“The starting point of a man’s education sets the course of what follows too, “ Socrates.1 This theme was the focus of “The International Day of Greek Language and Culture.” The Federation of Hellenic American Educators, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY and the Hellenic Paideia of America sponsored the event on Sunday afternoon February 12, 2017 at the cultural center of the Holy Trinity Cathedral at 319 East 74th St., New York. Over two hundred persons attended. “The event coincided with the Greek government’s establishment of February 9th as “World Hellenophony Day” the date of the death of National Poet Dionysios Solomos. The Greek language that enriches the sciences, medicine and all languages on a daily basis were celebrated.”2
Mrs. Stella Kokolis President of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America and Mrs. Vasiliki Filiotis President of Hellenic Paideia of America in cooperation with Dr. Ioannis Efthimopoulos, Director of the Hellenic Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and keynote speaker, honored Angela and Steven Zervoudis for their contribution to the Greek language, culture and Greek Orthodoxy.
The Celebration of the Greek Language Program consisted of the following: Master of Ceremonies, Demetri Filippidis, Reporter of Hellas FM; Prayer, Rev. Fr. John Vlahos, Dean of the Holy Trinity Cathedral; National Anthems of the United States and Greece; Welcome Remarks, Mrs. Vasiliki Filiotis, President of Hellenic Paideia of America and Mrs. Stella Kokolis, President of Hellenic American Educators; Presentation of Small Program, Panagis Kokolis, song, Ioanna Maniatis, poem and reading of excerpt from Homer’s Odyssey , Slide show, Cyprus Seminar; Dr. Ioannis Efthimopoulos, Director of the Hellenic Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, keynote speaker on subject, “Our Greek Language: A Poetic Language with special charm, continuation and Grace”; First Part of Musical Interlude, Anna Tsoukalas and Gregory Post: Luncheon; Second Part of Musical Interlude, Dimitris Kavrakos, Metropolitan Opera Baritone singer; Awards Citation of Angela and Steven Zervoudis; Closing Remarks, Dimitris Filippidis.
Prominent guests who attended included: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis; Mr. Leonidas Raptakis, Senator from Rhode Island; Mr. Vasilis Philippou, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus; Mr. George Maragos, Comptroller of Nassau County, NY and 2017 Democratic candidate for Nassau County Executive; Dr. Thalia Chatziagiannoglou, Head of the Office for Educational Affairs of the New York Consulate General of Greece, Mr. Manos Koubarakis, Consul of the Consulate General of Greece; Mr. Petros Galatoulas, President of the Hellenic Societies of Greater NY, Dr. George Liakeas, President of Hellenic Medical Society; Dr. Anastassios and Bessie Kassapidis; President Demi Savopoulos, Hellenic American Educators Association/UFT; Dr. John and Mary Nathenas of Dias International Academic Studies Georgia Filiotis, Hellenic Paideia of America and Adriana Filiotis, Hellenic Paideia of America. This is an incomplete list. For further information, email email@example.com.
The speakers stressed that Greek language is spoken all over the world. It is part of the English language spoken by all countries. The Greatest accomplishment of the Ancient Greeks is their language. Greek is the basis of the Sciences, Engineering and Philosophy. One does not become a doctor without knowing Greek. Perpetuation of our ethnicity is in danger, with a movement towards globalization. It was miraculous. 2,500 years ago people called Greeks inspired all. As a people, the Greeks seem unlikely contenders for their mission. They were always fighting among themselves as they do in 2017. They were the only people who believed man has an obligation to strive towards excellence. The best modern thought amounts to footnotes to Plato. This is the meaning of Hellenism.
The Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” was represented by Dr. John Siolas. President Demosthenes Triantafillou in his greeting on behalf of the board of Prometheus, said “that Prometheus will support the Federation in this celebration with a contribution of $ 200.00 to reserve a white page in the Journal.”Prometheus” members, George Melikokis, Timoleon Kokkinos and others were present.
Dr. John Nathenas described “Dias International Academic Studies Summer Accredited College Courses” from July 9th to August 13, 2017 in Crete. Unforgettable weekend educational excursions are offered. The Dias Cultural Program at no cost to students has intensive Greek Folk dances, folk music at Odeion Mountakis with hands on musical instruments of the Lyra, Laouto, Mandolino and Klarino. Undergraduate and post graduate courses in education and philosophy courses will be held in Rethymnon. Pre-Med and Bio-Science courses are instructed at Heraklion. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit diasedu.com. The organizer had an event to remember.
Video by Dr. Despina Siolas