the Megaron and hope that one day in the very near future one of your Greek-inspired works, either ‘View from Olympus’ or 'New Zeibekiko' will also come 'home' to Athens, to the Herodeion or the Megaron!! 

Καλή Επιτυχία from us all! 

More about John Psathas



John’s Music Videos on You Tube




Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Θεία Loves me - Communicating in Grenglish: the Best of Both Worlds!

Absolutely gorgeous from all points of view!
Picture source: Litsa F - thanks a million!

We just loved this picture by Litsa and thought we would share it with you ...

Anybody who has grown up in a Greek Community of any English speaking country of the world  who looks at this delightful picture of little Zachary will know exactly what it says! For us it epitomises what we are all about.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...

A lot has been said about the way we Global Greeks communicate depending on where we are. In Greece we may speak Greek with the occasional English word thrown in while in our host countries we may speak the other language with the occasional Greek word thrown in.

Linguistically it probably isn't the best thing to do, but the beauty of being bilingual gives us the ability to swap and change around at will, without trying too hard to find the word that applies in the other language, especially if you know the other person speaks both languages also.

Sometimes we have been criticised as trying to show off, but in most cases people realise that it is a sign of being equally comfortable in both languages...

A couple of our favourites  that spring to mind from when we were growing up in our community abroad in speaking to our Greek friends is

Are you going to koinonisei on Sunday?!!!
(Are you going to receive Holy Communion on Sunday?)

Unpistevable! (Unbelievable!)  



What do you think? Are there some words or phrases that you use regularly?



YiaYia is cooking (remember, that means she has the koutala)
Thanks too to Lynn V-K for the eloquent picture above that she posted on our Facebook Page

Cafe Aman America released some great Grenglish Rebetika songs which beautifully illustrate this linguistic phenomenon that goes right to the heart of the Greek Diaspora. In their instance of course, it's the other way round, the main language of the song is Greek interspersed with English words. 

The song below , Giati Glyko mou Sweetheart, is one of the best! 

Enjoy...

Giati glyko mou sweetheart, na me pligoneis toso hard... 
I dont'know giati den mou les to No...




Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Koulouma 2011 - Kali Sarakosti - Moody's, Snow and all!



 Daughter's Handmade-at-school Carnival Masks

Monday March 7, 2011 and it is Kathari Deftera for Greece and all the Orthodox Christians around the world today. Instead of  waking up with nothing more complicated than the thought of where we would go to fly our traditional hartaeto or paper kite for Koulouma this year, we woke up to the news  of Moody's latest downgrade of Greece's credit rating by 3 points. What an appropriate start for the Great Lent - Megali Sarakosti - increased austerity, economic doom and gloom and the threat of an impending fiscal default - what more could we possibly want? 

Well, in true Scarlet O'Hara style, we decided that nothing was going to change our plans for today, because we wouldn't be able to do anything anyway, we'd let the elected government deal with that (and they did- see below) and continued to follow our time-honoured traditions and celebrate Koulouma as usual, with all members of the household doing their bit for the  sarakostiano trapezi...



 Freshly cut salad


 Fresh beetroot bulbs on their bed of foliage decorated with spring onions

 Taramosalata and lagana  
(see end of post for the recipe) 

Octopus with red Florina peppers

 Kalamari and Atlantic prawns

 A great bottle of Nemea Red...2005 vintage

  Husband's artistic food styling - Beetroot 

Prawns, Kalamari, Skordalia, beetroot, 
Octopus with red peppers, pilafi , lagana, taramosalata

Almond scordalia 


Everybody had a little bit of everything - 
prawns, kalamari, gigantes, beetroot, 
taramosalata, octopus with pilafi and fresh salad

 and for Desert  -  
Makedoniko aka Macedonian Halva


After a great lunch, we decided to brave the elements - it is freezing cold in Athens with snow predicted overnight - and went out to try to fly our kite. 

We didn't have much luck...it decided to stay grounded...



others were more fortunate so we did manage to get a photo 
of at least one kite flying up high...



Nevermind,  as Scarlett said Tomorrow is another day...

Kali Sarakosti!

PS The government did react to the Moodys' downgrade... against all expectations, considering it was a public holiday in Greece,( who says public servants in Greece don't work?) they came out with the appropriate announcement. An announcement which concludes with the following statement...


'Ultimately, Moody’s downgrading of Greece’s debt reveals more about the misaligned incentives and the lack of accountability of credit rating agencies than the genuine state or prospects of the Greek economy. Having completely missed the build-up of risk that led to the global financial crisis in 2008, the rating agencies are now competing with each other to be the first to identify risks that will lead to the next crisis.  At a time when the global economy is fragile and market sentiment is sensitive, unbalanced and unjustified rating decisions such as Moody’s today can initiate damaging self-fulfilling prophecies and certainly strengthen the arguments for tighter regulation of the rating agencies themselves.

Moody’s decision in no way affects the financing of the Hellenic Republic as it continues to draw funds from the Greek support mechanism. Moreover, Greece, in collaboration with the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, has taken all necessary measures to maintain the stability and liquidity of the Greek banking system.'  Read the whole announcement


Oh yes, and now, as promised, the recipe for our taramosalata - yes, what you are seeing is indeed the recipe for our taramosalata today... thanks to good old Hellman's - believe me,it tastes great!!! :)



 Hellman's Taramosalata - part of it's range of Greek products Γεύση της Μαμάς!

Oh and by the way, because Hellman's is making all these dishes made by Mum, Greek mums and grannies are now making Sushi... 




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