Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding : Greek Orthodox Icons Inside Westminster Abbey - A Tribute to the Greek Orthodox Religion?

Greek Orthodox Byzantine Icons inside Westminster Abbey
Picture source: GGW - BBC Live stream still

As Britain prepares for the marriage of Crown Prince William and Kate Middleton, it is interesting to note that there are two beautiful Greek Orthodox Byzantine style icons placed  inside Westminster Abbey, one on each side... something that we've never seen before, and maybe in deference to the Greek connection of the Royal Family.

Prince Charles is a frequent visitor to Mt Athos while Prince Philip, before renouncing his Greek citizenship to marry the Queen, was a member of the Greek Royal family, while ex King of Greece, Constantine is one of William's godparents.

Kai sta dika sas oi anypantroi!  (Thanks Lizzy K!)

You can watch the wedding Live on the BBC, Click Here 

P.S.  Our thanks to one of our readers, Alkyoni,  for letting us know that the icons are the work of Russian Icon painter Sergei Federov. Apparently they have been there a while. You can read a little about this talented icon painter here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mt. Athos: A visit to the Holy Mountain - CBS' 60 Minutes - Easter Sunday 24 April 2011

 Mt Athos
Agion Oros - The Holy Mountain
 (Picture Source: Wikipedia - Gabriel )

A rare chance for most of us to visit the Holy Mountain - Mt Athos in Greece - via our television screens tonight, for those with access to CBS, when the MT Athos story was broadcast on "60 Minutes" on Easter Sunday, April 24 2011, thanks to producer, Global Greek Michael Karzis and his fellow producer Harry Radliffe

For the women amongst us, it is probably their only chance to get an inside glimpse of this all male bastion since access to the Holy Mountain for women is forbidden despite many protests over the years, including a more formal one from the EU in 2003.

A place that is visited by many Christians from all over the world including world leaders, kings, and princes,  Mt. Athos was created by ancient Byzantine emperors to be the spiritual capital of Orthodox Christianity,and for millions of Orthodox Christians it is the most sacred place on Earth. 

After two years of negotiating, Bob Simon and a team from "60 Minutes" were given unprecedented access to document monastic life on Mt. Athos - which is also known as the The Garden of the Mother of God - To Perivoli tis Panagias. The result is a portrait of a place and a Christian community that hasn't changed much in a thousand years that most people, other than Orthodox Christians, have ever seen. 

There are 2,000 Athonite monks living in what is the most unique monastery complex in the world; most pray all day. Some monks even told Simon that they pray while they sleep - and they only get about three hours of sleep a night. The monks divide their day into three parts: They spend about eight hours a day in church, and when they're not resting their time is dedicated to the work needed to keep the 20 monasteries running. Mt. Athos is also beautiful and has probably changed less than any other inhabited place on the planet. Some of the monasteries here are perched high on cliffs above the Aegean Sea, with sylvan hills as a backdrop and architecture that could have come out of a medieval fairytale. It was the architecture that first attracted a young boy from Winthrop, Mass.

"It was just so impressive and I turned around and I said to him, 'Dad, you know, I don't think I am going to believe that somebody lives in that building until I step on those balconies myself," 

says Fr. Iakovos, one of three monks originally from the U.S. who Simon speaks to, in addition to others from around the world. He came to Mt. Athos 25 years ago and he points out that it's not just the way of life that hasn't changed, neither has the Divine Liturgy that the monks celebrate every day. 

"You have to understand, the words that we are saying in today's liturgy are the same words Christ was saying, are the same words that saints from the first century, the second century, the third century, the fourth century,"  he tells Simon.

Over the last millennium, the 20 monasteries here have been a repository for sacred treasures and religious relics that date back to the days of the Byzantine Empire. Father Matthew, from Fond du Lac, Wis., was given special permission by the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery to show Simon just a few of the almost 4,000 religious icons stored there, the highlight, a restored icon of Christ dating from the 14th century.

These priceless artifacts are kept behind lock and key and are rarely seen by pilgrims or even the monks themselves. The lock system was ancient and extraordinary. It requires four separate keys to unlock the door to the inner sanctum, and normally takes at least two monks to unlock the door, because no one monk is allowed to have all four keys at the same time. Simon describes it as,  

"a medieval version of the nuclear launch control."

The rare treasures on Mt. Athos have attracted many invaders over the centuries. Fr Maximos, a former professor at the Harvard Divinity School who is from Long Island, N.Y., told Simon that in World War II in 1941, German forces were about to invade the peninsula. The monks met with German officers who told them the only way to save themselves was to make a direct appeal to Hitler. The monks wrote a letter and asked Hitler to place the Holy Mountain under his personal protection. Fr. Maximos tells Simon, 

"It seems that Hitler liked the idea and accepted the invitation to become the personal protector of the Holy Mountain."

Hitler's plan was to loot the sacred treasures though, and he sent an advance team of academics to photograph and catalogue almost everything on the Holy Mountain. In the end, not a thing was ever taken - no one really knows why - possibly divine intervention. 

Most monks today consider the Nazi episode a small blip on the road - after all, the monks there have been devoting their lives to prayer for 1,000 years. They say they try to get as close to God as humanly possible.
Fr. Nikandros, from Melbourne, Australia, says their monastic life also serves another mission - as frontline warriors in the battle of good versus evil. 

"We fight against the angels of the dark side, you see - of the devil - Satan," he tells Simon...

Source - CBS News  (you can also watch related footage there)

To Read More about Mt Athos on Wikipedia Click Here

To visit the Mt Athos website, Click here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ιδού, ο Νυμφίος 'Ερχεται - Behold the Bridegroom Cometh - Megali Deftera- Holy Monday

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, Κυριακή των Βαΐων, and the church celebrated the glorious and brilliant feast of the Entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (John 12:1-18). Zechariah had prophesied the entrance of the Messiah into Jerusalem, saying:  

“Rejoice greatly ... O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, the King comes unto Thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”, Zech. 9:9. 

The contemporary Jews associated this prophecy with the expected Messiah. This action of Christ testifies to His nature as Messiah, but with the definite declaration that His Kingdom was not of this world. The main road leading to Jerusalem was covered with palm trees.

The multitudes, with palm branches in their hands, spread their cloaks on the road as a show of respect, crying out 

Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.”  

A custom of distributing branches of palms to the people in the Church prevails to this day.

During the remainder of Holy Week, the Church advances its liturgical life by about twelve hours, celebrating morning services the night before, and evening services in the morning.

On Palm Sunday evening, the Church celebrates the Orthros (Matins) of Holy Monday, in the first of four “Bridegroom Services.” Christ is called the “Bridegroom” because in His Passion, He gives His life for His Bride, the people of God, the Church, just as a husband will sacrifice everything for his wife and family. From Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday, some parishes celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the morning.  

This very ancient Divine Liturgy is a Vespers Service, with the Holy Communion given from the sanctified gifts from the Liturgy on the previous Sunday. This Liturgy is very solemn, and spiritual, reflecting the grandeur and simplicity of the early Church. 

In the Orthros of Holy Monday, the Church remembers the blessed and noble Joseph and the fig tree which was cursed and withered by the Lord. 

 In the Orthros of Holy Tuesday, celebrated this Holy Monday evening, the Church remembers the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), who were waiting for the arrival of the Bridegroom at a wedding feast.

Ιδού, ο νυμφίος έρχεται
εν τω μέσω της νυκτός
και  μακάριος ο δούλος
ο ευρήσει γρηγορούνται,
ανάξιος δε πάλιν,
ον  ευρήσει ραθυμούντα
βλέπε ούν, ψυχή μου,
μη τω ύπνω κατενεχθής
ίνα  μη τω θανάτω παραδοθής,
και της βασιλείας έξω κλεισθής
αλλά  ανάνηψον κράζουσα
άγιος, άγιος, άγιος ει ο θεός ημών,
διά της  θεοτόκου ελέησον ημάς.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nikos Papazoglou ....Efharistoume...Kalo Taksidi :(

 Nikos Papazoglou  
wearing his trademark red bandanna

 17 April 2011,  Κυριακή των Βαΐων in Greece... 

Palm Sunday today, and the wet and miserable weather outside reflects the sadness of those of us who wept at the loss of one of Greece's foremost contemporary singers. Popular songmaker Nikos Papazoglou died early this morning after a tough battle with cancer, just a few weeks after the death of his friend, fellow musician and composer Manolis Rassoulis - two people whose music has left an indelible mark on most of us, and whose musical legacy will remain with us for a long long time...

Music with that extra dimension that makes them truly great...songs which speak volumes and say everything we would like to but somehow can't find the right words, songs with depth and meaning, so aptly descriptive of today's society - Ax Ellada s'agapo, Pote Voudas Pote Koudas and so many more, songs which made Nikos immensely popular throughout Greece and the Global Greek World...

Αχ Ελλάδα Σ' Αγαπώ
Χαρά στον Έλληνα που ελληνοξεχνά
Και στο Σικάγο μέσα ζει στη λευτεριά
Εκείνος που δεν ξέρει και δεν αγαπά
-- σάμπως φταις και συ καημένη --
και στην Αθήνα μέσα ζει στη ξενιτιά

Αχ Ελλάδα σ' αγαπώ και βαθιά σ' ευχαριστώ
γιατί μ' έμαθες και ξέρω
Ν' ανασαίνω όπου βρεθώ να πεθαίνω όπου πατώ
και να μη σε υποφέρω 
Αχ Ελλάδα θα στο πω πριν λαλήσεις πετεινό
δεκατρείς φορές μ' αρνιέσαι .
Μ' εκβιάζεις μου κολλάς σαν το νόθο με πετάς
μα κι απάνω μου κρεμιέσαι

Η πιο γλυκιά πατρίδα είναι η καρδιά
-- Οδυσσέα γύρνα κοντά μου -
που τ' άγια χώματά της πόνος και χαρά
καθένας είναι ένας που σύνορο πονά
και εγώ είμαι ένας κανένας που σας σεργιανά

Καθένας είναι ένας
που σύνορο πονά
και εγώ είμαι ένας κανένας
που σας σεργιανά

Αχ Ελλάδα σ' αγαπώ και βαθιά σ' ευχαριστώ
γιατί μ' έμαθες και ξέρω
Ν' ανασαίνω όπου βρεθώ να πεθαίνω όπου πατώ
και να μη σε υποφέρω...

The medley below is our tribute to this great artist. Just click on play and close your eyes...

Καλό Ταξίδι, Νίκο... Ευχαριστούμε ...

To read more about Nikos - in Greek Click here 
                                      - in English Click Here

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are you Global Greek with a Great Idea? Make Innovation Work !


Make Innovation Work

The Make Innovation Work (MIW) competition is a major initiative launched by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Greece and is under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr George Papandreou.
The MIW competition is organized in cooperation with, and supported by, major international and local companies and organizations. 

MIW aims to inspire residents and nationals, people and/or entities, of Greece and Cyprus, including Greeks and Cypriots Abroiad, to submit innovative and feasible business plans to be implemented in Greece.

Business Plans must be in the sectors of:

• Green Energy
• Tourism
• Alternative Agriculture
• Transportation & Shipping

The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, May 16, 2011.

First Prize is $100.000 plus significant business development support.

The winning proposals will be announced in October 2011.
For more information please visit

Κάνε την Καινοτομία, Πράξη" (Make Innovation Work, MIW).

Το Ελληνοαμερικανικό Εμπορικό Επιμελητήριο παίρνει μία μεγάλη πρωτοβουλία για την ενίσχυση της επιχειρηματικότητας και της καινοτομίας στην Ελλάδα με τη διοργάνωση του διαγωνισμού "Κάνε την Καινοτομία, Πράξη" (Make Innovation Work, MIW).
Σκοπός του διαγωνισμού Κάνε την Καινοτομία, Πράξη είναι να δημιουργήσει ένα ισχυρό κίνητρο σε όλους όσοι πιστεύουν ότι έχουν μια επιχειρηματική ιδέα με «προοπτικές» για την Ελλάδα, μία ιδέα που θα θέσει τις προϋποθέσεις για μια Ελλάδα περισσότερο ανταγωνιστική.
Πρόκειται για μια πρωτοβουλία εξαιρετικής σημασίας, μια και αποτελεί το έναυσμα για δημιουργική σκέψη πάνω στους τρόπους επιχειρηματικής ανάπτυξης της Ελλάδας, συμβάλλοντας σημαντικά στη γόνιμη ανάλυση και μελέτη των επιχειρηματικών αναγκών της χώρας μας.
Το μήνυμα του Ελληνοαμερικανικού Εμπορικού Επιμελητηρίου, αλλά και όλων όσοι στηρίζουν το διαγωνισμό είναι ξεκάθαρο:
Σε μια περίοδο γεμάτη προκλήσεις για την Ελλάδα, σε μια εποχή που τείνει να επικρατήσει η αμφιβολία και η ανασφάλεια, εμείς προτάσσουμε έμπρακτα τη δημιουργικότητα, ανταπαντούμε με θετικές και ελπιδοφόρες ενέργειες, προχωρούμε σε μια ουσιαστική αλλαγή των αναπτυξιακών δεδομένων της χώρας μας.
Γιατί, πιστεύουμε περισσότερο από ποτέ ότι μαζί μπορούμε να κάνουμε την Ελλάδα πιο ανταγωνιστική.

Μαζί μπορούμε να κάνουμε τη διαφορά!

Μαζί μπορούμε να Κάνουμε την Καινοτομία, Πράξη!

Όροι και Προϋποθέσεις Συμμετοχής στο Διαγωνισμό
Στο διαγωνισμό Κάνε την Καινοτομία, Πράξη μπορεί να συμμετάσχει οποιοσδήποτε Έλληνας ή Κύπριος πολίτης ή νομική οντότητα, καθώς και άτομα της ευρύτερης ελληνικής Διασποράς.

Είναι σημαντικό να τονίσουμε ότι το επιχειρηματικό σχέδιο πρέπει να είναι καινοτόμο και να αποδεικνύει σαφώς με πoιο τρόπο θα ενισχύσει την ελληνική οικονομία. 
Επίσης, τα σχέδια που θα κατατεθούν πρέπει να είναι πραγματοποιήσιμα και εφικτά.

Το πρώτο βραβείο θα είναι 100.000 δολάρια Αμερικής. 

Πέραν όμως του χρηματικού επάθλου, η νικήτρια επιχειρηματική πρόταση θα στηριχθεί νομικά, τεχνολογικά και οργανωτικά κατά την υλοποίησή της.

Τα επιχειρηματικά σχέδια πρέπει να αφορούν σε έναν από τους τέσσερις πυλώνες της ελληνικής οικονομίας και ανάπτυξης:

• Πράσινη Ενέργεια
• Τουρισμός
• Εναλλακτική Γεωργία
• Μεταφορές & Ναυτιλία

Η τεχνολογία μπορεί να διαδραματίσει πρωτεύοντα ή και δευτερεύοντα ρόλο στα προτεινόμενα επιχειρηματικά σχέδια.
Η μεγάλης σημασίας πρωτοβουλία του Ελληνοαμερικανικού Εμπορικού Επιμελητηρίου πραγματοποιείται με τη συνεργασία και την υποστήριξη μεγάλων διεθνών και τοπικών εταιρειών και οργανισμών, αλλά και με την υποστήριξη του Πρωθυπουργού της Ελλάδας, κυρίου Γιώργου Α. Παπανδρέου.
Τέλος, αναφέρουμε ότι οι νικήτριες προτάσεις θα ανακοινωθούν τον Οκτώβριο του 2011.
Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες σχετικά με τους όρους και τις προϋποθέσεις συμμετοχής, επισκεφθείτε την ιστοσελίδα

Monday, April 11, 2011

Let's Get our Global Greeks on the 2011 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World List!

It's the time of the year when we get to find out who TIME lists as the 100 most influential people in the world! 

Among the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that are listed every year we get to see some of the most influential people in the world - a list which includes vastly diverse personalities such as Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Barack and Michelle Obama, George Clooney, Julian Assange, The Fukushima Power Plant workers, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Christopher Hitchens and Mohammed ElBaradei to name but a few!

It has always been great to see some of our famous Global Greeks as one of those 100 Most Influential - Arianna Huffington, Professor Nicholas A Christakis, Tina Fey and Jamie Dimon were all included in previous years in the TIME list .

This year the polling is just as exciting - we have four of our Global Greeks in the running for the annual list for 2011 and we would love to see all of them included!

Here they are:

 Betty White 
 To read more about Betty and vote,  Click Here

   Arianna Huffington
To read more about Arianna and cast your vote, Click Here

  Zach Galifianakis 
 To read more about Zach and cast your vote, Click Here

Jamie Dimon 
 JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO
To read more about Jamie and cast your vote, Click Here

Right now with three days to go, only one is going to make it into the list - Betty White, she's ranking 30th right now! Arianna Huffington  is in the 167th place while Jamie Dimon  is fairly close behind her at 174 and Zach Galifianakis  at 197!

If  you would like to vote for one of our Global Greeks as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, just click on the name under the picture of the person you want to vote for.

To check the rankings, for a full list of candidates or to read more, Click Here

Voting closes in 3 days on April 14, 2011- so let's get voting...

To all our Global Greek candidates - Good luck!

Καλή Επιτυχία!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who will Be #2000? Beautiful Rethymno - Meeting Global Greek World's Fan #1000, Chantal Anthonis ...

  Global Greek World Fan Number #1000, 
Chantal Anthonis with Clive Birch in Rethymno,

As we approach another milestone, the 2000th 'like' on our Global Greek World Facebook Page... we thought it would be appropriate to publish this.

In August last year as the international  'parea' on our Facebook Page kept growing, we decided it would be nice to reward the person who would be the 1000th 'Like' on our page.

That person turned out to be Chantal Anthonis, a very charming Flemish lady from the city of Gent in Belgium, now retired and living on - where else? - the beautiful Greek island of Crete - very convenient indeed, especially as that was where we would be going for our summer holidays, as we always do... 

A couple of weeks later, on what must have been the hottest day of 2010, in 40C heat, we decided to split the difference and set off for gorgeous Rethymno to meet up with Chantal, who would be driving from Heraklion with her friend Clive Birch, an equally charming Englishman also living on  Crete, and give her her prize...

Chantal Anthonis with Clive Birch in Rethymno,

It was lovely to meet both these Global Greek Lovers, or should we say, Honorary Global Greeks, people who love Greece and its people and have even decided to live here. 
Chantal's  currently busy learning Greek whilst already fluent in Dutch, French, English and German and her interests include history and contemporary literature and cinema.

Chantal maintains a lively Facebook 'Fan Page' where she describes her everyday adventures on the sunny island of Crete, Chantal Anthonis:Lekkerweg in Kreta  

and is a regular editorial contributor to Now Heraklion a website dedicated to the vibrant Heraklion and all it has to offer( for citizens and visitors alike)... Η ιστοσελίδα για όσους αγαπούν το Ηράκλειο, created by Clive or Clivios as his neighbours call him.

Clive created this very special and unique website earlier this year for the capital city of Crete, because he found it difficult to find information online about vibrant Heraklion and all it has to offer...  He also set up a great NowHeraklion Facebook Page.

He has almost finished renovating an old house in a small village near Heraklion, with great views of the Mediterranean...

In addition to his house, Clive also bought a tiny property nearby which used to be the village 'kafenion' many years ago. It needs some work doing to it as he plans to open it as a small 'art school' someday....

Clive had a design company in England which he says "was great but very demanding. Now, I take whatever comes my way... a more relaxed way of life here on a Greek island."

Paradise on earth... What more can a person ask for?

and ...

since we are talking about paradise here are some pictures of our day in  Crete's beautiful Rethymno...

 Brilliant White on Brilliant Blue...
the beauty that is Greece!

We even got our portrait done in the shade of this beautiful church

by talented Caricaturist Dimitri who splits his time between Rethymnon and Nafplion sketching people

Books anyone?

Mugs and other memorabilia from Rethymnon

More memorabilia ...

More memorabilia ...
Natural products ... 

and some interesting Olive oil based cosmetics The Olive Way
Anyone for the beach? 40 C out there...problem is it was really windy

Ancient ruins in the middle of the all Greek cities worthy of their name

Loved this view...

Anyone for a ride?

An artistic baker with enormous talent ...
Konstantinos Spanoudakis
fantastic shapes and other artistic creations ...
traditional bread products and Cretan wedding loaves


The famous Fortress of Rethymnon...

oops almost forgot...
last but not least ....
Chantal's prize

 Photo Source: Clive Birch
Mementos from Athens Magical Olympic Games... 
Collectors' items Athens 2004 Olympic Volunteer Swatch and pins

Lovely to meet you Chantal and Clive! Keep up the great work promoting Crete and Greece!

We will keep the momentum going with a prize for being 'Like' number 2000, 3000, 4000 etc... 

Just keep on 'liking' folks - thanks ever so much for all your support ! xxx :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

pET sHOP... A Touching Short Film by Greek Director Michael-Gabriel Zenelis

A young boy saves his money to buy a pet. When he visits a pet shop on the outskirts of Athens, he is upset because the price the owner is asking for the pets is way beyond his reach, until he sees a pet which is just the right one for him...

pET sHOP is a multi-award winning short film by talented Greek director Michael-Gabriel Zenelis.  Thoughtful and sensitive yet powerful, it focuses on today's society and its questionable priorities and sense of values, where appearance is often more important than substance and is priced accordingly... 

Michael-Gabriel Zenelis was born in Athens in 1978. 

He studied film direction at the Stavrakos School and has collaborated with various production companies in the fields of cinema and television.

pET sHOP, is his first film and has already received a number of awards -  a great beginning to a promising career!

Best Short Film - Olympia International Film Festival for Children & Young People
Best Short Film/Special Award - Patras Film Festival
Special Award, Special Mention - Pescara European Short Film Festival
Special Mention - Naoussa International Film Festival, 
Silver Medal -  Festival der Nationen
Silver Medal - International Film Festival Des Nightkommerziellen Films Awards...

From us at Global Greek World -

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Asterix Last Stand in Greece: Keratea...

Source: Bananiotis

Greece is under occupation... All of it? No, not quite. 
One small village refuses to surrender and will continue to resist the invaders. 
Life will not be easy at all for the legionnaires who guard it...

Like Asterix' small village in Gaul, with the handful of villagers who continued to resist the Romans, so are the residents of Keratea resisting the invader...

Who has the magic potion though and who is the Druid in Greece's Battle of Keratea? 


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