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Troy comes to Colosseum September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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Heroes and gods shown in paintings, sculptures, vases

The Trojan War has come to the Colosseum with a major new show on Homer’s legendary account of the conflict .

Achilles, Ulysses, Hector, Paris, Agamemnon and Priam are just some of the figures depicted in mosaics, frescos, sculptures and vases showing scenes from the Iliad, brought to the Roman amphitheatre from Italy’s leading museums.

The poet Homer, now believed to be a mythical composite of Ancient Greek bards, is shown in three marble heads, a IV century AD portrait and a two later Hellenistic paintings.

Verses from the epic poem are posted around the monument under the figures they refer to, including the gods who took Greece’s side, Mars and Minerva, and those protecting Troy, Venus and Apollo.

Among the gems included in the show is a wall painting from Pompeii showing The Rape of Iphigenia, the daughter of Greek leader Agamemnon who was sacrificed to appease the gods.

Another is what curator Mario Torelli of Perugia University called “an extraordinary micro-sculpture”, the Tabula Iliaca, a bas-relief from Rome’s Capitoline Museums which shows the most dramatic events in the war.

“For other cultures, war was normal. Only Ancient Greece produced such a momentous account of its drama, destruction and sorrows,” Torelli added.

The exhibit, the latest in a series at the Colosseum including a sell-out show on gladiators, has been geared to the general public and not the specialist, co-curator Angelo Bottini of Rome’s archaeological superintendency said .

“We aimed to show the importance of the Homeric epic in ancient times, how it ran through various civilisations and still has lessons for us today,” he said.

The show runs till February 18.

Greek to be an option at South African schools September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Africa, Learn To Speak Greek.
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Greek will be introduced as an optional matric subject in South Africa from next year.

This is according to the Greek Ambassador in South Africa, Aristidis Sandis, who was on his first official visit to Durban. Sandis had discussions with the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, S’bu Ndebele, and the Mayor of Durban, Obed Mlaba, as well as attending several other functions. 

Sandis said the Greek community in South Africa, and especially personnel at the Saheti School in Johannesburg, had worked hard to get the language on the matric subject list.

“We are all thrilled that the Department of Education has agreed to it. Greek will be offered as an optional matric subject from 2007 with the first matric examination being written in 2009. There are about 40 teachers throughout South Africa who are qualified to teach Greek at matric level. If that is not sufficient we will investigate bringing in more tutors from Greece.”

There are about 60 000 people of Greek extraction living in South Africa.

Sandis, who was the Greek Consul in Cape Town about 20 years ago and took up his present post last year after a stint as ambassador in Austria, who said South Africa and Greece enjoyed “warm relations”.

Hellenic Aid in Greece was funding a R6 million development programme in South Africa to assist in the fight against Aids and to provide training in a variety of fields. Sandis encouraged South African authorities to have faith in their capabilities to produce an outstanding soccer World Cup tournament in 2010. “They must stick to their plans and work hard, just like Greece did with the last Olympics, and show the world what they are capable of.”  

Greek culture to be celebrated for three days September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Festival in Hayward will take place October 6-8

For 362 days a year, the Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church pursues its religious and cultural traditions in Castro Valley. Come early October, however, all things Greek shift west to Hayward for the annual three-day Greek festival.

A Celebration of Greece, minus the balmy breezes and white-washed stone buildings, but with food, music and more, will fill Centennial Hall from October 6 to 8.

The event’s slogan, “Imagine the Place, Experience the Taste” says it all.

Greek food will be featured for lunch, dinner, snacks, pastries, coffee and beverages. A live orchestra and a variety of dance companies will perform Greek music and dances. The Sons of Ulysses will perform table dances October 7-8.

Other highlights include Greek costumes from islands and villages, cooking demonstrations and lessons, sales of imported Greek handicrafts, Greek dance lessons, cultural and religious displays, tours of a replica Orthodox chapel, chats with visiting priests from a California Greek Orthodox monastery, and Greek Internet information.

Centennial Hall is at 22292 Foothill Blvd. Festival hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to midnight Oct. 7, and noon to 8 p.m. Oct. 8. Free parking. Admission is $5 per person, with children under 12 admitted free. A free admission coupon can be downloaded from the church’s Web site, http://www.cvresurrection.org. For information, call (510) 581-8950.

Legacy Exhibit pays tribute to Greek community September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora, Hellenic Light Americas.
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Lawrence Yerdon, President of Strawbery Banke Museum, and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in North America, will cut the ribbon on the first exhibit of its kind to open at the Tyco Visitor’s Center at Strawbery Banke Museum, on Friday.

The ribbon-cutting and premiere of the exhibit will take place during a cocktail hour preceding the dinner. The exhibit itself will formally open for a six-month run at the Strawbery Banke Museum Tyco Visitor’s Center.

The exhibit, called the Legacy Exhibit, is an example of the museum’s outreach to immigrant groups that played a significant role in the character and culture of Portsmouth.

The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Andrew Jarvis Drive in Portsmouth and its Byzantine architecture inspired the exhibit’s visual design. Laid out as a six-pointed star and suggestive of the angles, arches and domes found in many Orthodox churches, the exhibit guides the viewer on a journey that describes, through artifacts and photographs, all facets of life in this particular Greek-American community, its origins and its contributions to the growing Seacoast community around it.

In search of a wedding donkey September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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Family Restaurant returns for second season in search of wedding donkey

The Food Network’s reality series Family Restaurant focuses on the joys and trials of running such a business. But as the show begins its second season Monday, it’s all about the donkey.

“The donkey was a problem.”

Family Restaurant follows the adventures of the four Psalioses – Yianni, wife Kally, daughter Dina and son Theo – and their significant others as they live amidst the chaos and laughter of home and the string of Greek restaurants they own in Edmonton.

For his only daughter, Yianni insists on a traditional Greek wedding in the Cypriot village of his birth. This involves hiring musicians, caterers, etc. – for two or three days of celebrations, and for up to 4,000 guests.

“Yes, we really did have three or four thousand guests,” sighs Kally.

And that was the easy part.

Greek Cypriot tradition stipulates the groom should ride to the church on a flower-bedecked donkey. However, no marriage in Yianni’s village had followed this tradition in 30 years, and rental donkeys, flower-bedecked or otherwise, were in short supply.

Tune in to find out how things work out. Suffice to say that the St. Denis-Psalios wedding made Cyprus’s national news.

Read this article > Family Restaurant returns for second season in search of wedding

Greek dishes a mouthful in more ways than one September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Periklis on Yates a Victoria fixture

Owned and operated by Kosta Calfountzos, Paul Vasilakopoulos and John Mpoutopoulos, Periklis Restaurant has been a local staple in downtown Victoria for 27 years now.

Calfountzos said over the quarter-century and a bit, he and his co-owners have stuck to their guns.

All three families of the owners take part in every aspect of operating the restaurant, obviously part of their recipe for success, said Calfountzos.

But it can’t just be the family atmosphere that has kept customers coming back for 27 years. Calfountzos said there is one reason people come again and again.

“I think they like the food,” he said. “The Greeks the main dish is lamb. We almost have too many lamb dishes. Lamb casserole, lamb chops, rack of lamb, lamb souvlaki.”

Located right in the heart of downtown in the 500 block of Yates Street, one would think that Periklis serves up a lot of lamb to tourists. This is true, said Calfountzos, but not entirely true.

Periklis Greek Restaurant is located at 531 Yates St., Victoria, Canada. Their phone number is 386-3313.

A history of Greek costume in print September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Western travellers on a sightseeing mission to Greece were not just interested in landscapes and archaeological sites. The country’s inhabitants, their costumes, daily life and traditions have been a recurrent theme in prints from the 16th century onwards.

These ethnographically compelling testimonies – whether authentic or interpretative – have been brought together in ID Koilalou’s collection displayed at the Benaki Museum through to November 12. Originally a collector of stamps, Koilalou has through the years acquired a significant number of printed renditions of Greek costumes spanning the period from the 16th to the 20th centuries. He transferred his collection to the Benaki Museum upon the agreement that the donated material would be displayed by means of an exhibition as well as providing the main source for a publication.

The Benaki’s exhibition, which leaves out the photography-oriented 20th-century works, features 220 prints, wood-engravings, copper-engravings and lithographs, out of the collection’s 550 which have been added to the museum’s already existing costume archive. Brides, officers, sailors, egg sellers and noblemen parade from this imaginary wardrobe museum which unravels geographically, starting from Thrace and Macedonia and comes to a close with the Ionian islands. Costumes often denote societal rank or professional status and in other cases contribute towards capturing the mood of daily life – through a birth or funeral scene or a fair.

While in one respect a treasure of visual testimonies of the dress repertoire of Greece’s residents, the prints are often fanciful recreations of what westerners saw. “These are works of art and as such they are prone to deviations from the original source of inspiration,” curator Fani-Maria Tsigakou told a press meet. Rather than being executed on the spot, many of the sketches followed a traveller’s narration or written account and, in effect, are westernised versions of the original. However, this ‘touristy’ approach does not reduce their worth. “There are elements which allow the reconstruction, even in part, of costumes which have vanished through the years,” said Tsigakou.

Greek Costume: Printed Sources 16th-19th Centuries is on at the Benaki Museum (1 Koubari Street) till November 12. Open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm, Thursday 9am-midnight; Sunday 9am-3pm; Tuesday closed. A fully-illustrated publication (in Greek) is available from the museum’s giftshop at 80 euros.

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