AUSTRALIA: Paramatta goes full Greek with the best of our Hellenic culture

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The Sydney suburb of Parramatta went full Greek with the “Let’s Go Greek Festival” of the Greek Orthodox Parish-Community of St Ioannis, which took place Sunday, 11 September, with over 40,000 people attending.

After a two-year pandemic that deprived Sydneysiders access to in-person events and functions, this year's festival saw an incredible response from the community; more significant numbers in what was described as a "boomerang" effect this year.

The sights, sounds and flavours of Hellenic culture were on full display with Greeks and philhellenes celebrating together at the tempo of Greek music and dance the best that our culture has to offer.

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Traditional Greek dancing was performed throughout the day.
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Nick Kyrgias and staff from Wogga Wogga cafe were amongst the Greek businesses supporting this year's event
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President-Parish-Community of St Ioannis, Mr Kos Dimitriou with Mark Coure MP and Geoff Lee MP

Since 2014, the parishioners have been working with passion and dedication for the success and continuous improvement of the festival.

Apart from the traditional Greek food and dance, the festival also has important exhibitions relating to Greek cultures, such as the "The Evzones Collection" and the textiles and Hydra exhibition, amongst others.

EVZONES

Exciting treats this year included "The Evzones Collection", by the esteemed photographer Nick Bourdaniotis,  a photographic exhibition all about the Evzones, Greek Presidential Guard, both in Greece and Australia. Nick Bourdaniotis was granted rare, behind the scenes access to the daily lives of the Evzones.

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The Evzones Collection next stop will be the Athens War Museum in March 2023

A special selection from the collection was exhibited for the first time in Parramatta at the festival.

FROM A SINGLE THREAD

Textiles have adorned Greeks and their homes since ancient times. Festival goers watched a yiayia demonstrate live, the creation of fabric from a single thread on an authentic loom.

Unique and intricate handmade pieces from the everyday apron to elaborate wedding attire, each with its own story, was on display in a recreation of an Arcadian house.

The collection showcased a sample of Vasilios Aligiannis’ private collection.

Curated by the Institute of Hellenic Dance and Culture.

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From a single thread

FROM HYDRA TO PARRAMATTA

Personal experience, choices and memories connect men of Hydra who found themselves in Parramatta tending vines in the manner of their island home, assisting the Macarthur family to prosper. Patrida was a farewell to the old country, an embrace of the new land.

Snapshots of everyday life in old Greece, a time when a single telephone served a whole village, seen through a selection of items used daily in work and the home from the collection of Yiannis Mazmanidis.

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Sponsors — Let's Go Greek Festival Parramatta (letsgogreekfestival.com.au)

The My Greek Odyssey raffle was drawn LIVE ON STAGE by Peter Maneas and his son. The lucky winner was Antonios Tezaris. Upon finding out that it was a family of six, Peter threw in 2 extra tickets so the whole family could go to Greece. Aussie Industries also generously donated $5000 in spending money. The family will be able to reunite with Mrs Tezaris’ sister, and the children will meet their cousins in person for the first time.

Congratulations Antonios and family, we are sure this will be a Greek Odyssey your family will treasure.

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Peter Maneas with his son on stage to draw the lucky winner

Photos copyright by Nick Bourdaniotis / Bourdo Photography and George Karantonis / Image Smart