Cretan and Pontian communities of Sydney come together at Picnic in the Park

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On Sunday, September 17, the Pontian Association of NSW “Pontoxeniteas” and the Cretan Association of Sydney and NSW held a combined event at Depana Reserve in Dolls Point, Sydney.

The idea to host a joint event was first raised earlier this year in March at a concert held at the iconic Sydney Town Hall to commemorate Greek Independence Day. Both Associations’ dance groups were waiting backstage to perform; with some time to spare, the dance students and musicians casually started playing music and dancing, trying to learn one another’s traditional dances, forming a lasting connection.

Cretan and Pontian music was enjoyed by attendees at the picnic.

Teachers Christina Iwannidou and Paul Spanoudakis from each Association, enjoying the moment, sent photos to their respective presidents (Emmanuel Vitetzakis of the Cretan Association and Maria Anthony of Pontoxeniteas) who were enjoying the concert inside. Both Presidents were moved by the bond being formed and set a tentative date for a combined event for all members, dance groups, parents and all generations to further collaborate. 

The Picnic was a great success, with over 100 people in attendance to enjoy the sunny weather on the banks of Dolls Point Beach. There was plenty of food, drinks and traditional Pontian and Cretan music and dancing. Some attendees enjoyed a swim, some tried their luck at fishing and others spent the afternoon playing Tavli.

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