Celebrating Extraordinary Greek American Women in Philadelphia

By Stamatina Mylonas

The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia (GAHSP), on Saturday March 16, hosted its fifth annual Photo Tour series titled ‘Axia, A Celebration of Extraordinary Greek American Women’.

This year the photo tour honoured the extraordinary Greek American women of the Philadelphia metropolitan area, who have contributed to the rich Hellenic heritage of the region.

‘Axia, A Celebration of Extraordinary Greek American Women’  was held in the historic Stotesbury Mansion, in the heart of Philadelphia.  As you walked through the elegant rooms lined with the photos and history of the extraordinary Greek American women, it was impossible not to be moved with pride and joy.

axia 2

During the event Stamatina had the privilege of speaking with Tami Tsingiropoulos, Vice President of the Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia.

How has your Greek Heritage influenced your career and goals?

My grandparents laid the foundation for me to always do the best that I possible could do.  I think a lot of that came from our Greek culture.  When they first came here (America) they had no choice but to make it work, and they worked hard! And because of them working hard, my parents worked hard and they instilled this work ethic in me.  In my career as a retail executive in sales, I’m always striving to be the best, and I think it comes from that influence.

What does it mean to you to be an extraordinary Greek woman?

Needless to say I think I’m impartial because I think all Greek women are extraordinary!  To me an extraordinary Greek women is someone that goes beyond what they are supposed to maybe be.  If women can empower themselves in their careers and be a mom and always strive for more, I think that’s something we all can be capable of doing.  Greek American women have so much more to offer and we are just scratching the surface.  There is so much more to come!

How do you hope the Photo Tour series and the Greek American Heritage Society will influence the next generation?

Well, last year at the Photo Tour event I didn’t see many young people.  This year, we saw a lot more young people!  We also incorporated young people in our video presentation, to prove that we’re honouring these amazing Greek women, but we have to also look at the amazing Greek young women that are coming forward.  I think that is going to intrigue them and make them want to get more involved, and even make them more proud of their heritage.  Maybe something they didn’t always think about, but now they will!

What’s next for the Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia and how can the community help?

The ultimate goal for the society is to one day have a museum.  Were still at the grassroots level but it’s possible, we’re a big city!  Chicago has a museum, Boston has a museum, so why not Philadelphia?!  We have such a strong Greek community, its completely possible.  With more of these events (Photo Tour), and more exposure we will get it to where it needs to be, and ultimately get the Greek community recognised the way it should be!

mary creticos

Let's not forget the contribution of one extra extraordinary woman, the founder of the Greek American Heritage Society, Mary Creticos. Her life and legacy live on as the society continues to grow for future generations to preserve the rich Hellenic heritage.

Nikos Yiantsos, former president of the Greek American Heritage Society, encourages the Philadelphia community to contribute to future Photo Tour series. “Your photographs will contribute to build and define our community while showing how the Greeks of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, have contributed to the making of America," he stated.

To learn more about the Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia, please visit: GAHSP

*Image source:  Cosmos Philly

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor