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700-year-old icon stolen from monastery August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime, Religion & Faith.
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icon.jpg  Photo of the 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary which was stolen from Elonas Monastery in Leonidio (photo credit ANA-MPA)

The local community in the seaside town of Leonidio, Arcadia prefecture, in Peloponnese, was in shock on Friday following the early morning discovery that a 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary that is believed to be miracle-working was stolen from the Elonas Monastery, the Athens News Agency reports. The monastery’s nuns, who discovered the theft early Friday, immediately informed police.

It is believed that the icon was stolen some time between 10:00 p.m. Thursday and 5:00 a.m. Friday.

The icon is highly-venerated, with many people from all over Greece and abroad thronging to worship it, and it was adorned with hundreds of gold and silver devotions from worshippers.

Tens of police were at the monastery looking for clues that would lead to the thieves, while a helicopter was also scouring the area.

Greek folk dancing is blossoming on Paros August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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Youngsters help Naoussa group entertain tourists and locals

Youngsters on the Cycladic island of Paros have hundreds of bars and cafeterias to frequent and wile away their summer holidays but many have decided to take up traditional folk dancing instead.

Visitors to the island this summer were dazzled by the performances of the local Naoussa Paros music and dance group, which is due to put on its biggest show of all next year.

The number of young people taking part in the performances suggests that many teenagers are looking for deeper, long-lasting enjoyment than the ephemeral pleasure of frequenting bars and nightclubs, even if it means wearing heavy traditional costumes on warm summer nights.

The group has been putting on traditional dance performances since 1988. It was founded in the town of Naoussa by two teachers at the local school, Ipapandi Roussou and Lefteris Menegos. People of all ages from all over the island can join, and folk dancing soon becomes a way of life for members of the group. One young man, who left the island and is now working in Brussels, makes a point of dancing with the group whenever he is back visiting family and friends.

Schoolchildren, university students and adults dance in authentic costumes as well as those that have been painstakingly copied from original designs and sewn with great pride by local volunteers. The costume production is very costly. Fabrics and other necessary materials are purchased in Athens and brought over to the island.

The Roussos family has set up a museum in the central square of Naoussa of authentic Greek costumes that they have collected over the years. Donors have also come forward and the collection is growing steadily.

The dancing is accompanied by live music played by musicians on traditional Greek instruments, including laouto (lute), toumbeleki (snare drum) and tsambouna (a type of bagpipe typical of the islands). The songs, too, are sung by members of the group.

Apart from regional dances – they have over 100 in their repertoire from all over Greece and Asia Minor – the performances include little sketches portraying local customs, for example a typical Paros wedding. Practice takes place after school and work hours and performances are put on year-round.

On August 23 every year in Naoussa Bay, the group participates in the reenactment of the raid on Paros by Barbarossa and his pirates in the 16th century. Young men dressed as pirates try to land from fishing boats but are resisted by the locals.

The pirates demand to see the young women dance so they can pick the ones they like and carry them off. While the dancing is going on, the locals ambush the pirates and push them back into their boats. Finally, they are forced to leave and the beautiful young girls are spared.

The group’s income is from the sales of tickets for the performances as well as music and books, which include a collection of recipes from Paros in Greek and English. Donations from sponsors are also welcome.

The group usually travels abroad once a year to cities where folk-dancing competitions and festivals take place. In July this year they represented Greece at a Polish festival held on the outskirts of Warsaw. They have also represented Greece at events in several other countries, and also won a number of prizes.

For the young people who travel abroad with the group, it is an opportunity to get to know the people of the countries they visit, their customs and cultures. They are hosted by local families and are taken out on trips and sightseeing tours.

The performances of the Naoussa Paros group are spectacles of the highest quality that should not be missed. It is clear from their shows that much love and hard work goes into the preparation of each performance. Each one is steeped in history, tradition, rhythm and music. It is all great fun, for the audience, too.

Christianity, Byzantium and tradition feature at music festival on Patmos August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Music Life Classical.
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Celebrated singer Glykeria will perform at the festival on September 3.

Back for a sixth successive year, the Religious Music Festival, to be held early in September on the Greek island of Patmos, will feature a range of artists whose repertoires include classical music inspired by Christianity, Byzantine hymns, as well as traditional Greek folk music, or demotika, as the style is known.

A 10-day event that begins September 1, the festival’s lineup includes local artists Chronis Aidonidis, Glykeria, the all-female ensemble Feminarte as well the groups Orpheus and VocalArt, both from Norway.

Byzantine music performances by Aidonidis, Nektaria Karantzi, and Ymnodos, a group specializing in chants, make up the opening night’s agenda.

The following evening, Vicky Stylianou and Dionysis Malouchos, both pianists, and Akis Sakellariou, an actor, will present a performance to combine religious music and poetry. On the same evening, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) choir will perform works by Mozart, Haydn and others.

Glykeria, a popular singer whose long-lasting career has spanned close to three decades, will perform Byzantine hymns and traditional religious songs on September 3.

On September 6, the agenda will feature youth-era poems by the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, and religious songs by various Greek composers. Performances by the Norwegian groups Orpheus and VocalArt follow on September 7. The Feminarte Orchestra performs on September 9 and the festival’s closing night, September 10, features the Rhodes Experimental Choir.

For more information, call 22470 31235.

Drama meeting in Kiato August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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The Attis company is the organizer.

Theatrical performances, a symposium, numerous events and workshops are all part of the enlarged program of this year’s Second Meeting of Ancient Drama, organized jointly by the Municipality of Sikyona and the Theodoros Terzopoulos’s Attis Theater from August 24-27 in the coastal town of Kiato, near Corinth.

Last year, when the event was still in its pilot phase, the theme was “Darkness is My Light” and this year it is “Descent.” Because of the success of the two-day ancient drama forum in 2005, Terzopoulos, who initiated the entire concept, decided to double the effort this year and make the meeting bigger, giving it a more international character.

Highlights include an invitation, for the first time in Greece, to the internationally acclaimed Polish stage director Wlodzimierz Staniewski, who will present Lucius Apuleius’s “Metamorphosis” and Euripides’ “Electra.”

A production titled “Descendants,” which is a composition of extracts from Aeschylus’ lost tragedies, will be staged by Attis and directed by Terzopoulos, while the last production on the program is Giorgos Karvountzis’s staging of Aristophanes’ comedy “The Frogs.”

The symposium will begin with a tribute to the Lebanese poet, painter and writer Ethel Adnan, who will speak on “Orpheus’s Descent into Hades.” It also includes lectures from Greek and foreign academics.

Over 40 claims to north property commission August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Over 40 Greek Cypriots have now made applications for compensation to the property commission in the north, the Turkish Cypriot side said yesterday.

“The number of applications so far has reached to 42 and three of these have been decided,” a statement said.

The property commission was set up earlier this year with the aim of being accepted as domestic remedy by the European Court of Human Rights, offsetting mounting Greek Cypriot appeals over recent years.

According to the Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK, only one applicant requested for his property to be exchanged and not be restituted or compensated.

“So far three cases have been finalised,” TAK said.

Of those two Greek Cypriots had applied for their properties in the north to be reinstated and one had requested to be compensated.

Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashardis said yesterday the state was not aware of the exact number of Greek Cypriots going to the commission.

“I reiterate what we have already said, and that is that this commission is illegal,” he said.

Turkish Cypriot sues government over army camp on his land August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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A Turkish Cypriot landowner has filed a complaint to the European Court of Justice because he claims the Cyprus government is denying him access to his land currently occupied by a military camp.

This is the second such case to be taken up against the Cyprus government. Mehmet Ali Birsen appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming the government had violated his right to return to his 20-donum land in the Larnaca district village of Kellia, demanding compensation because a National Guard army camp has been built on the land.

He also had three houses on the land, which are now being used by the National Guard.
According to the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Organisation, Emine Erk, Birsen had gone through all the necessary channels to get an answer from the Cyprus government, but was simply told by government officials that the current deadlock in the Cyprus problem meant he could not get his land back or be compensated.

This is the second such case to be taken to the ECHR after Turkish Cypriot Erdogan Durmu filed a complaint that the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) had illegally built a power plant on his land in Mari.

According to Erk, more such cases are likely to be brought against the government.
“It is vital that the refugees from both sides of the island are treated equally and their interests are protected,” Erk said in an interview with Halkin Sesi.

According to government statistics, there are 413,177 donums of land in the south that belong to Turkish Cypriots.

Statistics show that 5,500 Greek Cypriot refugees are living in a house owned by a Turkish Cypriot before 1974, while around 8,000 Greek Cypriots have built houses on Turkish Cypriot land.

Around 3,500 Greek Cypriot refugees are also operating shops and stores that are owned by Turkish Cypriots.

A European Court ruling in favour of Birsen could have a major impact on the property saga on the island.

In a landmark court decision on February 13, Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa won the right to move into his old home after the government withdrew its appeal against a September 2004 Supreme Court ruling that gave him the right to return.

The case was a particularly sensitive because the Greek Cypriot refugee family living in Mustafa’s house had to be relocated.

Come experience the flavors of Greece August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dover invites you to experience the flavors of Greece and “be Greek for a day” at the 100th Anniversary Greek Festival this year.

The festival will take place on Friday, September 1, from 4 to 11 p.m., and on Saturday, September 2, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Hellenic Center on Longhill Road, Dover.

The festival will feature homemade Greek delicacies to eat there or to take home; delicious homemade pastries, a taverna (coffee house), dancing both nights to live bands (Ellas on Friday evening, and Ta Pethia on Saturday evening); children’s games and activities; an agora (marketplace) for Greek specialties, CDs, books and icons; Greek cooking demonstrations at 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturday; special dance performances by the church’s own Eleftheria Dance Troupe (4 and 7 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday) and the VEVA Dance Group from the greater Boston area (4 and 7 p.m. Saturday); and a raffle featuring gift certificates to local businesses and theme baskets.

Admission is free and all are invited. For information or directions, call the church office at 742-7667, or visit the Web site www.annunciation.nh.goarch.org.

Got Greek Dance? > Would you like to be able to join in the dances at the Greek Festival this year? Come learn some basic dances on Friday, August 25, at 6 p.m. at the Hellenic Center on Longhill Road. Members of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will be there to teach some of the more popular dances, such as the Kalamatiano (the Greek national dance) and the Tsamiko (the soldiers’ dance). Come as you are; instruction is free and open to the public.