Preston Market comes alive for Greek Cultural Day celebration

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Preston Market’s slogan “it’s not just a market, it’s a community” rang loud and true on Sunday, April 3, when the entire centre came alive for a Greek Cultural Day celebration.

Annually, the market proudly promotes cultural diversity through a series of festivals dedicated to some of the dominant ethnic backgrounds which make up the City of Darebin’s demographic. 

Hosted and presented in conjunction with the MANASIS School of Greek Dance and Culture, the event showcased live music and dance performances from: 

  • K Studios- School of Performing Arts and Technique, together with Instructor Kaliroy Kirkopoulos, and guest musicians George Kirkopoulos (clarinet), Notis Karidakis (Bouzouki), George Stavros (keyboards).
  • MANASIS School of Greek Dance and Culture, with instructor Dimosthenis Manasis.
  • ANAGENNISI Band featuring John Georgakopoulos (Bouzouki/vocals) and “the Jim’s” (guitar/vocals), Jim (Accordion).

Although the majority of the focus was on the performers, their costumes and their singing and dance exhibitions, most groups post-performance made their way down into the crowd, engaging Greeks and non-Greeks alike to all join in on the festivities.

READ MORE: Apartment owners and stall holders at odds over Preston Market redevelopment plans.

The event was the final instalment of the ‘Greek National Month’ celebrations, and although falling just outside of March, its inclusion was imperative as an opportunity for some of the community’s youngest Greek Australians to exhibit their talents and cultural pride.

Kalamatiana and Tsamika (and klarina in general) were very much the flavour however, the crowd-favourite was the all-in Zorba dance, which saw quite literally hundreds of people all join in to create an endless line, snaking its way up and through the aisles of the market, led by the youngest performers of the day, the MANASIS beginners- some of which were only three years of age.

“A very big congratulations to all participants, and our sincere gratitude to staff and management of Preston Market for supporting and embracing the celebration of cultural diversity at every opportunity,” the MANASIS group said in a statement.

“A special mention needs to go to The Karditsa Association “KARAISKAKIS,” the Hellenic Community of Moorabbin, the Greek Community of Gippsland, Vasilios Aligiannis (Sydney) and Konstantinos Kalymnios, for their donations and generosity in the form of a multitude of costumes which, in addition to the school’s own collection, have the opportunity to wear during this (and many other) events!”

With a few other small community events planned over the coming weeks, the next big event on the social calendar is the MANASIS Tavern Night on Saturday, May 14 at Stars International Receptions.

READ MORE: Melbourne locals fear Preston Market could be demolished for new apartments.

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