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Celebrate in Newport July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The Hellenic Fest is a showcase for all things Greek: food, music, dancing and, of course, ouzo. The free festival, which is sponsored by Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, takes place on Thames and Brewer streets, noon to midnight today and noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Go to www.hellenicfest.org.

Come enjoy Greek Food, Pastry, Music, Dancing, Ouzo, Greek Beer and Wines, and shop at the Greek Marketplace!  July 20· 21· 22, 2007, Friday 4:00 pm to midnight, Saturday 12:00 pm to midnight, Sunday 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Thames and Brewer Streets in downtown Newport, Free Admission.

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Greek Festival 2007 in Madison July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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4-9 pm on 7/21 and 11:30 am-7 pm, 7/22, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, with food, dancing, church tours & marketplace. Music by Panopoulos Greek Orchestra both days. Free. Daily until 07/22/07.

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church is having its annual festival at its church grounds on Saturday, July 21 4pm to 9pm and Sunday, July 22 11:30am to 7:00pm. Come join us for great food, music, dancing and church tours. Our menu will include chicken and lamb dinners, gyros, sampler plates, Greek and Serbian pastries.

Deep rooted in the Christian faith and cultural traditions, our congregation encompasses a rich mixture of ethnicities including Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Armenians, Serbians, Slavics, Ethiopians and Albanians.

Assumption Church is located at 11 N. Seventh Street and E. Washington Avenue in Madison. Visit us at www.assumptionmadison.org or contact us at 608 241-1019 for more information.

Naked Greek myth kiss gives Hong Kong cause to blush July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life, Hellenic Light Asia.
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The first kiss of the mythological character Psyche could well have been her last if frontline officers of the Television and Licensing Authority had their way.

Yet newly appointed Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing Maisie Cheng Mei-sze vigorously defended them Friday, saying they had not made a mistake in telling an exhibitor at the Hong Kong Book Fair to remove a book on Greek mythology because the front cover had a picture of a 1798 painting of a nude Psyche receiving her first kiss from Cupid.

naked_greek_myth.jpg  The authority later relented and allowed the bookseller to keep it on the stand, but not before news of the temporary ban had gone around the world and Hong Kong had its world face reddened. The painting, by French painter Francois Gerard (1770-1873), is titled Psyche receiving the first kiss of Cupid and which now hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

In explaining their apparent disrespect for art, Cheng said that on Wednesday night, a day before the exhibition opened, the authority’s inspectors were invited by fair organizer Trade Development Council to visit the exhibition to give opinions to booksellers.

On seeing nakedness portrayed on the book cover and some inside pages, the officers told the Yuan-Liou (Hong Kong) Publishing Company to remove the book from the shelf as it may offend the sensitivities of some Hong Kong people. However, the authority relented the following day and informed the TDC which, in turn, informed the publisher.

“We discussed the book with the publishers and told them it may upset some members of the public … it did not mean the book cannot be sold,” Cheng said. “After our discussion, we thought there would be no problem.” Cheng said inspectors at the fair had to make quick decisions and had no time for consultation and research. “It is not easy to deal with marginal cases,” Cheng said.

She rejected claims the authority had made a mistake, but admitted there was room for improvement. Consequently, frontline staff will be given more training and the notification mechanism improved, she said. “The way the authority’s inspectors handle such matters can be improved, especially the communication between frontline staff and their supervisors,” Cheng said.

Yuan-Liou manager Chan Kwok- wah was less than enthusiastic about Cheng’s explanation. “The frontline staff should be trained to make professional judgments,” he said. “It is a waste of time if they have to keep referring to their supervisors and this could cause us to lose a business opportunity.” He said the TELA officers just flipped through the book “casually” before deciding it was not suitable for sale.

In a separate incident, a Taiwanese publisher was found to be selling comic books laced with what appeared to be child pornography. Cheng said the publisher had been told to stop selling such comics until they had been properly inspected. She said to date no book at the fair has been classified as obscene.

Wang Zhonglong, a deputy editor of the comic’s publisher, said policies with regard to such comics were different in Taiwan and he was unaware of local laws. He apologized for any offense caused and said they had been pulled from the book fair.

Portsmouth Greek festival deliciously under way July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Friday evening the three-day festival got under way.

Every year children, parents and grandparents share in the preparations and the festivities, showcasing the family values and sense of community that is an integral part of Greek traditions.

Last night Father Angelo Pappas turned pork and chicken kabobs with other parish members and children worked side by side with their parents in the marketplace. All wore big smiles and encouraged lots of eating. Souvlaki, moussaka and gyros are just a sampling of the meals area folks enjoyed under sunny skies, and brought home for later.

For dessert there was galaktoboureko, a Greek custard-filled filo glazed in honey-based syrup, baklava and kourambiedes, the Greek wedding cookie, among others, lovingly made by many hands.

Dean Zottos of Epping, who helped lead the cooking efforts, said 12,000 pieces of pastry and 3,000 pounds of lamb were used and food preparation began over a month ago. But the festival is about more than food, it is a celebration of both the church community and the Portsmouth community.

The festival continues all weekend at St. Nicholas Church on Andrew Jarvis Drive, named after the first Greek Mayor of Portsmouth, with continuous food, pastries and shopping, children’s’ activities, dancing and church tours. Times are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s all Greek to them at Ocean City July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Looking for some sun, surf and a little bit of culture?

The Greek Festival in Ocean City, taking place Friday through July 29 at the Ocean City Convention Center, is your way to get all three.

You can enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, live music and traditional folk dancing at the festival, then head out to the beach. Greek items from various vendors also will be on sale at the festival.

The Greek Festival is Friday through July 29 at the Ocean City Convention Center, 40th Street and the bay, Ocean City. The festival runs noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-9 p.m. July 29. Tickets are $2 before 5 p.m. and $3 after 5 p.m. Information: 410-524-0990 or www.ococean.com

Sheboygan’s annual Greek Festival July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Food made from family recipes, dance performances and Greek music will all be part of the 64th annual St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church Greek Festival at Deland Park Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29.

The festival is a fundraiser for the 100-year-old Greek church in Sheboygan and will run from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. There will be a 10 a.m. church service on Sunday. Funds raised are used to run the church’s basic operations, said event organizer Christos Balassi.

The Greek festival is one big family party. The 40 Greek families that are members of St. Spyridon Church share family recipes by preparing food for the festival, Balassi said. On the menu will be souvlaki (marinated pork cooked over an open flame), flaming cheese called saganaki, Greek rotisserie chicken made with special seasonings, spinach pies, Greek fries, salads and gyros. Gyros are always popular and the group usually sells between 2,500 and 3,000 over the festival weekend; however, the souvlaki is becoming more popular and sold out last year.

New additions to this year’s menu include fruit cups made with honeydew, watermelon and grapes, and chicken tenders with French fries for the kids. Those with a sweet tooth can try Never-on-Sundaes, a vanilla ice cream dessert made with crumbles from baklava, walnuts and honey.

The festival will also offer music and an area where they will be selling products from Greece. These include T-shirts, hats, towels, key chains and religious icon statues in two sizes featuring the Virgin Mary and Christ Child.

The St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Youth dance group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 5 p.m. The church’s adult dance groups will perform following the youth group.

Tickets for a 50/50 raffle will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. The winner will be announced at 7 p.m. on Sunday. A disc jockey will play traditional and modern Greek music and Triple Play Fun Zone will be running children’s games.

64th Annual Greek Festival, Deland Park in Sheboygan, Saturday, July 28, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Entrance is free. Food and drinks range from $3 to $8.

Cyprus sailor already qualified for 2008 Olympics July 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Aquatics, Olympic Games.
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Kontides is Beijing bound > Pavlos Kontides can one-up everyone else at the Volvo world youth sailing championships.

Not only is the 17-year-old from Cyprus leading the Laser fleet at the midway point of the world championship, he is the only sailor who has already qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“I’m keeping myself down until things are over [at the world youth championship],” said Kontides, who has not been home in southern Cyprus since June 27.

He arrived from Kingston fresh from securing the Olympic Laser fleet berth for his country on the final day of competition at the Laser world championship in Cascais, Portugal.

Kontides will welcome today’s lay day. “Before here I didn’t have time to rest,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy today. Nothing on the water.”

The six-foot sailor, who has been in the sport since he was nine, was third and first yesterday and now holds a six-point lead over New Zealand’s Josh Junior with six races completed. Although he has two wins in the series so far, Kontides said he is putting to use the lesson he learned at last year’s world youth championship in Weymouth, England, where he came seventh.

“I was close to the podium and I’ve learned from my mistakes,” he said. “To be on the podium or to win you have to be consistent. It’s not the one who has the most wins, it’s the one who is the most consistent.”

With six races complete, the sailors are allowed to discard their worst race. Kontides has a sixth-place finish to discard, showing just how consistent his racing has been. His scoring is from his two wins and three third-place results. One of the thirds came in the light winds of yesterday morning. By the afternoon, with the southwest wind reaching 15 knots, Kontides’ speed advantage in the heavy air conditions showed.

“I had a very good start and then I just opened up a big gap,” Kontides said.

This event, where he is one of the favourites, is a contrast for Kontides from the recent event in Portugal, where he had to scrap it out with some of the world’s elite senior sailors. It went down to the final day with Cyprus battling Japan for the final Olympic berth. Kontides wasn’t worried about anyone else in the fleet, which included Kingston’s Michael Kalin, except the Japanese sailor.

“It came down to the last race,” Kontides said. “Twenty-nine countries were to qualify and we were 29th with Japan. “I had to pass Japan by five points and I passed by 12 points. It was very exciting to do that.”

It does not appear Kontides will be looking at such a stressful finish this week. He has already established a six-point lead with only New Zealand and Germany’s Phillip Buhl in a contending position. The Laser fleet of 38 boats, the largest of the seven world youth fleets, has some tremendous young talent but they appear to be too far back of Kontides to make a run. Finland’s Pierre Collura, Denmark’s Thorbjorn Schierup and Spain’s Joaquin Blanco Albalat are fighting for the five through nine positions.

Kingston’s Robert Davis, in his first world youth championship, is holding down 11th place. Seventh in yesterday’s second race, Davis said the Laser fleet is very strong. “It’s a tough fleet to be in,” Davis said. “I’m just trying to sail fast, to make good runs. I’m just trying to learn.”