Thousands embrace Hellenism at Burwood’s 10th Greek Street Fair

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Thousands of people passed through Railway Parade and Burleigh Street in the Sydney suburb of Burwood on Sunday, November 12, and embraced Hellenism at the 10th annual Greek Street Fair.

The Greek Street Fair is organised by The Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of St Nectarios in Burwood to celebrate and share the Greek cultural heritage and spirit with the local community. It is always held on the Sunday immediately after the Feast Day of Saint Nectarios, which is celebrated on November 9.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

This was the first year the Greek Street Fair was held at the more prominent location of Railway Parade thanks to financial support from Burwood Council.

People of all ages and cultural heritages embraced this year’s Greek Street Fair, with many smiling broadly as they enjoyed Greek dancing performances, live Greek music, food trucks, market stalls and the famous Greek hospitality.

Greek Street Fair Burwood

There were also plenty of activities for children, prizes to be won and the chance to meet Mitsos the Greek Street Fair Donkey and Plato the Greek Dancing Cat.

One Vietnamese attendee and Burwood local, May, told The Greek Herald she was attending the Greek Street Fair for the first time and she was really enjoying herself.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

“It’s very exciting, very fun and the food is very yummy. I love the Greek culture and the music. I’ve really enjoyed it,” May said.

Throughout the day, when attendees like May weren’t enjoying Greek food such as souvlakia or loukoumades, there were also a number of activities taking place on the main stage to enjoy.

There were performances from Paradise Band so the community could dance the afternoon away, a special appearance from online cooking sensation YiaYia Helen Dedes from YiaYia’s Kitchen, and DJ Krazy Kon launched his 20 Year Edition Greece Mix Album with album signings and giveaways. Natalia Papadakis and Theano Houdalakis also worked their vocal cords on the day.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

Speeches were also given by dignitaries present on the day including the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yannis Mallikourtis; the Federal Member for Reid, Sally Sitou MP; the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP; the Mayor of Burwood, Councillor John Faker; Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia; the President of the St Nectarios Parish and Community, Penelopy Kioussis; and St Nectarios parish priest, Father George Liangas.

Greek Street Fair Burwood

Also present were the NSW Minister for Industrial Relations and Work, Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis MP; the Greek Street Fair Burwood Event Director, Christina Efthymiades AM; and the newly appointed Multicultural NSW Advisory Board Member, George Vardas. Emcee of the stage program was Kathryn Efthymiades.

Greek Street Fair Burwood

Ms Kioussis was first to speak, welcoming everyone to the event and thanking Burwood Council and volunteers for their support.

Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia, who was representing Archbishop Makarios of Australia on the day, congratulated the Community for organising a successful event which celebrated the Feast Day of St Nectarios.

In his speech, Burwood Mayor Cr Faker thanked everyone for attending the Greek Street Fair to celebrate the city’s Greek culture and history.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

“I wanted to ensure that this year we close the road [Railway Parade] so we can make the event not better, because it was always great, but make it bigger. So we can share our Greek culture and we can share the traditions,” Cr Faker said.

“I want to say a special thank you to that generation that migrated from Greece, that came to Australia with not much. They came with their pride in their suitcase to make a better life for their families. What we want to say to them is thank you for your hard work, for helping and supporting the next generation. Today is about continuing those traditions so we don’t lose that.”

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

The NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr Kamper addressed the crowd and praised the Greek community for their contribution to the state. He also congratulated the event organisers for creating an event that brought a taste of Greece to Burwood.

“As the Minister for Multiculturalism, we support this event, we support it financially but we certainly support it with our hearts as well. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll continue to celebrate the Greek culture and Greek Australians here in New South Wales,” Mr Kamper said.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

Federal Member for Reid, Ms Sitou, who has Chinese heritage, stressed that Greeks were at the “forefront of multiculturalism” and thanked the Greek community for making other migrants feel welcome in Australia.

“You made it easier for other communities and other nationalities to come to this country. So I am really grateful to the Greek community because it meant that people like my parents were able to come to this country because you demonstrated that there is benefit to multiculturalism, and there is something to be celebrated,” Ms Sitou said.

The Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Mallikourtis stressed that Greek migrants continue to foster bonds between Greece and Australia through culture, traditions and language.

Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood
Greek Street Fair Burwood

“Greeks shaped Australia and they have influenced how Australia has evolved into a multicultural society where diversity is the norm,” Mr Mallikourtis said.

At the conclusion of these official proceedings, there were a number of continuous dancing performances by groups such as The Nassibian Dancers, Sydney Sizmos, the Sophia Ventouris School of Greek Dance, The Kalymnian Association of NSW Dancers, the Rallis School of Greek Dance, and The Cretan Association of Sydney and NSW Dancers.

The 10th annual Greek Street Fair in Burwood was definitely bigger and better than ever!

*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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