Pontian Brotherhood of SA celebrates Greece’s Independence Day

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The Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia held a special commemoration for the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence on March 21st, with President Nazareth Nalpantidis Chisholm speaking about why March 25th is a day Greeks can celebrate their timeless culture.

A special Doxology Service was held at the Greek Orthodox Parish of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene with the President and Vice President Bill Diamandis in attendance, along with Aris Chisholm, Jim Glava, Panayoti Skoutris, Renae, and Kristi O’Donnell representing the Pontian Brotherhood.

Following the doxology service, community members moved to the National War Memorial in North Terrace, where a wreath laying ceremony commenced.

Photo: Supplied

Celebrations moved to the Pontian Brotherhood Hall, where Pontian dancers entertained guests with their incredible performances.

The Pontian Brotherhood and Greek community listened to a touching discussion from guest speaker Yanni Papadopoulos, as well as a speech by President Chisholm.

“As Pontian’s, we realise the magnitude of their efforts against the iron fist of the Ottoman occupation, without them our ancestors would not have had a place to call home after the Genocide of our people,” Chisholm said in her speech.

“Why the 25th March, what is the significance of this day? The Greeks chose this day because it is the feast of the annunciation, which in Greek is the Evangelismos, the day we celebrate the archangel Gabriel bringing the Good News to the Theotokos that she would bare the son of God.

“Just like, salvation came into the world through the mother of God in the person of Christ, they once again besought her to bring salvation to the Hellens.”

Chisholm made note and gave thanks to the brave heroes of 1821, including Theodoros Kolokotronis, Laskarina Bouboulina, George Karaiskakis, General Yannis Makriyannis and Athanasios Diakos.

Yanni Papadopoulos. Photo: Supplied

“Together with them the unnamed men, women, and children who each sacrificed themselves to fight even to their death.”

“And just like the Pontian woman who danced off the cliff to save themselves from the horrors of being defiled by the enemy so did the Souliotises which is also known as the dance Zalongo.”

The ceremony ended with Pontian dancing and live Lyra and Daouli playing while guests enjoyed the celebrations of the day of Greece’s Independence.

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