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XVII Mediterranean Games 2013 April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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It is our wish that young athletes from all the countries of the Mediterranean come together and compete with respect for the Olympic Ideals and Fair Competition, as well as for the official regulations of the International Sports Federations.

Our dedication to the Olympic Ideals, as they are described in the Olympic and Mediterranean charters, is our guide and, at the same time, our most powerful motivation to prepare and host the Games.

We feel a great responsibility in view of the history of the Olympic Games, as well as the Mediterranean Games and recognise their importance in bringing together the peoples of the Mediterranean, a region tormented by wars.

Furthermore, the commitment of the Greek nation and the Greek State to the ideal of Peace, we declare that we will make every strong effort to promote the Olympic/Mediterranean truce throughout the duration of the Games.

We believe that Sports and Culture are intertwined and, in view of this, we are placing great emphasis on the cultural dimension of the Games; a commitment that is expressed in our wish to include a programme of cultural activities, which will promote the values and cultures of all the peoples without exception. Cultural unity contributes to the understanding of the particularities of all nations and countries of the region. For us, this understanding is an important step toward peaceful coexistence and cooperation among peoples.

Organisation of the Mediterranean Games allows for the continuation of the educational programme, “Olympic Education”, started under the supervision of the “Athens 2004” OCOG, in association with the relevant ministries, the NOC, athletic federations, as well as independent, non-profit organisations. We are committed to creating modern educational material and methods and to develop a 4-year programme beginning in 2009.

We are committed to organising Games with respect for the Environment; a fact that is evident in our strategic planning for the environmental management of the biotope of Lake Karla, as well as in the design plans of its athletic venues and the emphasis we give to outdoor events. The Mediterranean Games will provide the starting point for the environmental protection of the region.

The Candidacy File for hosting of the XVII Mediterranean Games in Volos under the name “Volos 2013” includes a complete proposal, which contains in great detail, 7 years prior to the Games, all the necessary information for presenting our candidacy according to the specifications of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG).

The Candidacy File “Volos 2013” has important advantages because of the geographical position of Volos, as well as the participation of the cities of Larisa, Trikala and Skopelos and the great history of the region of Thessaly.

These advantages are:

Read more > http://www.2013volos.gr/index.htm

How to throw a party Greek-style in Zambia April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Africa.
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It was a veritable invasion and the Le Soleil staff are still reeling. The Greeks came and went and launched Le Soleil’s International Food Festival with gusto, verve and style.

Master of Ceremonies  Nick Lostrom didn’t pull any punches when he challenged festival guests who were unlucky enough not to be born in Greece to “Beat this!” Bedecked in blue and white flags Le Soleil was bursting at the seams; despite a new verandah extension and the hiring of a huge marquee there was just not enough room for the 230 guests and tables were hastily placed on the lawns. Waiters were run off their feet taking list length orders and wondering why they were all being called “Ela!” by the Greeks.  “Ela!” in Greek means “Come Here”, which in this case, is how you can call a waiter to come and take an order.

Traditional Greek food in a range of receptacles arrived by means fair and foul flooding the Le Soleil kitchens. But despite chaos in the kitchen the buffet tables were soon garnished with all the dishes that Greeks are famous for;  Moussaka, made with mince, eggplant and béchamel, a thick white cheese sauce. Fasolada, a bean soup, Tzatziki, with cucumber, thick yoghurt and lots of garlic, a summer favourite in the Med; Dolmades, vine leaf wrapped mince and rice, Kleftiko, lamb dish cooked in an earth oven, Stifado, rabbit cooked in onions and red wine, Ovelias, a delicious lamb-on-a-spit. Desserts included the crumbly and more-ish  pastried  Baklava. Compliments to chefs  Olga, Eleni, Mandy, Fifi, Angelos, Kathryn, Marie and Sophia.

But for the Greeks its ‘dance before dinner’ and Zambian Greek kids choreographed by dynamo Eleni Nicolandos performed a range of costumed traditional dances from the  Kalamatianos and Tsamikos to the Pentozali and the Zeimbekiko, ably led by Paul Georgitsis who alternately staggered, fell and danced a procession around the pool.

And alcohol flowed, plates got smashed, the disco took over and dinner was danced off as more alcohol flowed. Still shell-shocked the Le Soleil staff are now girding themselves for the next onslaught : the South Africans.

A very big thank you to Olga Georgitsis and Eleni Nicolandos for making it all happen as well as it did.

Dictionary Software covers Greek to English translation April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Learn To Speak Greek.
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Single-click translation and dictionary software, Babylon 6, is offered with bi-directional Greek English dictionary. With it, users can click on any term from any desktop application and receive immediate results to and from Greek in pop-up window on their screen. Dictionary contains 110,000+ words, phrases, abbreviations, and acronyms pertaining to variety of subjects. For localization, dictionary also features American and British forms of spelling.

Millions of Babylon users around the globe will now be able to click on any term from any desktop application and receive immediate results to and from Greek in a small pop-up window on their screen.

The Babylon’s Greek-English bi-directional comprehensive Dictionary contains more than 110,000 words, phrases, abbreviations & acronyms. It includes terms from a vast variety of subjects, such as Medicine, Electronics, Zoology, Business, Computers, Religion, etc., and features both the American and British forms of spelling.

For download Babylon translation software please visit Babylon’s web site: http://www.babylon.com

If you already have Babylon, click here to download the Greek dictionary:
http://www.babylon.com/category/10/Greek.html

A Greek interview reveals Wii music, health pack details April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets.
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In an interview with Greek news Web site Contra.gr, George Katrinakis, CEO of Nintendo distributor Nordec Multimedia, revealed new details regarding Wii Music and Health Pack. Please note that translations may be rough.

Wii Music, initially presented at E3 2006 in the form of a conductor demo, will allow players to control an orchestra and create music. According to Katrinakis, players will also have the option of controlling certain instruments. After the music is composed, players may share their pieces with friends, presumably over WiiConnect24, though Katrinakis did not elaborate on this aspect.

Regarding Health Pack, the game will feature various exercises players can perform. All of the “biometric elements” will be delivered to Nintendo-contracted hospitals “via the corresponding Wii channel. After certain hours the results check up will come to the house!” Katrinakis said.

Nintendo has yet to specify release dates for Wii Music and Health Pack in any territory.

The full Contra.gr interview can be found here

Annual Greek-American parade in NYC on Sunday April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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nyc_parade.jpg  Members of the elite Presidential Guard (Evzones) march down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday, April 2, 2006 during last year’s Greek Independence Day parade in New York City, an annual event in the US metropolis. The Grand Marshal for the 2006 parade was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

Greece’s Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis and Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalantzis, among others, will lead a large Greek government delegation at this year’s Greek Independence Day on Sunday through the heart of Manhattan.

A total of 56 floats and representatives of 95 organisations, communities, associations, schools and companies will participate in the annual Greek-American parade, while A&E Network Honorary President Nicholas Davatzis will serve as the Grand Marshal.

According to organisers, the Greek-American community in the US metropolis will again promote a handful of national issues considered of supreme importance for Greece and Hellenism, in general, including a long-standing demand for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces from northern Cyprus, the Macedonia “name-issue”, recognition of the early 20th century genocide of ethnic Greeks in Black Sea region, the Pontians, and safeguarding the rights of the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania.

On the occasion of his visit to New York City, Meimarakis met on Thursday with His Eminence Archbishop of America Demetrios as well as with representatives of local Greek-American communities.

UPDATE > Sunday, 15 April 2007

POSTPONED > GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE UNTIL SUNDAY, APRIL 22 at 2:00 PM, DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS

Live Televised Broadcast also postponed until April 22 at 2:00pm

Doxology Service on Sunday, April 15 at Holy Trinity remains as scheduled

In response to the New York Mayor’s request for organizations to curtail outdoor activities because of the impending high gale winds and storm conditions unprecedented for 20 years, and in response to the many schools and churches marching with young kids, the decision was made to reschedule the Greek Independence Day Parade from April 15 to April 22 at 2:00pm. The Federation has been working with the Mayor’s Office to provide the proper parade-related services for next Sunday, April 22 beginning at 2:00pm.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to members of the Greek community but not rescheduling may create a dangerous situation for the tens of thousands marching and participating. We want to avoid any potential incidents that would create public risk,” said both Nick Diamantidis, President of the Federation and John Catsimatidis, the Parade Chairman.

Given the record number of 56 floats participating in this year’s parade and the gale force winds predicted, this unprecedented decision was mandated by our paramount interest for public safety.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the storm with the National Weather Service and the powerful, and potentially dangerous, coastal storm is expected to impact New York City on Sunday. While the exact track and intensity of the storm is uncertain at this time, heavy rain, strong winds and coastal flooding are forecasted for early Sunday morning through Monday. Governor Eliot Spitzer also urged all organizations to curtail their outdoor activities. In a statement also released by OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno today, he says that “All New Yorkers, especially those living in coastal areas, should take steps to prepare themselves and their families for this storm.”

For more information about the Parade postponement, please call 718-204-6500. For any emergencies, you are urged to call 311.

Celebrating love for Greek Heritage through art April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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As Greek New Yorkers get ready for the annual Greek Independence Day Parade Sunday, one Brooklyn man celebrates his Hellenic heritage all year round. 

What started out as a simple garden for George Kortsolakis has turned into an elaborate homage to his native island of Crete. Kortsolakis has re-created the largest of the Greek islands in the 12 by 12 atrium in his side yard in Bay Ridge by using all kinds of trinkets, shells and pebbles.

“I dream about Crete and I think about how to make Crete,” said Kortsolakis. “And I make Crete and what I did is exactly like Crete.” Kortsolakis decorated the island with olive trees and lighthouses, boats, and cars. He uses LiquidNails to keep it all in place. “Everything you see what’s there is there,” he said. “Nothing moves because I put them one by one.”

He also added all kinds of animals including a species that he says is native to his homeland. “We have an animal there we call kri-kri,” said Kortsolakis. “Kri-kri is only in Crete. You know kri-kri is not a deer, it’s not a goat. He jumps from mountain to mountain and the wolf cannot catch him.”

Kortsolakis came to New York in 1955 and says he’s always been able to create art with his hands. He was a tailor who worked for Gucci and Oleg Cassini among other big name designers and says some of his clients included Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra.

But since his retirement, it’s this yard art project that keeps his creative spirit generated. Kortsolakis started his Crete project back in 1992 and says he works on it everyday. “Oh my God, he’s sleeping and dreaming about what he’s going to do the next day,” said his wife Flora Kortsolakis. “And he’s active which is nice. He keeps himself busy.”

But sometimes Kortsolakis admits he may spend too much time on his mini replica. “My wife says ‘come in come in,’” he said. “I say ‘let me do this,’ and sometimes we have argument.”

Still Kortsolakis loves the attention. He’s received numerous awards for his work including one from the borough president. He’s gotten media publicity, and attention from the passerbys who stop to look in. “Every time I go by the block I like to go by this and see it,” said one young Brooklyn resident. “It’s really nice.” “It’s nice,” said another local. “I really never knew what I was though really, to be honest.”

Kortsolakis says he’s not done. He made the clouds and stars and now he wants to add the moon and sun. “It’s going to be the eight wonder of the world, because I have to put a lot of things more inside,” he said. A world as seen through the Greek eyes of George Kortsolakis.

Go Greek for a day at Greek festival April 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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If you want to eat, drink and dance Greek for a day, the 11th Annual Palm Desert Greek Festival at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Desert is the place to be this weekend.

What started out as a small festival, to raise money to pay the mortgage on the new church 11 years ago, has grown into one of Palm Desert’s signature events, says Ana Storton, the event’s spokesperson. The festival, usually held in late February, was moved because Easter fell on the same date for all Christians.

“It’s usually earlier in the year,” Storton says. “We’re hoping the weather is good.” On Thursday, crews were making repairs and resetting tents that had blown over in the strong winds that hit the Coachella Valley during the week. Last year’s festival attracted more than 15,000 visitors from all over Southern California, “And we’re expecting about the same number this year, too,” she says.

The festival has definitely grown over time. The first couple of years, most festival-goers were locals. “We’re getting a lot more visitors from all over,” she says. While everyone wants the festival to continue growing, “we don’t want it to get so big we’d have to move,” she says. “A couple of years ago the Pasadena church held their festival at the Rose Bowl, while it was nice, it just didn’t feel the same.”

The festival is a chance to experience Greek traditions, tastes and sounds. “It’s a chance to share our culture with everyone,” Storton says. The best part of that sharing? “When the Americans get up to dance,” she says. Bands play all day long, and there are dancing lessons several times a day. Hesitant at first, “aren’t we all?” she asks, “it’s much fun to watch them loosen up and have a good time.”

What you’ll find >

The food: Not to be confused with pastries, which are a class by themselves. There’s spanakopita, triangles of filo dough filled with feta cheese and spinach; gyros, thinly sliced lamb with tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber sauce); Greek chicken with lemon juice, Greek oregano and olive oil; Greek-style leg of lamb and paidakia, country-style lamb chops (these sell out quickly); loukaniko, sausage served with pita, olives, feta cheese and lemon; pastitsio, seasoned ground beef with a Beschamel sauce; Greek fries with Mizithra cheese and seasonings; dolmades, stuffed grape leaves; feta cheese and Kalamata olives in horiatiki Greek salad.

Pastries: A class of food by itself. There’s baklava, filo dough with chopped nuts and honey; koulourakia, traditional Greek cookies; kourabiethes, more melt-in-your-mouth cookies; galaktoboureko, custard wrapped in filo; loukoumathes, feather-light golden puffs smothered in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and nuts; pasta flora, pastry dough filled with jam; diples, rolled pastry drenched in honey.

Kafenia: An outdoor Greek coffee house where you can drink strong Greek coffee and enjoy your pastries.

Zorba’s Bar: Retsina, Metaxa, Ouzo and Greek beer, along with American beer, wines, soft drinks and water, too.

Entertainment: Where do you start? St. George’s has invited dance troupes from the Folk Dance Festival rather than professional dancers. Troupes of kids through young adults present dances from all over Greece in authentic costumes. “The kids practice all year and need an audience to dance for,” Storton says. “And they’re so much fun to watch.”

Levenia: a traditional Greek bazouki band, noon-9 p.m. both days; demonstrations of Greek folk dancing, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. both days.

Hercules Kidz Zone: Children’s area with a bounce house, giant inflatable slide, dunk tank, face painting. Paid pass required.

Cooking demonstrations: Learn to make baklava pastry at 1 p.m. Saturday or dolmathes, stuffed grape leaves, 1 p.m. Sun.

Agora marketplace: Ethnic groceries and spices, artwork, jewelry, Byzantine-style icons.

Church tours: Guided tours with the Rev. Theodore Pantels, better known as Father Ted, or other area priests at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. both days, with discussion of the iconography and answer questions throughout the tours.

11th Annual Palm Desert Greek Festival
When:
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun., April 14-15
Where: St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Desert, 74109 Larrea St., Palm Desert Cost: $2 admission Information: 568-9901; www.palmdesertgreekfest.org