“European Day of Languages” (24-29/9/2011) – Greek events organized by the Press Office

The Press Office of the Greek Embassy in Warsaw once again participated in “European Day of Languages 2011” events, that took place in Warsaw from 24 till 29 September and aimed to inform Poles about the cultural and linguistic heritage of European countries.

Organizers were over eighteen countries, members of EUNIC Cluster Warsaw (European Union National Institutes of Culture), among them the Press Office of the Greek Embassy, cultural institutes and embassies of European countries, as well as  other institutions such as the European Commission Representation in Poland, the European Parliament Communication Office in Poland, the Polish Foundation for the Development of the Educational System, the University of Warsaw etc.
The program (www.edj.waw.pl) consisted of demo language lessons, seminars, European film festival, theatre workshops, city game, language picnic etc.
The Greek program of the events included:
Demo lesson of Greek language, that took place in the Institute of Foreign Languages of the University of Warsaw on the 27th of September, as part of the demo-lessons of  languages and cultures of the participating countries.
Greek info stand, which was set in the University Campus of the Old Library of the University of Warsaw and provided touristic information on the 27th September from 9 am until 3 pm.
The film “The Trojan Women” directed by Michael Cacoyannis (1971) was shown at the Russian Cultural Institute on the 29th September, during the film festival organized in the Russian Cultural Institute (26-29 September) and the cinema Alchemia (25th September):
A wide range of other events were organized during the week (24-29 September): a two-day conference “Language Competences for Professional and Personal Success inEurope”, entertainment activities, theatre workshops, city games, competitions on a special website. This year`s project attracted many students and other visitors and it can be considered as a perfect opportunity to experience the Greek language and culture.

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Προβολή της ταινίας “Τρωάδες” του Μιχάλη Κακογιάννη (Ρωσικό Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο, 29/9/2011) – Εκδήλωση Γραφείου Τύπου Βαρσοβίας

Το Γραφείο Τύπου της Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας Βαρσοβίας προσκαλεί στην προβολή της ταινίας “Τρωάδες” του σκηνοθέτη Μιχάλη Κακογιάννη στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου, ώρα 13.00 μμ., στο Ρωσικό Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο (RONIK, ul. Belwederska 25).
Η ταινία θα προβληθεί στην αγγλική γλώσσα με ελληνικούς υπότιτλους.

Biuro Prasowe Ambasady Republiki Greckiej w Warszawie zaprasza na pokaz filmu “Kobiety Troi” w reżyserii Michalisa Kakogiannisa, który zostanie wyświetlony dnia 29 września o godz. 13:00 w Rosyjskim Ośrodku Kultury (RONIK, ul. Belwerderska 25).
Pokaz filmu po angielsku z grecką wersją napisów.

Farewell to Filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis

Internationally acclaimed film director, screenwriter and producer Michael Cacoyannis died yesterday, at 89.
The director of the award-winning films Zorba the Greek and Stella, Michael Cacoyannis was nominated five times for an Academy Award (Oscar), receiving the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film nominations for Zorba the Greek and two nominations in the Foreign Language Film category for Electra and Iphigenia.
Most of his work is rooted in classical texts, particularly those of the Greek tragedian Euripides.
A pioneer of post-war Greek cinema and director of international hits, Cacoyannis refused a career in Hollywood, opting for ‘quality’ theater. In 2003, he founded the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation for the study and support of the film and theater arts.
You Tube: Awarded films: Stella (1954) with English subtitles & Zorba the Greek (1964) & The girl in black (1956) [VIDEO
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Farewell to Iakovos Kambanellis

Iakovos Kambanellis, one of the most prominent figures of post-war Greek literature, died yesterday at the age of 89.
Kambanellis was born on the island of Naxos and studied design in Athens. During the Nazi occupation of Greece in WW2 he became actively involved in the Resistance movement. He was arrested by the German occupying forces in 1943 and was sent to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, from which he was liberated by the Allied Forces in 1945.
His legendary Mauthausen novel, which describes his experience as a concentration camp survivor, was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis and became one of the most influential works in Greek culture.
He wrote more than twenty plays and twelve film scripts, including Stella by Michael Cacoyannis and The Dragon by Nikos Koundouros. In an announcement, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism expressed deep regret for Kambanellis’ passing, noting that the deceased defined the style of post-war Greek theatre, adding that his works were deeply loved by the Greek audience, as they soberly and truthfully depicted the reality of life in Greece, its difficulties and joys.
ERT Digital Archive: Iakovos Kambanellis – Part 1& Part 2 (in Greek) [VIDEO]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

World Poetry Day – 2011 Elytis Year

Odysseas Elytis and his work will be the focus of this year’s World Poetry Day, which is celebrated each year on March 21.
The National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) launches a poetry campaign including several events.
One of the day’s highlights is an event jointly organized by EKEBI and the Hellenic Authors’ Society which brings together well-known poets and writers such as Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Vassilis Vasilikos, Kiki Dimoula and Evgenia Fakinou to recite poems by Odysseas Elytis.
Athenians and citizens of Thessaloniki, Mytillini, Rhodes and Zakynthos will have the opportunity to come across illustrated verses by Elytis as public transport means will feature some of the Nobel laureate’s most beloved and renowned poems. Poetry reading nights, with young poets will also be held in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Moreover in Athens, poet Nanos Valaoritis will present a new theory regarding Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey at the Hellenic American Union, while at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, World Poetry Day will be celebrated through poetry, music and stand-up poetry.
The year 2011 has been designated as an Elytis Year by Culture and Tourism Ministry, in order to mark the 100th anniversary since the birth of the Nobel laureate poet.
Nobel Prize Organisation: Excerpt from Worthy It Is, Poetry International Web- Odysseas Elytis: I Lived the Beloved Name, Drinking the Sun of Corinth, Marina of the Rocks, The Wind That Loiters.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Christmas in Greece

Traditionally, the Christmas holiday period in Greece lasts 12 days, until January 6, which marks the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Theophany (Epiphany).
There are many customs associated with the Christmas holidays, some of which are relatively recent, “imported” from other parts of the world (like eating turkey on Christmas day and decorating the Christmas tree).
The modern Christmas tree entered Greece in the luggage of the country’s first king, Otto of Greece, who ascended to the throne in 1833 – yet, the tree did not become popular until the 1940s.
In the past, Greeks decorated small Christmas boats in honour of St. Nicholas. Today, they are increasingly choosing to decorate boats, instead of trees, reviving this age-old Christmas tradition. Undoubtedly, celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Greece is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Xmas: A Word of Greek Origin
Where did “Xmas” come from? Some transliterations of Greek spell Christos as “Xristos.” The “X” stood in for the first letter of the word Christ (ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ).
“Xmas” has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents the Greek letter X (chi). While in modern times Xmas is regarded as a kind of slang, it was originally considered to be a perfectly respectful.
Christmas (“Χριστούγεννα”), the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus is one of the most joyful days of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Christmas Elves
Greece’s hobgoblins are called “kallikántzari,” friendly but troublesome little creatures which look like elves. Kallikantzari live deep down inside the earth and come to surface only during the 12-day period from Christmas until Epiphany. While on the earth’s surface, they love to hide in houses, slipping down chimneys and frightening people in various ways.
Throughout Greece, there are customs and numerous rituals performed to keep these hobgoblins away. In Epirus, residents place twelve spindles in front of the fireplace to prevent the kalikantzari from climbing down the chimney.
On Christmas Eve, in the town of Grevena, people place a large log in the corner of the house and set it alight. As the fire burns, lasting until the Feast of the Epiphany, it protects the family from the naughty kalikantzari. On the island of Cephalonia, women burn incense at the front door of their houses making the sign of the cross in order to repel these undesirable “guests.”
The “kallikántzari” disappear on the day of Epiphany when all the waters are blessed, and they return to the earth’s core.
Sweets & Treats
Traditional culinary delights symbolise good luck in the New Year and adorn the white-clothed tables. “Melomakarona” (honey cookies) and “kourabiedes” (sugar cookies with almonds) are the most characteristic. In the past, melomakarona were made exclusively for Christmas, while kourabiedes were prepared for the New Year.
Today, this distinction is not observed anymore and both melomakarona and kourabiedes are prepared and consumed throughout the festive season.
Another traditional custom that dates back to the Byzantine times is the slicing of the Vassilopita (St.Basil’s pie or New Year Cake). The person who finds the hidden coin in his/her slice of the cake, is considered to be lucky for the rest of the year.
At the meal table there is also a special decorated round loaf called “Vasilopsomo” or St. Basil’s bread -which is really identical in form to the “Christopsomo” or “Christ bread” eaten on Christmas Day – and the “Photitsa” or “Lights’ bread” that is eaten on Epiphany.
“Kalanda” or Carols
The singing of Christmas carols (or kalanda, in Greek) is a custom which is preserved in its entirety to this day. On Christmas and New Year Eve, children go from house to house in groups of two or more singing the carols, accompanied usually by the sounds of the musical instrument “triangle,” but also guitars, accordions, lyres and harmonicas.
Until some time ago, carollers were rewarded with pastries but nowadays they are usually given money. Listen to some sound extracts with Greek Christmas carols (Kalanda) from Ikaria Island. Things to Do, Places to Go…. 
A Christmas spirit is taking over the squares and streets of the country’s major cities, as local authorities organise a variety of events and festivities, culminating with New Year’s Eve countdown parties in central squares.
Festivities in Athens revolve around Syntagma Square and its Christmas tree, with daily concerts throughout the season, while the National Garden turns into storybook Magical Forest for children.
Thessaloniki runs the country’s biggest Christmas village: the Helexpo pavilions are hosting Christmas Magic City, featuring shows, workshops and a big Christmas market.
The north-western city of Kastoria celebrates with “ragoutsaria,” the local carnival that starts on New Year’s Day, with every neighbourhood forming a carnival group, complete with brass band. In Agios Nikolaos, Crete, the New Year will come from the sea, with the New Year’s Eve party at the port, and Santa arriving on a boat.
And Holiday Performances
Venues and clubs participate in the Christmas spirit with special holiday performances.
The National Opera’s Christmas rich programme includes the Snow Queen ballet and Hansel and Gretel opera for children.
The Athens Concert Hall hosts the Bolshoi Theatre Academy on December 22-29, in a much-awaited performance of the Nutcracker, and the London Community Gospel Choir on December 27-28.
The recently inaugurated Onassis Cultural Centre presents Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée and Victoria Chaplin in their phantasmagoric yet poetic Invisible Circus, on December 28-30 and January 1-2.
At the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, on December 27 & 28, the Sounds of Christmas Go Baroque: a festive concert featuring Baroque Concertos.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Εκδηλώσεις “Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών” (Βαρσοβία, 20-27/9/2010)- Συμμετοχή Γραφείου Τύπου Βαρσοβίας

Οι φετινές εκδηλώσεις της «Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών 2010» πραγματοποιήθηκαν στη Βαρσοβία από τις 20 έως τις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου.
Το Γραφείο Τύπου, για μία ακόμη χρονιά, συμμετείχε στη διοργάνωση των εκδηλώσεων προβολής των ευρωπαϊκών γλωσσών, εκδηλώσεις που στοχεύουν στην ενημέρωση του πολωνικού κοινού για τον γλωσσικό και πολιτιστικό πλούτο των χωρών της Ευρώπης. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ημέρα Γλωσσών θεσπίστηκε από το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης το 2001.
Διοργανωτές των εκδηλώσεων ήταν δεκατρείς χώρες, μέλη του EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας (European Union National Institutes for Culture): Ελλάδα (Γραφείο Τύπου Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας), Εσθονία (Πρεσβεία Εσθονίας), Ιρλανδία (Πρεσβεία Ιρλανδίας), Μεγ. Βρετανία (British Council), Βέλγιο (Πρεσβεία Βελγίου), Δανία (Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο Δανίας), Γερμανία (Goethe-Institut), Πορτογαλία (Ινστιτούτο Camoes), Γαλλία (Γαλλικό Ινστιτούτο), Ιταλία (Ιταλικό Ινστιτούτο), Αυστρία (Αυστριακό Ινστιτούτο), Ρουμανία (Ρουμανικό Ινστιτούτο), Ρωσία (Ρωσικό Κέντρο Επιστήμης και Πολιτισμού).
Στη διοργάνωση συμμετείχαν, επίσης, το EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας, η Αντιπροσωπεία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής στην Πολωνία, το πολωνικό Ίδρυμα για την Ανάπτυξη του Εκπαιδευτικού Συστήματος, το Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας, το Εκπαιδευτικό Τμήμα του Δήμου Βαρσοβίας, το Κρατικό Εθνογραφικό Μουσείο στη Βαρσοβία, η Δημόσια Βιβλιοθήκη της συνοικίας Praga (Δήμος Βαρσοβίας), το πολωνικό Κέντρο για την Ανάπτυξη της Εκπαίδευσης, η πολωνική Κρατική Επιτροπή για την Πιστοποίηση της Επάρκειας της Πολωνικής ως Ξένης Γλώσσας. Οι εκδηλώσεις τελούσαν υπό την αιγίδα του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Εθνικής Παιδείας, του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Επιστήμης και Ανώτερης Εκπαίδευσης, της Δημάρχου Βαρσοβίας και της Πρυτάνεως του Πανεπιστημίου Βαρσοβίας.
Η απήχηση των εκδηλώσεων τις προηγούμενες χρονιές οδήγησε τους διοργανωτές στην απόφαση για την φετινή διοργάνωση πολυήμερων εκδηλώσεων, με ποικίλο περιεχόμενο.  
Το πλήρες πρόγραμμα, που περιελάμβανε, μεταξύ άλλων, ημερίδα, μαθήματα γλωσσών, σεμινάρια, φεστιβάλ ταινιών, street game, κ.ά., μπορεί να αναζητηθεί στην ηλεκτρονική σελίδα των εκδηλώσεων www.edj.waw.pl

Przemek Kordos, Maria Mondelou, Pantelis Gianoulis at the Greek stand

Η ελληνική συμμετοχή στις εκδηλώσεις, η οποία περιελάμβανε μεταξύ άλλων φεστιβάλ ταινιών, μάθημα ελληνικής γλώσσας, σεμινάριο για το ζεϊμπέκικο, ελληνικό περίπτερο κ.ά., διοργανώθηκε από τη Γραμματέα Επικοινωνίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου.
Αναλυτικότερα, η ελληνική συμμετοχή είχε ως εξής: Continue reading