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Who is your female hero? Greeks share their personal stories

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To mark International Women’s Day this year, The Greek Herald asked our readers to share with us who their female hero was. This is what they had to say:

Message by Kalli-Ann Sevaptsidis:

I am nominating my Grandma Anneta as my Unsung Female Hero. She has always supported me at home, school, community and everyday life. I’m very lucky that my Grandma Anneta lives on the same street as my family. I’m always welcomed by her and can visit her any time of the day. She is always happy to see me.

At school, she always encourages me to complete my homework and to help me with reading, writing and math. She volunteers at my school and is known by all the children at school as “Grandma Anneta.”  

My religious, heritage and cultural background are Greek. I’m the second generation born in Canada and proud to be able to speak, read and write Greek. My Grandma Anneta is very proud of me and she is the one that takes me to Greek school every Saturday. When I was younger, I didn’t want to go but now realise that it is important to learn about the Greek language and culture. I’ve also developed some close friendships that I hope will last a lifetime.

My Grandma Anneta has not had an easy life. She came to Canada when she was 19 years old not knowing any English and arriving with only one suitcase that contained her belongings. She worked as a seamstress during the day and attended English classes in the evening.

Through my Grandma Anneta, I’ve also learned that it is also important to be a cheerful giver. We also volunteer within our community and help various organisations. Every year we participate in a walk/run fundraiser for the Kitchener-Waterloo Salvation Army. We’ve also participated in collecting food for the local Food Bank and collecting new books and toys for needy kids. It gives me a good feeling of being able to help people less fortunate. It makes you feel good when you are able to help others. If you go out and do good things, you will fill the world with hope, and therefore, you fill yourself with hope.

My Grandma Anneta has always and continues to be a very special person in my life.

My mum. My hero. By Kiki aged 14:

I guess mum learned nurture when she gave birth to my brother Dimitri and I. Then again, I have a feeling this endless sense of giving, caring, sharing was probably part of her very being before us.

During COVID lockdown a year ago, she opened a cafe. Massive career change from corporate to food, but she followed her heart. She wanted to share her knowledge of good, clean Mediterranean eating with a community who were hungry for it. Mum is even feeding the hard-working medics at the local hospital when she can.

Hellenism is at her inner core. In the cafe you’ll find it dotted around the place. Subtle but significant. She now curates art exhibitions every six weeks to help bring the community out of their shells. She also releases artworks from one lounge room into another when someone buys it. It’s amazing how art can help connect people. As does food. Mum thinks it’s a spiritual experience.

Thank you for being you.

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