A Tale of Two Festivals: 200 Years of Liberty Foregone!

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By Zografos Zappas

As we scurry to the 25th of March 2021, the single biggest day in Hellenic history in 200 years, we are witnessing the truth about our divided community. Not even the celebration of our liberty, some of the greatest battles in history, battles that changed the course of history and the western world, can we sit at the round table and smoke the peace pipe.  

Today we have been told that the Independence Day March, that has been held every 25thMarch for over 30 years, has been cancelled. This is not the doing of the State Government, nor COVID, but of a failure of those bodies that represent our Greek communities that are failing us, that are failing our children and failing our Hellenic spirit and pride.

File Photo, The Greek Herald

This year is the most symbolic year of Hellenic Independence since 1821.We are a proud people, who fought and won freedom after 400 years of Ottoman Islamic rule. A victory that not only freed the Hellenic people and created the new Hellenic State, but also ensured the freedom of Europe from the Ottoman stranglehold. Battles that rewrote war strategy, generals who became heroes.

Yet, we are denying the just celebration as a united community, for reasons we do not understand or are not being told. We are denying our children and our schools from celebrating the history they need to be aware of. The history that will carry Greek language and culture onward and forward into the next generation and beyond.

At this time, in our history, everyone should be onboard, but we have a Greek Orthodox Community that is at best, dysfunctional, we have a disconnected National Committee, and we have no real major event to send a message to the world that we celebrate liberty, precious liberty!

At this time, we are the only country in the world that can celebrate this event. The only country which can have a street parade and celebration on the Opera House forecourt. We should be out in the streets, with our flags, our beautiful traditional dress, dancing and singing; telling the stories of our hero’s, and how precious liberty truly is.  

 A united Greek community with one simple objective. A united Greek community in Australian televised to the world to give our families in Greece, the diaspora around the globe, and our fellow Greeks our love and our celebration of Hellenic victory.

Our individual ambitions should be united under a common banner.  But this is being hampered by leaders with egos and self-interest, leaders who are not being true to the Greek community, leaders who must hand the batton to the next generation. We are witnessing the casual destruction of a Greek community that should be uniting under a common purpose – Hellenism.

READ MORE: Sydney cancels Greek Independence Day parade this year

File photo, The Greek Herald

Where is the black-tie charity event with 1000 people to celebrate our liberty?  Where are the flags at the events being held? At the official launch last Friday at the Enmore theatre there was not one flag. Where is the literature to tell our fellow Australians about 1821 and its importance to Hellens around the globe? Where is the transparency that would have us know about the large amounts of money being received from the State and Federal Governments that funds the many events, including this year’s Hopewood Estate event.  

Greece is struggling with COVID, it is up to us to present to the world, but instead, we sit back as spectators to the greatest embarrassment, that is, the Greek community fragmented by ego. 

It is time we got serious about our community and held those that drive what they think is in the best interest of the community, accountable. In time, we must unite if we are to have a future.  Today, we must unite to show the Greeks around the world, that our liberty continues, that the Hellenic spirit will never die. Today, our leaders must throw their self interest in the fire, and rise above their egos to deliver Hellenic liberty to the world.

READ MORE: Opinion: A Tale of Two Festivals

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