Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Global Greek Thrillionaire - Presenting Nik Halik!

Greek Australian Nik Halik has just turned 40! If you were to judge his age by his Bio you would think it more likely that he is much older... but don't let his age fool you...he started young and does it all!

He calls himself The Thrillionaire. He has the money and motivation to pursue a list of things he wants to do before he dies, but even then he's got it all worked out. After all, he wrote his Things to Do list when he was eight years old, not something a lot of us have done.

He's had lunch on the Titanic; flown in a MiG aircraft; climbed Mt Everest, and trained to be the first Australian (and Greek) civilian in space.

Born in Australia to Greek parents Konstantinos and Dionisia Halikopoulos, Nik Halik (Nikos Halikopoulos) is something of a living legend!

According to his blog, Nik became a multi-millionaire and amassed great wealth through savvy investments in property and the stock market in his late 20s.

As well as being a global wealth strategist, Nik is a successful entrepreneur, international speaker, astronaut, high adrenalin adventurer and best-selling author. He is the founder and CEO of the FINANCIAL FREEDOM INSTITUTE, Money Masters Global and co-founder of The Intelligence Group of companies. His group of companies have financially educated and life coached over 250,000 individuals globally. He is the real deal, creating millionaire clients across the globe.

As an avid, thrill seeking adventurer, Nik was one of the first explorers to dive down five miles and land on the bow of the Titanic. He has summited the highest mountains in the world and was one of the privileged select explorers in the world to view the curvature of the earth from the edge of space. He is the very first flight-qualified and certified civilian astronaut from Australia and his biggest dream is to walk on the moon.

"I want to be one of the first group settlers to colonise the moon and I am prepared to provide all my wealth to charity and be stripped back to basics. That would be a really unique experience. It's something that I've been waiting for all my life", he told ABC News, and hopes to be a part of the NASA move to colonise the moon by 2018.

However if that doesn't happen, Halik has guaranteed he will make it there one day...

"I've paid an American company to, in the event of my death, my cremated remains will be rocketed to the moon and my ashes will be scattered on the lunar surface, so eventually I will make it to the moon." he says.

He currently resides in Miami, Florida but also in one of his homes in the Greek Islands, Morocco and Australia.

In JULY 2005, he set off on an expedition and thrill seeking adventure which consisted of diving 3 miles deep in the cold water abyss of the North Atlantic Ocean in a 3 manned Russian submersible, to become the first Australian (and Greek) to land on the bow section of the TITANIC and have lunch on it, the first Australian to set foot on the TITANIC since the 1912 sinking of the famous cruise liner in dangerous iceberg plagued waters.

His latest book,The Thrillionaire is orchestrated with stories of adventure interspersed with financial wisdom and personal development - an astonishing personal journey that will touch you deeply. Nik is an extremely gifted writer, painting beautiful pictures in the minds of readers and taking us on his journeys with him. He is an extraordinary individual and his uniqueness comes out at you from every page in this book.

The Thrillionaire® splashes a kaleidoscope of colours onto a life mosaic which will inspire, connect, contribute and stir the soul of every reader with its oasis of enlightenment.

Good Luck, Nik! We look forward to hearing more about your Thrillionaire achievements!

To Read More about Nik:

Nik's Thrillionaire Blog Click here

Nik in Space Click here

Nik on Facebook Click Here

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Global Greeks in Space - Greek Russian Cosmonaut -Fyodor (Thodoros) Yurchikhin!


Fyodor Nikolayevich Yurchikhin is a Greek-Russian cosmonaut and RSC Energia test-pilot who has flown on several missions, including STS-112, Soyuz TMA-10, and Expedition 15. He has collectively spent over 207 days in space.

In October 2002, Fyodor became the first Greek in space, participating in the STS-112 mission for the International Space Station. A Russian citizen of Pontian Greek descent, he called his mother from orbit, speaking to her in the Pontian Greek dialect. He also carried a Greek flag with him which was later presented to the President of Greece.

PERSONAL DATA: Fyodor was born January 3, 1959, in Batumi, Georgia in the Former USSR, to Pontian Greeks Nikolai Fyodorovich Yurchikhin and Mikrula Sofoklevna Yurchikhina, who now reside in Sindos, Greece.

Fyodor is married to Larisa Anatolievna Yurshikina and they have two daughters. He also has a brother, 2 years younger. Hobbies include collecting stamps and space logos, sports, history of cosmonautics, and promotion of space. He also enjoys reading history, science fiction and the classics.

EDUCATION: After graduation from high school in Batumi in 1976, he entered the Moscow Aviation Institute named after Sergey Ordzhonikidze. He finished studying in 1983, and is qualified as a mechanical engineer, specializing in airspace vehicles. In 2001, he graduated from the Moscow Service State University with a Ph.D. in economics.

EXPERIENCE: Since graduating from the S. Ordzhonikidze Moscow Aviation Institute in 1983, Yurchikhin has worked at the Russian Space Corporation Energia. He began working as a controller in the Russian Mission Control Center, and held the positions of engineer, senior engineer, and lead engineer, eventually becoming a lead engineer for Shuttle-Mir and NASA-Mir Programs.

In August 1997, he was enrolled in the RSC Energia cosmonaut detachment as a cosmonaut-candidate.

From January 1998 to November 1999, he completed his basic training course. In November 1999, he was qualified as a test cosmonaut. In January 2000, he started training in the test-cosmonaut group for the ISS program.

In October 2002, Fyodor Yurchikhin flew aboard STS-112. In completing his first space flight he has logged a total of 10 days, 19 hours, and 58 minutes in space.

Fyodor Yurchikhin is currently serving a six month tour of duty as commander of the Expedition-15 mission to the International Space Station. Expedition-15 launched on April 7 aboard a Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft arriving at the ISS complex on April 9, 2007.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-112 Atlantis (October 7-18, 2002) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-112 was an International Space Station assembly mission during which the crew conducted joint operations with the Expedition-5 by delivering and installing the S-One Truss (the third piece of the station's 11-piece Integrated Truss Structure). Three spacewalks were required to outfit and activate the new component. The crew also transferred cargo between the two vehicles and used the shuttle's thruster jets during two maneuvers to raise the station's orbit. STS-112 was the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the External Tank, providing a live view of the launch to flight controllers and NASA TV viewers. The STS-112 mission was accomplished in 170 orbits, traveling 4.5 million miles in 10 days, 19 hours, and 58 minutes.

Sources: NASA, Wikipedia, Macedonia on the Web

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Global Greek Issues - Greece's Ban on Smoking...153 Years Later

So you thought that a ban on smoking in public places in Greece was something new?
Well, we have news for you!!! On the 31st of July 1856, yes, 1856, you read correctly, a Royal decree signed by Queen Amalia in the name of the King of the Hellenes, Otto, was issued, banning smoking in all public places, offices and stores, according to an email we received recently from Liz P, Greece. Thanks for passing it on, Liz!

For those of our readers that can read Greek, this is a copy of the decree...

Most of us can safely hypothesize as to the fate of that law, otherwise Greece would now have the best record in the world as far as non-smoking laws are concerned, rather than almost the worst.

Hopefully, the current no-smoking law brought in from 1st of June, 2009 has a better fate!
According to reports so far, things are going well, far better than expected. Most people like the fact that when they go out, to the bouzoukia and clubs , they don't come home smelling as if they have had the contents of the ashtrays emptied into their hair and that their clothes don't have to be aired for days so that the odour of stale smoke can disappear...
Go Greece!!! Welcome to a new era :)

 Share your experiences with us...
What do you think? Will this last? Have you seen it enforced where you are?

 Join our Enforce the Smoking Ban Facebook Page

At Global Greek World, We ♥ Greece...and it shows!

© Global Greek World  All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 13, 2009

Global Greek Events - July 17 to 24 -The 41st Pan Cretan Convention Cruise - A Cruise with a difference !!

Magnificent Cretan Sunsets

The Cretans of America are currently holding their 41st National Convention on the Aegean Perla Cruise Ship sailing around Kriti (Crete). It started on Friday July 17th and ends on July 24th, 2009.

These 7 days of pure Cretan entertainment floating on a beautiful cruise ship have ensured that the 41st Convention will not be an ordinary affair, but an extraordinary one!

Features of the 41st Convention are the Cultural and Educational components, the authentic Entertainment venues, the ability to link each member and his/her family to the traditional Cretan Values and Heritage.

Pemonia Village, Apokorona

Unique moments to treasure during the Convention:

A magical evening at Heraklion, during which the PAA will honor with its highest Venizelion Award the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Excellency Mr Karolos Papoulias,

A brief stop at Agios Nikolaos and trips to Lasithi,

An enchanting trip to Alexandria, Egypt, during which participants will enjoy two Cretan Concerts under the summer moon and stars, and be welcomed by the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, Theodore II,

A fascinating evening at the old Limani of Chania where the Prefecture of Chania will welcome them with a most original Cultural and Historical Theatrical production and Reception at Firka,

The last evening at Rethymno, where the PAA in conjunction with the Prefecture and City of Rethymno will organize the most spectacular Cultural event on the Fortezza dedicated to the Cretan Woman and her contributions to development of the very fabric of the Cretan/Hellenic Society.

Intertwined with these major events, there will be plenty of opportunities for excursions and side trips, tours and simple relaxation, and of course the Pancretan Business. All in all, by the 7th day, all participants will no doubt become “reborn” Cretans, “re-baptized” in the refreshing waters of the Cretan and Libyan Seas, and “re-charged” with the Culture and Heritage of our magic Island, and with enough “Cretan Energy” to last a lifetime!

Kalo Synedrio to all our Cretan friends! It will be the experience of a lifetime!

For more information and the programme for the Convention Click here

The PANCRETAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (PAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of the rich cultural heritage of Crete and the empowerment of its members to become effective and responsible citizens.

Through its diverse programs, PAA reaches out to Cretans of all ages in the United States and Canada making a positive difference in the lives of individual members, supporting the chapters of which they are a part and educating the public about the history and culture of Crete.

To read more about the Pan Cretan Association of America Click here

To read more about the Cretan Association of Australia and New Zealand Click here

Global Greece Through the Eyes of Greek Australian Writer Katherine Kizilos: 'The Greece that has always been there is the Greece I go back to.'

Greek Australian Katherine Kizilos is an award-winning Senior Writer for The Age Newspaper in Melbourne, Australia. Katherine writes regularly on social and cultural issues across the various sections of the paper. In May 2007 she won the Victoria Law Foundation's Tony Smith Award for reporting that promotes understanding of the work of the courts for her report on Victoria's Koori courts, "Law and a new order".

In her book, The Olive Grove: Travels in Greece, 1997, Katherine writes about Greece "with an insider's understanding, describing generous people,passionate politics,and breathtaking landscapes of a country that is frequently visited but rarely explored".

One of the reviews by an anonymous reader on, had this to say about The Olive Grove:

Sparked by childhood stories told by her father and a natural curiosity for the truth, Kizilos retraces the steps of her father to find the heart and soul of her roots. This entails a journey of not only the mainland, but several small islands and villages where the past struggles violently with the future.

Told in a concise and vivid way, she is both straightforward and philosophical. In contrast to other travel accounts, Kizilos' writing is accessible and often emotional because she is both a journalist who understands how to write for the public and a woman who feels life.

Because she travels to several "unknown" places in Greece -- not just Athens, Mykonos and other popular places frequented by tourists -- readers looking for something off the beaten track can appreciate her more.

Recently, one of her articles in The Age, written back in September 2005 but still relevant came to our attention and we enjoyed it very much, feeling that it really does represent how many of we Greek-Somethings feel about Greece. We have reproduced it here for the benefit of all our readers but you can click on the link at the end of the article to read the original. Thanks very much Katherine!! Keep on feeling like that!!

Ode to an Absent Friend

The Age - Melbourne September 2005

Sometimes, when you love a person who is far away, you carry them with you. When you meet again, the interval when you were parted disappears; it is insignificant. My visits to Greece are like this.

Years go by between visits, yet whenever I return, I feel at home. Melbourne is my real home, the place I was born and where I live and work. My feelings for Greece are separate from all that; they have their own independent life.

And like an absent friend, the Greece I remember is not static but always changing. Almost 30 years have passed since my first visit. The country that I saw then is, in many ways, quite different to the Greece of today - a place where even the shepherds carry mobile telephones, and where remote mountain villages are being kept alive by a tide of immigrants from neighbouring Albania. My idea, which cannot be proved, is that some essential qualities - the cardinal Greek virtues, if you like - are somehow able to survive the tides of politics and economics. The Greece that has always been there is the Greece I go back to.

A glass of water

Greece is not the poor country it was in 1978, the year of my earliest visit. Its poverty provided my first, and strongest, impression of the country then. Poverty was responsible for what I didn't like in Athens: the labyrinth of crowded, ugly, cement apartment blocks stewing under the nefos, the heavy cloud of pollution that choked the city. But it seemed to me then, and still does now, that this poverty was also what made the people so strong and direct.

Maybe it is a mistake to draw a connection between a person's lack of riches and their capacity to be open-hearted. I noticed both on my first trip to Greece and have placed them together ever since. If it is a mistake, it is one that other people have also made on visiting Greece.

In The Colossus of Maroussi, Henry Miller describes arriving in Athens in the months immediately before World War II. By day he was overwhelmed by the heat; he ventured from his hotel room in the evening, about 11pm. Walking the streets, he was moved by the sight of couples sitting together in cafes, talking softly and drinking glasses of water. These glasses of water, and the couples who sat before them holding hands, appeared to Miller to be sainted things.

He wrote: "The dust, the heat, the poverty, the bareness, the containedness of the people, and the water everywhere in little tumblers standing between the quiet, peaceful couples, gave me the feeling that there was something holy about the place, something nourishing and sustaining."

Greeks have a fine capacity to make a ritual of everyday blessings: a cup of coffee, a midday meal, an evening stroll - days revolve around these simple acts, which become rich because of the attention that is paid to them. This is not easy to explain, but it can be experienced when you are there, if you are open to it.

An Australian-born Greek I know, who visited Greece for the first time as a young man in his 20s, once described to me a visit he made to his uncle and aunt who lived in a poor village on the rocky ground near Argos.

"We sat inside, and then my aunt prepared lunch. After lunch, we moved the chairs into the courtyard and sat outside."

He did not mention what they talked about, or whether the neighbours dropped by, or even what they ate. Just the sitting together, the sharing of the meal and moving the chairs inside and outside.

How did he like it?

"I loved it. It was beautiful."

But to return to the glass of water. Even today, when a Greek talks about offering a glass of water, it is understood that this is a humble gesture, but also the essence of hospitality. A mere nothing, but everything. I once heard a Greek say of an old woman who had recently died: How could I forget her? When she had nothing, she offered me a glass of water.

The mountains and the sea

Old people in Greece retain the sense of the land that they acquired in their youth, before cars became commonplace. My Uncle Apostoli, for instance, who is now in his 80s, did not buy his one and only car until he was in his mid-50s. He and his wife Katina, who does not drive, have spent most of their lives walking up and down the mountain where they were born.

This is healthful, but it also means that their sense of the place runs deep. Each bend in the road holds a memory, and so do the olive groves, the cherry orchards and the vineyards that grow on the surrounding valleys and hillsides. The land that belongs to the villagers does not comprise one continuous plot, but many different bits and pieces on various sites, acquired over years. Each piece of land has its own name and history.

The task of tending to this land, and of providing for their family is their pride, but has also been their burden. The villagers stayed on the mountain while their brothers and sisters travelled overseas to make their fortunes. The ones who left Greece are envied and pitied for the adventure they made of their life. Envied for their fortune - if they were able to make one - and also for the freedom of being released from the mountain and its gravity and toil. Pitied because most of the people who leave are still bound to the place; it always remains a part of them.

The idea that the land carries a person's history and can provide their nourishment and solace is strong in Greece. When Greece was a peasant economy, there were practical reasons for this. But there is another reason, which can sound sentimental to say aloud (particularly to someone as outwardly gruff and sceptical as my Uncle Apostoli) but which is plain and obvious to any visitor: the overwhelming beauty of the place.

Why so much beauty is concentrated in such a small area, and what effect it has on the people who live there, are questions without answers. In Greece, vistas of the mountains and the sea are endlessly juxtaposed, with dazzling effect. The light is limpid, the colours intense. If you arrive by plane from Australia, you are rewarded with the sight of the sun rising over the Aegean and its islands; hundreds of mountains floating in the sea. It is astonishing to look down and find that Greece is more beautiful than you remember it to be.


Many orderly and predictable events take place in Greece. The new underground rail system in Athens, for example, is handsome, well-designed and a model of efficiency. All around the country, bread rises and is baked in thousands of reliable bakeries. Well-dressed children go to school and do their homework and play soccer in the park when siesta time is over. Church bells ring on name days and everybody visits their parents at Easter. In many ways, Greece is still a traditional society, which means a Greek is more likely to follow custom and convention than an Australian - because here it is easier for a person to cut loose and declare themselves free of all ties than it is in Greece.

For all that, the Greek reputation for madness is not unfounded. Public drunkenness is rare, but it is not unusual for people to yell at each other in the street (and then, perhaps, to embrace), to push in, to smoke too much, to become argumentative, or to buy you, a perfect stranger, a meal for no reason except that they like the look of you and why should you be sitting there all alone on such a beautiful evening? If the ability to strike up a spontaneous friendship is a sign of madness, then the Greeks are barking.

Greeks can also be exasperating, particularly in banks and government offices. As a rule (with honourable exceptions) the melancholy facts of bureaucracy and paperwork do not bring out the best in the Greek people. There may be historical reasons for this, connected to the long years of Greek subjugation under the Ottomans and the sense it gave them that any official - even a bank teller or a post office clerk - is a powerful person who can use his influence for personal advantage.

My own experience is that everyday dealings in Greece - shopping, ordering coffee, asking for directions - are unpredictable. You can never tell where the simplest exchange will take you. One can be met with great kindness or exasperating rudeness, sometimes in dizzying succession.

Whether or not you like this is a matter of temperament. On a recent trip to Greece, my son, who does not speak Greek, witnessed a long and intense conversation between a husband and wife as we travelled down a mountain together in a car. He watched their hand gestures, listened to their raised voices and their laughter, and wondered what it was all about.

Peas, I told him. Green peas. They are particularly good this year. Nick wants Sophia to buy more peas.


The word for summer in Greek means good weather; Greece is sold as the land of eternal summertime, a good-time place that you leave when summer is over. In summer, the population of Greece doubles; by November the Greeks mostly have the country back to themselves. This means, for instance, that most visitors do not see how good Athens can be in the winter, with its wonderful shops and restaurants. They do not see what Greece is like when everyone is back at work.

I had a friend who enjoyed Greece so much in the summer that he was determined to live there all year round; his plan was to open a bar on the island he loved best. I think he lasted six months. He complained that the island was cold in the winter and dreary in the off-season. And he found that not speaking Greek, which had been no obstacle during his summer holiday, was a huge disadvantage when trying to set up a business. He blamed the Greeks bitterly for this failure. Greece was not forgiven for having a workaday self.

But it is in this working Greece, this parallel place where there are all seasons, where Greek people can be found. And they need to be found, and talked to, if you want a living, breathing sense of what Greece is.

This is surely true of all places, not just Greece. And it can be difficult to know a people, particularly if you do not share a language (and Greek is a difficult language, as Greeks are proud to explain to you).

Not everyone will want to find this other Greece, and perhaps that is just as well. And not all those who do find it will like it there; Greece is not for everyone. But my own bias is that Greece is worth the effort. It is a land lovely beyond imagining and the people who live there belong to the place and will welcome you - if you are open to them and willing to take them as they are.

Click here To read the original article

Click here To buy the book -The Olive Grove on

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Global Greek Events- From July 8, Exhibition on the Opening Ceremony of Athens' Magical, Unforgettable Olympics, Tribute to the Incredible Volunteers!

Η Γενική Γραμματεία Ολυμπιακής Αξιοποίησης του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού στο πλαίσιο των δράσεων για την προβολή και προώθηση της σύγχρονης ελληνικής καλλιτεχνικής δημιουργίας, διοργανώνει την έκθεση με τίτλο: Τελετή Έναρξης των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων Αθήνα 2004 Κοστούμια – Σκηνικά «Τιμή στους Εθελοντές», που θα παρουσιαστεί από τις 8 Ιουλίου έως τις 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2009, στην Εθνική Γλυπτοθήκη (Πάρκο Στρατού, Γουδή).

Η Τελετή έναρξης των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων της Αθήνας επιστρέφει μέσα από μια μεγάλη έκθεση αφιερωμένη στους ανθρώπους που την δημιούργησαν: ΣΤΟΥΣ 8.000 ΕΘΕΛΟΝΤΕΣ

Στην έκθεση παρουσιάζονται κοστούμια, αντικείμενα, φωτογραφίες και Video από την προετοιμασία και την Τελετή Έναρξης των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων «ΑΘΗΝΑ 2004». Εικόνες από το καραβάκι και τους πύρινους Ολυμπιακούς κύκλους πάνω στο νερό, από το Κυκλαδικό ειδώλιο και το αλληγορικό τοπίο των ελληνικών νησιών, από τις εικόνες της Κλεψύδρας που μέσα από την τέχνη απεικονίζουν την ζωή του τόπου από την προϊστορία μέχρι σήμερα, μέχρι την Ελιά – σύμβολο της Ειρήνης και των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων, θα θυμίσουν στους επισκέπτες της έκθεσης την βραδιά της Τελετής και θα τους δώσουν την ευκαιρία να κατανοήσουν πώς στήθηκε αυτή η ελληνική γιορτή.

Αναλυτικά στην έκθεση παρουσιάζονται κοστούμια από την Κλεψύδρα. Η Κλεψύδρα, ένα αρχαίο ρολόι που χρησιμοποιούσε τη σταθερή ροή του νερού ή της άμμου για την μέτρηση μονάδων χρόνου, ήταν μια ονειρική πολύχρωμη παρέλαση που απεικόνιζε στιλιζαρισμένες μορφές που λες και ζωντάνεψαν μέσα από ελληνικές τοιχογραφίες, μωσαϊκά γλυπτά και ζωγραφιές. Ήταν μια χρονολογική πομπή εικόνων από την προϊστορική μέχρι την σύγχρονη εποχή.

Παρουσιάζονται επίσης, σκηνικά αντικείμενα από την τελετή. Συγκεκριμένα θα εκτεθούν 47 παραδοσιακά κοστούμια από διάφορες περιοχές της Ελλάδας (Μακεδονία, Σίφνος, Αστυπάλαια, Φλώρινα, Ήπειρος, Μ. Ασία, Κέρκυρα, Πελοπόννησος κ.ά.), 6 Βυζαντινά κοστούμια, 8 κοστούμια Ταναγραίων, 5 κοστούμια Κροκοσυλλεκτριών, 4 Καρυάτιδες, 4 Άλογα και 30 Πανοπλίες Μυκηναΐων Στρατιωτών.

Επιπλέον, παρουσιάζονται 200 από τα τύμπανα που χρησιμοποιήθηκαν στην Τελετή, κομμάτια από τα άλογα, η βάρκα και ο Κένταυρος.

Στους δύο μεγάλους τοίχους της αίθουσας θα αναρτηθούν τα ονόματα όλων των εθελοντών που δούλεψαν για τις Τελετές των Αγώνων της Αθήνας.

Τα κοστούμια της τελετής δημιουργήθηκαν από τον εικαστικό καλλιτέχνη Άγγελο Μέντη και την ομάδα του. Πρόκειται για κοστούμια κατασκευασμένα από χαρτί, γάζα και πλαστικό, ζωγραφισμένα στο χέρι, έτσι ώστε να αναπαριστούν ακριβώς το πρωτότυπο.

Τα κοστούμια και τα αντικείμενα που παρουσιάζονται στην έκθεση συντηρήθηκαν από το εξειδικευμένο προσωπικό της Δ/νσης Συντήρησης Αρχαίων & Νεοτέρων Μνημείων του ΥΠ.ΠΟ.

Στην έκθεση θα προβάλλονται βίντεο από την προετοιμασία των τελετών (making of), σε σχεδιασμό και σκηνοθεσία Αθηνάς Τσαγγάρη, μέλους της δημιουργικής ομάδας των τελετών. Τα βίντεο αυτά παρουσιάζονται για πρώτη φορά στο κοινό.

Οι φωτογραφίες του Σωκράτη Σωκράτους από την προετοιμασία των τελετών θα παρουσιαστούν στην έκθεση, επίσης για πρώτη φορά.

Η σύλληψη και σκηνοθεσία της Τελετής ήταν του Δημήτρη Παπαϊωάννου.

Την επιμέλεια και τον σχεδιασμό της έκθεσης έκανε η Λίλη Πεζανού, σκηνογράφος των Τελετών έναρξης και λήξης.

Η έκθεση (με τίτλο «Μια Ελληνική Γιορτή – Αθήνα 2004» Σκηνικά – Κοστούμια από την Τελετή Έναρξης των ΟΑ Αθήνα 2004) παρουσιάστηκε στο μουσείο Capital του Πεκίνου, στο πλαίσιο του Πολιτιστικού Έτους της Ελλάδας στην Κίνα, από τις 21 Μαΐου έως τις 6 Ιουλίου 2008. Την έκθεση, η οποία απέσπασε εξαιρετικές κριτικές από τα κινέζικά media, επισκέφθηκαν πάνω από 2500 θεατές.

Συνδιοργανωτής της έκθεσης είναι ο Οργανισμός Προβολής Ελληνικού Πολιτισμού (Ο.Π.Ε.Π.) και χορηγός τα Ολυμπιακά Ακίνητα Α.Ε.

* Τα εγκαίνια της έκθεσης θα πραγματοποιηθούν τη Τετάρτη, 8 Ιουλίου και ώρα 20.00.

· Διάρκεια έκθεσης: 8 Ιουλίου – 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

· Ωράριο Λειτουργίας:

Δευτέρα & Τετάρτη: 17:00 – 22:00
Τρίτη: κλειστά
Πέμπτη, Παρασκευή & Σάββατο: 09:00 – 15:00
Κυριακή: 10:00 – 15:00

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Global Greek Lifestyle - Greeks Know How to Enjoy Life! (From Mathew - USA - Thanks!)

Kalyves Beach - Crete

A boat docked in a tiny Greek village on a Greek Island.

An American tourist complimented the Greek fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Greek.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Greek explained that his small catch was sufficient to mee
t his needs and those of his family.
Kalyves Beach - Crete

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, swim a little, read , play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, we socialize, play tavli, have a coffee, have a drink, eat , dance a little, play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs. I have a full life ."

Kalyves Beach - Crete
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you.
You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens , Los Angeles or even New York City !

From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Greek.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that? Afterwards?"

"That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing..
"When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire! live in a tiny village near the coast
, sleep late, catch a few fish, read, siesta , and spend your evenings socializing, eating, drinking, dancing and playing the bouzouki with your friends... and spend quality time with your loved ones!"

" But my friend, that's exactly what I am doing now..." the Greek replied....

Kalyves Beach - Crete

...And the moral of the story? A little simplistic perhaps, but the essence is just that!!! LIVE!

Let's enjoy our lives and get the real meaning out of the one life we have.
Take time to enjoy the small things, put together they make up the bigger picture so make the most of it !

Pictures are ours, taken at Kalyves, one of these same small and lovely coastal villages near Hania in Crete...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In Memory of Global Greeks Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin!

This magnificent photo of Melina graces the Acropolis Metro Station in Athens and was taken by her personal photographer Ilias Anagnostopoulos

It is nearly three decades since Melina Mercouri, as Minister of Culture in Greece's first Socialist Government in 1981, brought the issue of the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles to the attention of the international community, giving the cause the international status it needed and succeeded in having them referred to as the Parthenon Marbles rather than the Elgin Marbles, in her glorious and inimitable fashion.

Melina's vision, which also became that of her partner, world renowned director Jules Dassin, was to see the Parthenon Marbles reunited in a Museum to be built in Athens just for that reason. Dassin's efforts continued after Melina's death in 1994, establishing the Melina Mercouri Foundation in Greece, to carry on Melina's work and keep the pressure on the British Government! Unfortunately neither Melina or Jules lived to see the opening of the New Acropolis Museum, but we are all here to continue Melina's campaign and keep sending out our message

There is no excuse anymore - Bring the Parthenon Marbles HOME!!!

On the eve of the opening of the New Acropolis Museum and among the first to visit Greece’s latest cultural jewel, devoted to the Parthenon and other temples, noted British born American writer Christopher Hitchens, took the opportunity of addressing the issue of the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles once again, and writes the following for the latest edition of Vanity Fair.

The Lovely Stones - by Christopher Hitchens for Vanity Fair July 2009

The great classicist A. W. Lawrence (illegitimate younger brother of the even more famously illegitimate T.E. “of Arabia”) once remarked of the Parthenon that it is “the one building in the world which may be assessed as absolutely right.” I was considering this thought the other day as I stood on top of the temple with Maria Ioannidou, the dedicated director of the Acropolis Restoration Service, and watched the workshop that lay below and around me. Everywhere there were craftsmen and -women, toiling to get the Parthenon and its sister temples ready for viewing by the public this summer. There was the occasional whine of a drill and groan of a crane, but otherwise this was the quietest construction site I have ever seen—or, rather, heard. Putting the rightest, or most right, building to rights means that the workers must use marble from a quarry in the same mountain as the original one, that they must employ old-fashioned chisels to carve, along with traditional brushes and twigs, and that they must study and replicate the ancient Lego-like marble joints with which the master builders of antiquity made it all fit miraculously together.

Don’t let me blast on too long about how absolutely heart-stopping the brilliance of these people was. But did you know, for example, that the Parthenon forms, if viewed from the sky, a perfect equilateral triangle with the Temple of Aphaea, on the island of Aegina, and the Temple of Poseidon, at Cape Sounion? Did you appreciate that each column of the Parthenon makes a very slight inward incline, so that if projected upward into space they would eventually steeple themselves together at a symmetrical point in the empyrean? The “rightness” is located somewhere between the beauty of science and the science of beauty.

With me on my tour was Nick Papandreou, son and grandson of prime ministers and younger brother of the Socialist opposition leader, who reminded me that the famously fluted columns are made not of single marble shafts but of individually carved and shaped “drums,” many of them still lying around looking to be re-assembled. On his last visit, he found a graffito on the open face of one such. A certain Xanthias, probably from Thrace, had put his name there, not thinking it would ever be seen again once the next drum was joined on. Then it surfaced after nearly 2,500 years, to be briefly glimpsed (by men and women who still speak and write a version of Xanthias’s tongue) before being lost to view once more, this time for good. On the site, a nod of respect went down the years, from one proud Greek worker to another.

The original construction of the Parthenon involved what I call Periclean Keynesianism: the city needed to recover from a long and ill-fought war against Persia and needed also to give full employment (and a morale boost) to the talents of its citizens. Over tremendous conservative opposition, Pericles in or about the year 450 b.c. pushed through the Athenian Assembly a sort of stimulus package which proposed a labor-intensive reconstruction of what had been lost or damaged in the Second Persian War. As Plutarch phrases it in his Pericles:

The house-and-home contingent, no whit less than the sailors and sentinels and soldiers, might have a pretext for getting a beneficial share of the public wealth. The materials to be used were stone, bronze, ivory, gold, ebony and cypress-wood; the arts which should elaborate and work up these materials were those of carpenter, molder, bronze-smith, stone-cutter, dyer, veneerer in gold and ivory, painter, embroiderer, embosser, to say nothing of the forwarders and furnishers of the material It came to pass that for every age almost, and every capacity, the city’s great abundance was distributed and shared by such demands.

When we think of Athens in the fifth century b.c., we think chiefly of the theater of Euripides and Sophocles and of philosophy and politics—specifically democratic politics, of the sort that saw Pericles repeatedly re-elected in spite of complaints that he was overspending. And it’s true that Antigone was first performed as the Parthenon was rising, and Medea not all that long after the temple was finished. From drama to philosophy: Socrates himself was also a stonemason and sculptor, and it seems quite possible that he too took part in raising the edifice. So Greece might have something to teach us about the arts of recovery as well. As the author of The Stones of Athens, R. E. Wycherley, puts it:

In some sense, the Parthenon must have been the work of a committee It was the work of the whole Athenian people, not merely because hundreds of them had a hand in building it, but because the assembly was ultimately responsible, confirmed appointments, and sanctioned and scrutinized the expenditure of every drachma.

I have visited many of the other great monuments of antiquity, from Luxor and Karnak and the pyramids to Babylon and Great Zimbabwe, and their magnificence is always compromised by the realization that slaves did the heavy lifting and they were erected to show who was boss. The Parthenon is unique because, though ancient Greece did have slavery to some extent, its masterpiece also represents the willing collective work of free people. And it is open to the light and to the air: “accessible,” if you like, rather than dominating. So that to its rightness you could tentatively add the concept of “rights,” as Periclean Greeks began dimly to formulate them for the first time.

Not that the beauty and symmetry of the Parthenon have not been abused and perverted and mutilated. Five centuries after the birth of Christianity the Parthenon was closed and desolated. It was then “converted” into a Christian church, before being transformed a thousand years later into a mosque—complete with minaret at the southwest corner—after the Turkish conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Turkish forces also used it for centuries as a garrison and an arsenal, with the tragic result that in 1687, when Christian Venice attacked the Ottoman Turks, a powder magazine was detonated and huge damage inflicted on the structure. Most horrible of all, perhaps, the Acropolis was made to fly a Nazi flag during the German occupation of Athens. I once had the privilege of shaking the hand of Manolis Glezos, the man who climbed up and tore the swastika down, thus giving the signal for a Greek revolt against Hitler.

The damage done by the ages to the building, and by past empires and occupations, cannot all be put right. But there is one desecration and dilapidation that can at least be partially undone. Early in the 19th century, Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, sent a wrecking crew to the Turkish-occupied territory of Greece, where it sawed off approximately half of the adornment of the Parthenon and carried it away. As with all things Greek, there were three elements to this, the most lavish and beautiful sculptural treasury in human history. Under the direction of the artistic genius Phidias, the temple had two massive pediments decorated with the figures of Pallas Athena, Poseidon, and the gods of the sun and the moon. It then had a series of 92 high-relief panels, or metopes, depicting a succession of mythical and historical battles. The most intricate element was the frieze, carved in bas-relief, which showed the gods, humans, and animals that made up the annual Pan-Athens procession: there were 192 equestrian warriors and auxiliaries featured, which happens to be the exact number of the city’s heroes who fell at the Battle of Marathon. Experts differ on precisely what story is being told here, but the frieze was quite clearly carved as a continuous narrative. Except that half the cast of the tale is still in Bloomsbury, in London, having been sold well below cost by Elgin to the British government in 1816 for $2.2 million in today’s currency to pay off his many debts. (His original scheme had been to use the sculptures to decorate Broomhall, his rain-sodden ancestral home in Scotland, in which case they might never have been seen again.)

Ever since Lord Byron wrote his excoriating attacks on Elgin’s colonial looting, first in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812) and then in The Curse of Minerva (1815), there has been a bitter argument about the legitimacy of the British Museum’s deal. I’ve written a whole book about this controversy and won’t oppress you with all the details, but would just make this one point. If the Mona Lisa had been sawed in two during the Napoleonic Wars and the separated halves had been acquired by different museums in, say, St. Petersburg and Lisbon, would there not be a general wish to see what they might look like if re-united? If you think my analogy is overdrawn, consider this: the body of the goddess Iris is at present in London, while her head is in Athens. The front part of the torso of Poseidon is in London, and the rear part is in Athens. And so on. This is grotesque.

To that essentially aesthetic objection the British establishment has made three replies. The first is, or was, that return of the marbles might set a “precedent” that would empty the world’s museum collections. The second is that more people can see the marbles in London. The third is that the Greeks have nowhere to put or display them. The first is easily disposed of: The Greeks don’t want anything else returned to them and indeed hope to have more, rather than less, Greek sculpture displayed in other countries. And there is in existence no court or authority to which appeals on precedent can be made. (Anyway, who exactly would be making such an appeal? The Aztecs? The Babylonians? The Hittites? Greece’s case is a one-off—quite individual and unique.) As to the second: Melina Mercouri’s husband, the late movie director and screenwriter Jules Dassin, told a British parliamentary committee in 2000 that by the standard of mass viewership the sculptures should all be removed from Athens and London and exhibited in Beijing. After these frivolous and boring objections have been dealt with, we are left with the third and serious one, which is what has brought me back to Athens. Where should the treasures be safeguarded and shown?

It is unfortunately true that the city allowed itself to become very dirty and polluted in the 20th century, and as a result the remaining sculptures and statues on the Parthenon were nastily eroded by “acid rain.” And it’s also true that the museum built on the Acropolis in the 19th century, a trifling place of a mere 1,450 square meters, was pathetically unsuited to the task of housing or displaying the work of Phidias. But gradually and now impressively, the Greeks have been living up to their responsibilities. Beginning in 1992, the endangered marbles were removed from the temple, given careful cleaning with ultraviolet and infra-red lasers, and placed in a climate-controlled interior. Alas, they can never all be repositioned on the Parthenon itself, because, though the atmospheric pollution is now better controlled, Lord Elgin’s goons succeeded in smashing many of the entablatures that held the sculptures in place. That leaves us with the next-best thing, which turns out to be rather better than one had hoped.

About a thousand feet southeast of the temple, the astonishing new Acropolis Museum will open on June 20. With 10 times the space of the old repository, it will be able to display all the marvels that go with the temples on top of the hill. Most important, it will be able to show, for the first time in centuries, how the Parthenon sculptures looked to the citizens of old.

Arriving excitedly for my preview of the galleries, I was at once able to see what had taken the Greeks so long. As with everywhere else in Athens, if you turn over a spade or unleash a drill you uncover at least one layer of a previous civilization. (Building a metro for the Olympics in 2004 was a protracted if fascinating nightmare for this very reason.) The new museum, built to the design of the French-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, has had to be mounted above ground on 100 huge reinforced-concrete pillars, which allow you to survey the remnants of villas, drains, bathhouses, and mosaics of the recently unearthed neighborhood below. Much of the ground floor is made of glass so that natural light filters down to these excavations and gives the effect of transparency throughout. But don’t look down for too long. Raise your eyes and you will be given an arresting view of the Parthenon, from a building that has been carefully aligned to share its scale and perspective with the mother ship.

I was impatient to be the first author to see the remounted figures and panels and friezes. Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, the head of the museum, took me to the top-floor gallery and showed me the concentric arrangement whereby the sculpture of the pediment is nearest the windows, the high-relief metopes are arranged above head height (they are supposed to be seen from below), and finally the frieze is running at eye level along the innermost wall. At any time, you can turn your head to look up and across at the architectural context for which the originals were so passionately carved. At last it will be possible to see the building and its main artifacts in one place and on one day.

The British may continue in their constipated fashion to cling to what they have so crudely amputated, but the other museums and galleries of Europe have seen the artistic point of re-unification and restored to Athens what was looted in the years when Greece was defenseless. Professor Pandermalis proudly showed me an exquisite marble head, of a youth shouldering a tray, that fits beautifully into panel No. 5 of the north frieze. It comes courtesy of the collection of the Vatican. Then there is the sculpted foot of the goddess Artemis, from the frieze that depicts the assembly of Olympian gods, by courtesy of the Salinas Museum, in Palermo. From Heidelberg comes another foot, this time of a young man playing a lyre, and it fits in nicely with the missing part on panel No. 8. Perhaps these acts of cultural generosity, and tributes to artistic wholeness, could “set a precedent,” too?

The Acropolis Museum has hit on the happy idea of exhibiting, for as long as following that precedent is too much to hope for, its own original sculptures with the London-held pieces represented by beautifully copied casts. This has two effects: It allows the visitor to follow the frieze round the four walls of a core “cella” and see the sculpted tale unfold (there, you suddenly notice, is the “lowing heifer” from Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn). And it creates a natural thirst to see the actual re-assembly completed. So, far from emptying or weakening a museum, this controversy has instead created another one, which is destined to be among Europe’s finest galleries. And one day, surely, there will be an agreement to do the right thing by the world’s most “right” structure.

We at Global Greek World certainly hope so, Christopher, and thank you for all the support you have given our Global Greek Cause!

To read the original article in Vanity Fair, Click here
To see a slide show of the New Acropolis Museum by the New York Times, Click here

To visit the website of the New Acropolis Museum, Click here

Recently a new initiative for the Repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles has started up, gathering more than 100,000 members on Facebook! To read about this Campaign, headed by Alexis Mantheakis Click here

To buy a copy of Christopher Hitchens' Book "The Elgin Marbles, Should they be Returned to Greece?" Click here


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Archangel Michael's Shrine, Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

25th March Parade To Cenotaph Wellington, New Zealand

25th March Anniversary Parade, Wellington, New Zealand