Greek dancing and music echo across Burwood to mark Greece’s National Day

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Greek dancing and music echoed across the city of Burwood in Sydney’s Inner West on Wednesday night as the local community came together to celebrate Greece’s National Day.

For the 20th year, the celebrations were hosted by Burwood Council. They were held at the Fitzroy Centre and saw over 100 people, both young and old, fill the room and proudly wave Greek flags as they watched the evening’s proceedings with smiles on their faces.

Everyone on the night. All photos copyright: The Greek Herald.
The youth.
Young and old attended the event.

There were also a number of official guests in attendance including the First Secretary for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, Anastasia Christofilopoulou; the Mayor of Burwood, Councillor John Faker; the Mayor of Strathfield, Councillor Karen Pensabene; Burwood Councillor Pascale Esber; Priest at the Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of St Nectarios at Burwood, Father George Liangas; as well as Directors and Board members at St Nectarios Burwood including President Penelopy Kioussis; and other representatives of Greek community organisations in Sydney.

Official guests.

Formal proceedings began on the day with a brief welcome and Acknowledgement to Country by Master of Ceremonies and Greek School Principal at St Nectarios Burwood, Dimitrios Kametopoulos.

(L) Dimitrios Kametopoulos.
Guests.

This was followed by a minute’s silence and dance tribute to the victims of Greece’s deadly train crash at Tempi which killed 57 people on February 28. The dance was performed by The Nassibian Dancers directed by Christina Efthymiades.

The Nassibian Dancers.

Next, a number of prayer and hymns were read out by Father George, there was a reading of The Ode for the Fallen by the President of the Greek RSL Sub-Branch, Peter Tsigounis, and a wreath laying ceremony.

Father George.
Mr Tsigounis.

Burwood Greek School students and the Choir of St Nectarios Parish then sang the National Anthems of Greece and Australia. The Choir performed traditional Greek music later on during the event as well, supported by Tassos Lambrou on the bouzouki.

Choir with Tassos Lambrou.
The Choir.

Students also proudly recited poems to loud applause from the audience.

Chris Christogeorge and Eftihia Aronis read the Greek National Day address in Greek and English respectively.

Wreath laying.

Interspersed between all this Greek music, dancing and poem recitals, there were even a number of official speeches on the night by Mayor Faker, Ms Christofilopoulou, Ms Kioussis and Father George.

In his speech, Mayor Faker praised the Greek community for their contribution to Australian society and congratulated them for celebrating the 202nd anniversary of Greek Independence Day. He also brought up his plans to continue supporting the local Greek Street Fair.

“We are going to see how we as a Council are going to support the Greek Street Fair cause we want to showcase to the people of Sydney our Greek community in Burwood, our Greek culture, our St Nectarios church and how important they are,” Mayor Faker said.

In her speech, Ms Christofilopoulou stressed that as a recent arrival in Australia she’s been amazed by the strong presence of the Greek diaspora in the country.

“Today you can see that you’re proud to Greeks and you’re proud to be Australians at the same time and this combination is really unique because those identities co-exist and produce something that is very vibrant and innovative,” Ms Christofilopoulou said.

Guests.
Event decorations.

With these words of praise passed on to the audience, the evening ended with more Greek dancing by The Nassibian Dancers, including an iconic ‘Natane to 21’ performance.

The Nassibian Dancers.

*All photos copyright: The Greek Herald.

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