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Greek National holiday through the eyes of one Bulgarian

25 March 2010 / 16:03:05  GRReporter
2681 reads

Ivan Petkov

Today, 25 March Greece celebrates its National Day. I want to wish to all Greeks to have a great holiday! 

Brief history: In 1821, on Annunciation, Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag and put the beginning of a 8 year struggle for independence. 

I do not want to bore you with historical data and this is not the purpose of my short story. I'm not even in Athens, to report the parade. I am in Sofia, Bulgaria, and I believe it would be interesting to tell you how the eve of the holiday was celebrated by the Greek community in our country, friends of Greece, businessmen, officials and guests, refracted through my eyes and subjective feeling . 

I learned about the event from an invitation sent to my work e-mail. The event promised to be interesting and quite in the spirit of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture: events and performances, which will celebrate the holiday and connect people from both countries through the universal means of expression, which provide various arts. Those were the main events of the evening: 

- Students from Sofia University recited passages of poetic works: "Human rights" by Rigas Velestinlis and "Easter" by Dionisios Solomos. 

- Students from the 12th school with intensive study of Modern Greek presented a holiday program. 

- Award ceremony for the essay winners: "Greece - yesterday, today and tomorrow" organized successfully by the Representation of Hellenic Foundation for Culture and held from January 18 to March 12, 2010. 

- The Embassy of Greece in Bulgaria awarded the graduating with honors Modern Greek major students from universities of the Republic of Bulgaria - Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski", New Bulgarian University, Southwestern University, West University - Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” and Veliko Turnovo University “St. Cyril and Methodius”. 

The awarded essays were displayed and everyone could read them. I hope they will give to us too so we can publish them on our blog

My own impression is more than positive. The focus was directed towards the participants and their performances. All present at the event formed a rather mixed audience of all ages, as it is expected at a similar celebration. I managed to talk with students and teachers. I even met some Greeks living in Bulgaria. 

From my Bulgarian point of view I can say that we, at the Balkans, do not know each other enough yet. Such events are important and they give us the opportunity to look at our neighbors 'eyes' and to get to know them and not talk to them over 'the fence', as they say. And this can be done most effectively by young people who communicate without bias and with youth energy. 

For me, the national holiday of Greece is an occasion to congratulate our southern neighbors and to express my personal respect. Secondly, but not least, the event was an occasion for me to communicate, meet new people and make new contacts. A country is its people and holidays are for the people. And when one celebrates, he shows much of his essence and character. From what I've learned I can share that we have much in common, which, among a reason for friction, can be a prerequisite for a wonderful acquaintances, friendships and collaborations. Everything depends on us whether we will use the stones from our "gardens" to build walls or build bridges.

Tags: Greece national holiday celebration Hellenic Culture Center Bulgaria
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