Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ancient Greek Theater Series: Scena Theatre Performs Homer's ILIAD

The Embassy of Greece is proud to present the first installment in its Ancient Greek Theater Series: a staged reading of Homer's The Iliad by Scena, Washington D.C.'s International Theatre on Wednesday, December 14 at 7pm at the Embassy of Greece.

The event will include a passionate staged reading of Book One of The Iliad ("The Wrath of Achilles") followed by a wine and cheese reception. The performance, directed by Robert McNamara, will feature favorite Scena actors and actresses: Kerry Waters, Eric Lucas, Lee Ordeman, Ellie Nicoll, Sissel Bakken, Lilia Slavova, Jenny Donovan, Irina Koval, Danielle Davy, and others.

Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased at Tickets must be purchased online in advance, as there will be no ticket sales at the door. The event will take place at the Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D.C.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November-December Events at the Greek Embassy

The Greek Embassy is proud to present a varied selection of events to close out the month of November and welcome the month of December:

An Evening of Greek Dancing on November 29 at the Embassy of Greece, from 7:30pm-9:30pm; Join us for an evening of Greek dancing with the DYNAMI Greek Dance troupe. The event will feature a performance of traditional dances from all over Greece, followed by group lessons, so that you too can learn to dance Greek!

Odysseas Elytis: 100th Anniversary Celebration:
A) December 1 6:30-8:30pm at the Embassy of Greece: The Hellenic Foundation for Culture presents an exhibition, videos, and a lecture by Professor Peter Bien, who will talk about Elytis' life and work. Elytis' books will be showcased by the Library of Congress and other collections.
B) December 5 6:30-8:30pm at Georgetown University's Copley Formal Lounge: The Modern Greek Department of Georgetown University will present a lecture, poetry readings, and live singing of Elytis' poems set to music.
C) January 12 at the Library of Congress - Stay tuned for more details!

Panorama of Greek Cinema on December 7 at 8:00pm at the Avalon Theater; The Embassy of Greece and the Greek Film Centre present the much-acclaimed comedy The Riders of Pylos (Comedy, 2011, 35mm, color, 98', Dolby Digital), directed and screen-written by Nikos Kaloyeropoulos.

Greek Olive Oil's Medicinal Properties and Tasting on December 8 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Greek Embassy; Dr. Gary Beauchamp, Director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA, will discuss his latest research results, explaining in compelling lay language olive oil's anti-inflammatory effects. The lecture will be followed by a delicious olive oil tasting!

Ancient Greek Theater at 7:00pm at the Greek Embassy; Scena Theater presents a staged reading of Homer's classic The Iliad.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ancient Greek Medicine in the Twenty First Century

On Thursday, November 10, from 6:30pm-8:3pm the Embassy of Greece will proudly present its next installment in the series "Health, Nutrition, and Fitness: From Ancient to Modern Times", a presentation by Alain Toulwaide titled "Ancient Greek Medicine in the Twenty First Century". Dr. Toulwaide is the Scientific Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions and a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Ancient Greek manuscripts have brought into the 21st century the knowledge, science, and wisdom of ancient Greek physicians and healers, who were able to use with great efficacy the therapeutic properties of natural substances. Nowadays, this body of knowledge is still unique source of information for medical research and a healthy living. Dr. Toulwaide will present highlights from the results of his long lasting research and his prestigious collection of ancient medical manuscripts located at the Smithsonian Institution.

This is sure to be an informative and interesting evening, so please RSVP to in order to reserve your spot!

Greek Films Highlighted in Upcoming EU Showcase

Recently, the Washington Post lauded the two Greek films featured in the 24th annual AFI European Union Film Showcase, Attenberg and Wasted Youth. These two films, touted by Ann Hornada as the "highlights at this year's showcase", bring the best of Greek modern cinema to Washington, D.C.

Attenberg, directed and produced by Athina Rachel Tsangari, tells the story of a young woman's encounters with death and love as she splits her time between her dying father and her endearing friend Bella. This film has received much critical acclaim in Greece and abroad and is Greece's 2011 Oscar selection. Directed and produced by Argyris Dimitropoulos, Wasted Youth chronicles the parallel stories of a father and son who do not see eye to eye. Both films will be presented in Greek with English subtitles.

The showings for Attenberg will be on Sunday November 6 at 9:20pm and Tuesday November 8 at 9:20pm. The showings for Wasted Youth will take place on Friday November 11 at 7:00pm and Sunday November 13 at 7:45pm.

For information regarding tickets and showings, please visit:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flavors of Greece on the Travel Channel

The Travel Channel's Flavors of... series is introducing six new episodes featuring the delicious and diverse cuisine of Greece. Charlie Ottley, who hosts the program, has traveled to countries all over the world, including Spain, Peru, Scotland, and Mexico, to present viewers with the best of each country's culinary specialties. In this fascinating series, he visits six different regions of Greece, exploring their sights and sampling native delicacies.

The first episode takes place in Crete, where Ottley visits an organic farm south of Chania and discovers the secrets of making olive oil in Kritsa. In the second episode, Ottley learns how Ouzo and the famous masticha from Chios are produced on the Dodecanesian islands. The subsequent episodes follow Ottley to Athens, the Cyclades, Kalymnos, Central Greece, Northern Greece, and Western Greece.

During his travels, Ottley experiences not only Greece's delicious foods, but also its exciting activities. Highlights of his trip include sailing around the Ionian islands and celebrating Carnival on the island of Patras. So if you are interested in Greek cuisine, travel, or adventure, you will not want to miss this series!

For more information on showtimes, please visit:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The Embassy of Greece in collaboration with the Greek Film Center and support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece present the next installment of the Greek film series Panorama of Greek Cinema. This month's film will be The Cherry Orchard on Wednesday Nov. 2 at 8:00pm at the Avalon Theater.

This Greek-French-Cypriot co-production directed and produced by Michael Cacoyannis is actually an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's final drama. Set in turn of the century Russia, it chronicles the story of a woman who returns to her family's estate after five years away. She struggles to reestablish her place in the home and society amidst a climate of political and social upheaval, but also with the painful memories of her son's death. The star-studded international cast includes Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, and Frances de la Tour.

For tickets and more information, please visit:

The Avalon Theater is located at 5612 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington DC 20015.

Greek Art Inspired by Economic Hardship

A recent article in the New York Times examined the Greek economic situation from a fascinating new perspective: its ability to inspire and influence artists. In the realms of visual arts, cinema, and theater, artists all over Greece are producing compelling works that hare heavily influenced by the current economic conditions. Street art (known by some of its critics as graffiti) decorates the streets of Athens with politically charged images and witticisms. In the Metaxourgio neighborhood of Athens, art galleries such as the Kunsthalle Athena displays work by young artists such as Stefania Strouza and Lydia Dambassina. Strouza's clever works consist of framed excerpts from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: "My soul consents not to give sovereignty," and "Before the time seemed Athens as a paradise to me," are two of her framed statements. Lydia Dambassina's most well-known work in the Kunstalle Athena shows a Greek flag folded on a desk next to a copy of the Greek newspaper Ta Nea from March 2010 with the headline "All Ways Are Closed."
Last year's Oscar-nominated film Dogtooth and this year's Oscar-nominee Attenberg present a perspective on Greek society that is emotionless, flat and, at times, grotesque. A recent production of Antigone by the Knossos Theater Company in Athens combined Sophocle's ancient version of the play with Brecht's 1948 adaptation to present a protagonist who stands up to political injustice.
It is thus fascinating to see how even in times of economic difficulty, Greek people can rise and flourish in other ways - in this case, the arts.

To see examples of Athenian street art, please visit:

Friday, October 21, 2011

An Evening Celebrating the Best of Europe's Short Films

The EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in Washington D.C. present a Eurochannel screening of the best of European short films from nine countries on Tuesday, November 15 at the West End Cinema.

The Greek film featured in the event is a short film by Theo Papadoulakis titled Pilala, which tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy named Adipas and his attempts to watch his idol on TV in the middle of an electricity outage.

Tickets to this event are $11 for general admission and $9 for members of cultural institutions and students. For more information, please visit:

"EUNIC is a partnership of the national institutes for culture from the EU member states.
It works across a global network of 70 cities, from Brussels to New Delhi and Moscow to New York and now in Washington DC."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Greek Children's Theater Company to Perform in Kids Euro Festival

This year, as part of the Kids Euro Festival in Washington, D.C., the Greek children's theater company "Aeroplio" will stage three performances geared toward young theater patrons (ages 6-10).

"Through the centuries-old tradition of Greek storytelling, a fantastic and heroic universe comes to life. Meet clever magicians, crafty fairies, fierce yet funny dragons — and help decide how the story will unfold. Videos, masks, puppets — and even umbrellas and brooms! — become out-of-this-world characters in a tale like no other!"

The performance dates are:
Saturday, October 15 at 6:00pm at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage:

Sunday, October 16 at 1:00pm at La Maison Francaise:
Reservoir Road, Washington, DC 20005 - (202) 232-7267

Monday, October 17 at 10:00am and 12:00pm at the Studio Theater:
1501 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 20005 - (202) 232 7267

The Aeroplio Theater company, founded in Athens, is no stranger to participating in international theater festivals. Its variety of performances cater to audiences from the ages of 3 up to 18, and frequently focus on themes of ancient myths, European fairytales, and world literature. In the past 12 years, Aeroplio has presented over 60 performances for children and adults and has participated in many European projects relating to arts, theater, and education initiatives.

For more information on this and other Kids Euro Festival Events, please visit:

Upcoming Cultural Events at the Greek Embassy

This fall, the Greek Embassy welcomes you to a wide variety of cultural events!

We begin on October 20 with the next installment in our popular lecture series "Health, Nutrition, and Fitness" with Nikki Rose's book presentation: "Crete: The Roots of the Mediterranean Diet". Nikki Rose is a Greek-American professional Chef-Instructor and Writer who has been studying and sharing her love of Cretan cuisine for over 14 years. The lecture will be followed by a dinner, Ancient Flavors - Modern Palates, celebrating the flavors of Crete at Mourayo Restauraunt.

On October 25, Dr. William Noel, curator of the exhibit "Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes" at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, will be giving a talk about the recently-discovered manuscript of the Greek mathematician Archimedes. The exhibition at the Walters Art Museum will run until January 1.

From October 27-29, the Embassy of Greece once again collaborates with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon's Health and Fitness Expo to present "The Spartathlon" (

To conclude October's events, on October 31, the Embassy of Greece will host another lecture in the "Health, Nutrition, and Fitness" series given by Dr. Constantine A. Stratakis titled "Modern Genetics and Medicine: The New Frontier and Its Challenges".

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marine Expedition in the Red Sea

A Greek team of divers and researchers from the Hellenic Center for Marine Research has been invited to join an international initiative to explore the depths of the Red Sea. The exploration project is especially fascinating because scientists discovered an area of the Red Sea 2,000 meters below sea level whose conditions have not been seen by humans on the surface of the earth for millions of years.

The Kaust Red Sea Expedition (as it is formally called) is sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is set to conclude in 2012. Scientists in the program are currently conducting research on oceanography, geography, biology, and zoology of the Red Sea. The Greek team in particular focuses on the phenomenon of underwater lagoons, which were first discovered in the Aegean.

Source: Greek News Agenda

Museum Conference Held in Athens

On September 27 and 28, the Benaki Museum in Athens joined forces with the Embassy of the United States in Athens to host a conference which focused on new technology and social media use in museums. Titled The Networked Museum: New Media and Innovative Ideas for Audience Development in Museums and Cultural Institutions, the conference focused on new ways in which technology can be used in museums to enhance visitor experiences. These forms of technology can range from cell phone tours on smartphones to enhanced museum websites.

Nancy Proctor, head of Mobile Strategy and Initiatives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Allegra Burnette, Creative Director of Digital Media at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, were keynote speakers. The conference was held as part of the Cultural Envoy program, which aims to bring cultural events to new audiences.

Source: Greek News Agenda

Monday, September 19, 2011

17th Annual Opening Nights Film Festival in Athens

From September 14-25, film enthusiasts will be delighted by the events of the 17th Annual Athens International Film Festival 'Opening Nights'. Founded in 1995 by the Athens Film Society, this festival was created to showcase independent films and films that may not attract mainstream attention.
This year, the 'Opening Nights' program will feature documentaries, midnight screenings, premiers of large-budget movies set to come out later in the year, and two competition sections. The two categories of the competition section are the International Competition and the Film and Music Competition. Five tributes and retrospectives will also complement this year's program, including a tribute to Japanese director Yasuzo Masamura and a retrospective with focus on Norway.

For more information, please visit: or

Opera in the Streets

In Athens, a new initiative is bringing opera out of music halls and theaters and into the streets! During the month of September, soloists and choristers from the Hellenic National Opera ride through the city on city tour buses performing excerpts from such famous operas as La Traviata and La Boheme. Native Athenians and tourists alike can hear the beautiful music from 6:30pm-8:30pm each evening until October 2.

This unusual performance concept is part of a larger program of events organized by the Hellenic National Opera in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the City of Athens. Other highlights from this program include a tribute to the late Maria Callas on the day of her death, September 16.

For more information, please visit:, or the direct site of the Hellenic National Opera at

Harvard University Honors Greek Culture

The Department of Classics George Seferis Chair of Harvard University has recently founded an award to celebrate success in Greek culture. This award, titled the International Award for Greek Culture, was the brainchild of Professors Panagiotis Roilos and Dimitris Yatromanolakis. Awards are given to winners in three categories: poetry, prose, and essay or scientific paper. While entries to both the poetry and prose categories must be in Greek, the essay or scientific paper may be written in Greek, English, Italian, German, French, or Spanish as long as it refers to an aspect of Greek culture. Beginning next year, a fourth category, that of music or musicology, will also be added.
This year, the deadline for submissions is September 30. Winners will be announced sometime in November and will be honored at a ceremony in December at the Athens Concert Hall.

For more information, please visit: or

Monday, September 5, 2011

Have You Visited the Islands of Greece Yet?

Both CNN and travel website have recently touted the wonders of Greece's islands. Whether you enjoy sunbathing, cycling, water sports, walking, gastronomy, or history, the 2,000 islands of Greece have something for you! compiled a list of which islands are best for which activity. While popular destinations such as Crete and Rhodes are among the islands mentioned, there are also several lesser-known islands highlighted in the list.

For sunbathers:
Crete, Lipsi, Skiathos, Kefallonia, Mykonos
- recommends Frangokastello Beach in Crete for its picturesque setting next to a Venetian castle, as well as Koukounaries Beach in Skiathos.

For history buffs:
Rhodes, Delos, Corfu, Patmos
- Rhodes is known for its medieval walled city which boasts the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters. On the island of Patmos, visitors can see the grotto where Saint John penned the Book of Revelation.

For walkers and hikers:
Crete, Naxos, Alonnisos, Skopelos
- In Naxos, walking enthusiasts can follow paths through the countryside passing ancient ruins, Hellenistic architecture, and Byzantine churches. Hikes through Alonnisos and Skopelos lead adventurers through wooded forests and idyllic orchards.

For the environmentally conscious:
Zakynthos, Chios, Crete
These three islands promote eco-tourism and vacations that combine relaxation with environmental activism. In Zakynthos, visitors can volunteer with the Sea Turtle Protection Society to help preserve endangered wildlife.

So when planning your next getaway, consider maritime Greece, where there is sure to be an activity for everyone. Visit: to read the full article and to get more ideas for your next vacation!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Greek Cultural Events this Fall

This fall, the Embassy of Greece is pleased to announce a very exciting schedule of events to promote Greek culture in the Washington D.C. area and beyond.

This Saturday, September 3 at 9:33pm and Sunday, September 4 at 11:30am, WETA TV Channel 26 and WETA HD present the classic Greek film Never on Sunday starring Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin. The film, presented in English, captures the essence of the Greek lifestyle and state of mind. Don't miss it! For more information, please visit:

On Wednesday, September 7, the Embassy of Greece and the Avalon Theater are proud to present the next installment in their monthly Greek film series, Panorama of Greek Cinema, with the comedic film The Cow's Orgasm. For more information, please visit:

Also on September 7 opens the exciting art exhibition by Greek artist Nefeli Massia titled "Remaking Realities" at the Inscape Gallery on the campus of Stevenson University in Greenspring, Maryland. This multimedia exhibition will run through October 29. For more information, please visit:

The Greek Embassy is proud to present further events in its two lecture series "Health, Nutrition, and Fitness" and "Ancient Greek Theater". More information to follow!

And some more events to celebrate European unity and culture... On September 23, the Embassy of Greece will be participating in Europe Night, as well as Euro Kids week from October 14 to November 10, and the AFI-EU Film Showcase from November 3-22.

From November 5-12, the Embassy of Greece will also be participating in the Foto-Week DC Festival.

For more information, continue to follow our blog or follow us on Twitter @GreekCultureUS

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Research Shows that Greeks Had a Pre-Bronze Age Maritime Culture

An astonishing scientific discovery has recently proved that the Greeks had a thriving society long before the Age of Democracy. Researcher Nicolaos Laskaris of the University of the Aegean in Greece has been studying obsidian, a very hard volcanic glass, in the waters around the Greek island of Melos. Using new techniques for dating obsidian, Laskaris and his team have stumbled upon an amazing discovery: people had been mining the valuable rock from the Mediterranean around Melos as far back as 15,000 years ago!

Because of its durability, obsidian was frequently used to construct tools, particularly in the years before the Bronze Age. The use of obsidian tools and weapons spread through different parts of Greece. Obsidian tools dating back to 8,500 BCE were found in the Frachthi Cave in the south Peloponnese, far away from the island of Melos. However, geological testing proved that the artifacts found in the cave were in fact from Melos.

Laskaris and his team took this one step further, using two techniques called obsidian hydration dating (OHD) and secondary ion mass spectrometry of surface saturation (SIMS-SS), to prove that obsidian artifacts from Melos were actually making their way to mainland Greece thousands of years before scientists had actually thought, based on the findings in the Frachthi Cave. The key to the significance of the discovery lies in its implications: if obsidian mined from the waters around Melos was making its way miles away to the mainland and to other parts of Greece, how did it get there? Laskaris and other researchers have drawn the conclusion that pre-Bronze Age Greeks must have constructed a type of early boat to facilitate maritime transport.

For more information, visit:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Greek Wines make the 2011 Top Fifty List

A new age has arrived in the restaurant world for Greek Wines. For the past 22 years Wine & Spirits Magazine has surveyed the top fifty most popular wines sold in restaurants every year. This year Greek wines made the list for the first time. There were three Greek wines: Boutari, Skouras, and Spiropoulos that managed to crack the top 50 list, which puts them in the same league as wines like Veuve Clicquot and Fonseca.

One interesting thing to note about wine in Greece today is that they have more varieties than any other country other than Italy, making it a fantastic destination for wine enthusiasts. The senior editor of Wine & Spirits, Tara Thomas stated that Greek Wines “ought to be a source of excitement for a long time, as it is still so much in a period of exploration and discovery.” There is much to celebrate for Greek wines and wine enthusiasts as a new region has entered the stage of great wines.


For the complete top fifty list:

For information on Wine & Spirits :

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 2011 Phidippides Award goes to Ted Spyropoulos

Ted Spyropoulos, the president of T.G.S National Wholesalers, an automobile wholesaler that operates in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East, will receive the 2011 Phidippides Award. He will join the ranks of composer Mikis Theodorakis, and humanitarian Andrew Athens as passionate advocates of Hellenism. The Award recognizes Greeks in the world who have made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of Hellenism internationally.

Inspired by Phidippides, a man who in 490 BC looked for aid from the Spartans to help defend Athens from the Persians, this award looks to honor those who look to preserve Hellenism. Other than his own accomplishments in the business world, Spyropoulos has served important leadership roles in many Greek organizations. He was the president of the Federation of Hellenic American Organizations of Illinois. He also founded and is the president of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce. Additionally he founded and serves as the chairman for the Spyropoulos Scholarship for Hellenic-American Students of Hellas and USA. An inspirational man to those who seek to preserve and promote Hellenism in the international community, Spyropoulos is cherished in the Greek international community and well deserves this distinguished prize.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Passing of an International Film Icon: Michael Cacoyannis

After battling with a heart condition over the last ten days Michael (Michalis) Cacoyannis, a Greek film Director, died this morning at the Evagelismos Hospital in Athens. An icon in the film industry in Greece, Cacoyannis made a fantastic career in directing. Having distinguished himself as an international filmmaker, Cacoyannis also worked as a theater and opera director. He has written screenplays as well as translating Shakespeare into Greek and Euripides into English.

Having received many awards for his work, including the Order of the Gold Phoenix (Greece), the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres (France) as well as others, Cacoyannis is viewed in the international film arena as an innovator and enthusiast. In 2004, as a way to continue his love for Greek theatre and cinema, Cacoyannis created a foundation in his name whose main goal is to promote, support and preserve the arts of theatre and cinema. Located in Piraeus Street in the district of Tavros, the foundation opened its doors in 2009. Though his work lives on, Cacoyannis is an icon in the Greeks arts community that will be missed and whose work will be cherished forever.

Source: Athens News

For more information on Michael Cacoyannis visit:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Rocker of the Rock of Ages

Washington DC: 
Constantine Maroulis made a visit to the Greek embassy this afternoon. He met with Dr. Zoe Kosmidou, Minister Counselor of Cultural Affairs, and her team of outstanding interns, Irene Cavros, Gregory Fat and Olav Goelet to discuss his current project Rock of Ages, his future plans and his thoughts on promoting Greek culture in the U.S. Having grown up in a Greek household, having attending Greek orthodox school, and being involved with the Hellenic Scholarship Fund, Leadership 100 as well as other organizations, Constantine Maroulis feels a strong bond with the Greek community in the United States and hopes to continue to spread awareness of Greek culture.

Following his discussion concerning the promotion of Greek culture with Dr. Kosmidou, he expressed interest in working with the Pillars of Greek Culture, a developing non-profit organization headed by the Greek Embassy in Washington D.C. After discussing project ideas in the arts, Constantine Maroulis seemed excited to be a part of this newly forming organization. The Pillars of Greek Culture looks forward to creating a relationship with this talented and enthusiastic artist.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Greece and U.S. Join Forces to Fight Smuggling of Archaic Antiquities

During her official visit to Athens, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit to the new Acropolis Museum on Sunday, July 17, signing a bilateral agreement with Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis against the illegal trading of cultural artifacts. The Memorandum of Understanding specifically limits the movement of archaeological and Byzantine artifacts from before the fifteenth century AD. Clinton, after signing, assured that the agreement would help preserve Greece's rich heritage by prohibiting any import of artifacts into the United States without a certificate of permission issued by Greek authorities. Additionally, the agreement will serve to promote the diplomatic international exchange of these artifacts for cultural, educational, and scientific endeavors.

The ancient Greek culture is the historical, artistic, philosophical, scientific, literary, and intellectual foundation of Western civilization. In his speech, Greek Foreign Minister Lambrinidis illustrated the strong ties between Greece and the United States, expressing,"we don't simply share policies, but also values; values born here. Let me be so bold as to say, Hillary Clinton, welcome home to Greece." The United States' interest in the preservation of Greek antiquities shows support for both Greece's future and the protection of its past.

SOURCE: Athens News

For general information about the new Acropolis Museum, visit

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Healthy Eating in Greece

It was Hippocrates who first stated “let food be thy medicine.” Although that was over 2,000 years ago, the Greeks today follow the same philosophy as their ancestors did. There are reasons for the healthy lifestyle that Greeks lead, and a major contributor to that is what they choose to nourish their bodies with. Rather than eating red meat for most meals, the Greeks rely on seafood as a major source of nutrition. Similarly, they enjoy fresh vegetables as a major component of their meals. The use of olives and olive oil is a staple in most Greek cuisine. Similarly, rather than serving meals in portions that can feed a small army, like most of the United States is known for, meals are given in an assortment of smaller dishes that are meant to be shared with the entire group. Statistically it is evident that Greeks have a more stable and healthier diet as obesity rates are roughly one in five while in the United States they have reached heights of one in three. The article written in Travel+Leisure Magazine, titled Healthy Eating in Greece, provides prime locations for exquisite eating when traveling in Greece, from Athens to the island of Crete.

To learn more about the Greek diet and to read the article in Travel+Leisure Magazine, visit:

To learn more about Greek cooking and Greek restaurants near you, visit:

Source: Travel+Leisure Magazine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Santorini Gains Recognition As World's Best Island

Santorini was voted the world's best island by Travel+Leisure magazine in their 16th annual World's Best Awards of 2011. Holding the number six spot on the 2010 list, the island has been a favorite among Travel+Leisure readers for years. This was Santorini's first year at the top, outshining impressive contenders such as the Galapagos, Bali, and Hawaii islands.

Travel+Leisure's Best Awards annually reveal readers' favorite hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, car-rental agencies, spas, and tour operators. The magazine is consistently regarded as a trusted and definitive global source for the finest places to go and the leading companies to take you there. The 2011 awards will be the cover story of Travel+Leisure's August issue.

For more information about Santorini, visit

For Travel+Leisure's complete list of best islands, visit

Source: Greek News Agenda

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Centennial Tribute: Excavations from the Island of Thassos

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is currently hosting an exhibition commemorating the archaic excavations of the French School of Athens on the island of Thassos.

The island of Thassos, located in the northeast Aegean, is the northernmost island in Greece. Thassos holds great historical and cultural significance because of its rich marble quarries, gold mines, and pottery workshops during the archaic era. In fact, it was one of the ten most powerful cities of the ancient Greek world.

In 1911, the French School of Athens began excavating the island, successfully discovering parts of the ancient city walls, the port, the agora, the political and religious center, a theater, and entire villages that have ultimately survived the test of time in excellent condition.

The exhibit, which was organized to complement the 18th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Kavala, features antiquities such as a 5th century BC inscription from the site of the ancient agora, an archaic terra cotta Gorgon acroterion, clay figurines, in addition to a large collection of offerings from the island's sanctuaries.

The exhibition, titled 100 Years of Excavations on Thassos by the French School of Athens, goes above and beyond what is expected. In addition to a general history of the island, it pays tribute to the archaeologists, researchers, and students whose efforts made the excavation of Thassos a landmark moment in Greece's history.

The exhibition will be on display at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki through the end of August.

For more information about the exhibit, visit

For further information regarding Thassos, visit

Source: Greek News Agenda

Monday, June 6, 2011

Los Angeles Greek Film Festival: June 9-June 12

The fifth annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is set to take place from June 9 through June 12, and it promises a weekend of innovative, enlightening films by Greek filmmakers from all over the world. The goal of the film festival is to showcase new films by Greek filmmakers and promote the preservation of Greek culture. Winners of the festival receive Orpheus awards in three categories: dramatic, documentary, and short films. Acclaimed filmmakers from the LAGFF go on to receive awards and praise at such prestigious film festivals as Cannes, Venice, and Sundance.

This year's festival will feature films such as Pyramids of Athens by Yolanda Markopoulou and A Woman's Way by Panos Koutras, but the favorite film seems to be Knifer by Yannis Economides. Knifer was the winner of several Greek Academy Awards in May, and the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will host its U.S. premier.

For tickets and more information, please visit:

Greek National Soccer Team to Play in New York

On Tuesday, June 7, fans will witness an event never before seen at New York's Citi Field: a soccer match. Citi Field, the home stadium of the New York Mets, will host the much-anticipated match between the national soccer teams of Greece and Ecuador. Many Greeks are expected to come out to cheer on their nation's team, especially since Citi Field is located so close to Astoria - the area which contains the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece.

Michael Gianaris, State Senator of New York, was named honorary captain for the team and was presented with a team jersey. Greece's national team is currently ranked 12th in the world.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This month's film in the Panorama of Greek Cinema series at the Avalon Theater, Peppermint, was the winner of the 1999 Thessaloniki Film Festival, as well as numerous other awards. On Wednesday, June 1 at 8:00pm, Greek film enthusiasts have the opportunity to see this acclaimed film by director Kostas Kapakas at the Avalon Theater in Washington D.C.

A forty-five year old visits his dying mother. The memories, smells, and flavors of the innocent years of childhood and adolescence are awakened. The ’60s decade is revisited and retrospectively reappraised. There’s a feeling of nostalgia for relationships in the family, erotic, social, and political milieus; nostalgia for smells and flavors; nostalgia for another life that seems so distant but also so indelible. Peppermint is a ‘vintage’ liqueur. It’s a moving comedy about childhood memories filtered through the passage of time.

Kostas Kapakas attempts to reconstruct that era, in a simple manner and on the strength of authentic experience, through the child’s perspective: an innocent perspective of good and evil, at a time when Greece strove to find its feet after the odyssey of wars. The child – the focal point – filters events and sets them at a distance, lending them the texture that only a child is capable of, that of innocence and playfulness. The adults around him seem like the protagonists of a lengthy theatrical play.

With professional adeptness, a well-tuned pace, narrative density, aesthetic simplicity, and without excesses and loud emphases, Kapakas presents a nostalgic film by simply opening the door to a child’s soul. The well-wrought characters, honestly presented, and the delicate deliveries create a world that’s familiar and identifiable. The film is alternately humorous and moving in appropriate measures, which creates a bittersweet backdrop.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dean Karnazes Completes his Biggest Run Yet

Greek American mega-marathon runner, Dean Karnazes, recently completed his greatest accomplishment yet: a cross-country run that literally took him from one end of the United States to the other. Karnazes, whose other feats include running 50 marathons in 50 days in each of America's 50 states, raised more than $175,000 to benefit Action for Healthy Kids, a non-profit organization to promote health awareness in America's youth.

Karnazes started his run on February 25 from Disneyland in California, and 75 days later, reached the studio of "Live! With Regis and Kelly" in Manhattan on May 10. In total, he had covered approximately 3,000 miles - running 40-50 miles per day! According to NPR, Karnazes' favorite moment of the run was, "Coming into the studio," he said, "coming in here, seeing my family, finally knowing I actually made it. So many days I was questioning it: Can it really be done?"

Karnazes is not only now an athletic superstar, but he is also the author of the book Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss. He also is a strong advocate of youth fitness programs and regularly promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Learn Greek in Greece!

Learning a foreign language is always easier, faster, and more exciting when in the country of origin. Learning Greek is no different. Whatever your skill level or area of interest - ancient Greek, Biblical Greek, or modern Greek - there is a language learning program in Greece that is right for you! Learning to speak Greek in Greece may offer you an invaluable insight into modern everyday life in the country and its culture, as well as an opportunity to spend a few unforgettable weeks on a dreamy island.

University of Thessaloniki: The University of Thessaloniki offers year-round courses in Greek as a foreign language. The school offers courses in Greek language and culture to foreign students, as well as to students of Greek origin, who intend to study Greek in higher education institutions or to familiarize themselves with Greece's history and culture.

Culture Centre on Lesvos Island: Through its AEOLIS project, the Hellenic Culture Centre offers Greek language courses to foreigners. The institute organizes summer language courses on the island of Lesvos, which begin on June 13.

"Alexander the Great" Language School: The "Alexander the Great" Hellenic Language School offers courses to foreigners with either business or scientific backgrounds. The school has branches in Thessaloniki and Chania in Greece, in Sophia and Plovdiv in Bulgaria, in Skopjie in FYROM, and Tirana, Albania. The school is active all throughout the year, and this year's summer school program in Greece begins on June 6.

The Greek House in Athens: The Greek House in Athens is a center for Hellenic culture and language and offers classes and private lessons throughout the year.

College Year in Athens and Paros Island: The College Year in Athens is a study-abroad program focused on Greek history and civilization, offering foreign students university-level courses on Greece and the eastern Mediterranean world.

For even more opportunities to learn Greek in Greece, please visit:

Source: Greek News Agenda

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lecture: Special Olympics and Volunteerism

On Thursday, May 12, 2011, the Greek Embassy will be hosting a presentation given by the Leadership of Special Olympics International. The subject for the presentation will be the upcoming Special Olympics, to be held this summer in Athens. From June 25 to July 4, 7,500 Special Olympics athletes from 185 different nations will compete in 22 different events. The Special Olympic Games provide a forum for athletes with intellectual disabilities can realize and celebrate their accomplishments. Though ability levels vary among the participants, all are provided with the opportunity to grow and to appreciate their individuality.

The event will be held at the Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D.C.
To RSVP to this event, please e-mail

Sunday, May 1, 2011

EU Open House and Europe Week: Events at the Embassy of Greece

On May 7, 2011, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of the 27 EU Member States to the United States will open their doors to the Washington public during the EU Open House Day. This fifth annual event will also kick off Europe Week throughout the United States. On Saturday, May 7, 2011 the EU Delegation and each Embassy will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering a rare look inside the buildings and providing a unique opportunity to experience the country's cultural heritage and national traditions. Free shuttle bus service will be provided throughout the day with stops at embassies and select Metro stations.

The Greek Embassy will be joining in the festivities by hosting an open house, providing visitors with traditional music, delicious food, and fascinating documentaries to give them a taste of Greek culture. Greece has much to celebrate this year, from the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon to the hosting of the Special Olympics in Athens this summer. In honor of the Special Olympics, the Greek Embassy is presenting a photo exposition featuring 20 years of Special Olympics images by photographer Richard Corman. Visitors can also view documentaries by Mecano Film Productions showcasing the beauty of Greece's countryside and islands.

It promises to be an exciting and informative day that you will not want to miss!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lecture with Iphigenie en Tauride Conductor William Lacey

In anticipation of the Washington National Opera premier of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, the Embassy of Greece and the WNO are proud to present a lecture with conductor William Lacey on Thursday, May 5 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. The event will be held at the Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D.C. 20008.

Iphigenie en Tauride, composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck, is one of the greatest operas from the classical period, and was also a hugely influential work. Mozart, Weber, Berlioz, Wagner
and Richard Strauss were all inspired by the nobility and dramatic power of Gluck's masterpiece. In rejecting the decorative, repetitive style of Baroque opera in favor of a new purity and intensity of expression, Gluck was himself inspired by ancient Greek drama.

In this lecture, William Lacey investigates how Gluck's reimagining of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles paved the way for the Romantic music-drama and the classic Greek heroine Ifigenia. Maestro Lacey, a regular conductor at leading opera houses around the world, brings extensive experience with operas of the Baroque and early Classical periods and will provide unique insight into the adaptation of Euripides’ work from Greek play to French opera.

To RSVP, please e-mail


The Embassy of Greece, in collaboration with the Greek Film Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece is proud to present the Panorama of Greek Cinema series at the Avalon Theater in Washington, D.C. This series, which holds screenings on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00pm, provides a unique opportunity for D.C. filmgoers to experience the best of Greek cinema.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 8:00pm, the Panorama of Greek Cinema series will celebrate its first anniversary with a screening of the film Ulysses' Gaze (Me to vlemma tou Odyssea). Written and directed by Theo Angeopoulos, the film received many awards: the Grand Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, the Critics Award in 1995 by the European Film Academy, and the Top 100 Films of All Time list by Time Magazine.

A Greek-American filmmaker, known simply as «A», returns to his hometown in northern Greece for a screening of his latest controversial film. His real reason for coming back, however, is to track down three long-missing reels of film by Greece's pioneering Manakia brothers who in the early years of cinema traveled through the Balkans, ignoring national and ethnic strife and recording ordinary people, especially craftsmen, on film. Their images, he believes, hold the key to lost innocence and essential truth, to an understanding of the Balkan history. Thus, he embarks on a search that takes him across the war-torn Balkans, a landscape of spectral figures and broken dreams, right to the heart of darkness: a damaged film archive in Sarajevo where his quest ends. Like a latter-day, Ulysses finds his «Ithaca», the missing, undeveloped film and is at last united with the work of the Manakia brothers... his gaze communes with theirs and another journey begins...

The film runs for 176 minutes and is in English, Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian, and Romanian with English subtitles.

The Avalon Theater
5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Rare Glimpse into Life on Mt. Athos

On Easter Sunday, April 24, 60 Minutes aired an enlightening documentary giving viewers a rare glimpse into life in the monasteries of Mt. Athos, the holiest and most exclusive monastic community in all of Eastern Orthodoxy. The CBS anchor explained how difficult it was to obtain the interview, as there has not been a news team permitted on the peninsula since 1981. It took over two years of persistent communication and negotiation before the monks of Mt. Athos permitted the 60 Minutes crew to visit the community.

Considered one of the most sacred locations in Orthodox Christianity, Mt. Athos is a peninsula in the north of Greece, part of the larger Halkidiki peninsula. Twenty monasteries inhabit Mt. Athos, each one like its own enclosed town, self-sufficient and productive. The Orthodox monks who live in the monasteries have dedicated their lives to Christ, choosing to live simply, austerely, and piously.

The peninsula has been a sacred place for centuries, with the first monks living on Mt. Athos as early as the 3rd or 4th century. Monastic communities were well-established on the peninsula by the Byzantine era, and they continued to flourish even under Ottoman occupation. Today, several of the monasteries contain icons dating as far back as the 14th century. One of the monasteries even contains a holy relic dating back from the 1st century: a piece of cloth worn by the Virgin Mary.

It is said that over 1,000 divine liturgies take place each day on Mt. Athos, as there are many churches on the peninsula in addition to the twenty monasteries. The monks of Mt. Athos pray for hours on end, some continuing to move their lips in prayer even as they do daily activities such as cooking or cleaning. When they are not called to prayer, the monks occupy themselves with other tasks, such as iconography, harvesting fruit, and welcoming the many pilgrims to the monasteries.

Mt. Athos welcomes many pilgrims each year, though each one is required to obtain a special permit from the monks before making the journey. Only Orthodox Christian men over the age of 18 are permitted to visit; women are not allowed on the territory at all. One of the holy fathers explained to the CBS crew why this was, and his reasoning was twofold. First, by Christian legend, the land was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and so to honor her, no other woman was allowed to step foot on Mt. Athos. Second, the monks decided that the presence of women would distract the monks from their vows of chastity.

Mt. Athos' exceptional beauty and serenity make it the ideal location for direct communication with God. The monks who live there have maintained the same simple lifestyle for centuries, seeking enlightenment through prayer and meditation. The 60 Minutes special allows all people, men and women alike, to see what life is like for the monks of Mt. Athos.

For more information on Mt. Athos, please visit:

To view the entire videoclip, please visit:;lst;1

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greek Easter

For Greek Orthodox Christians, Easter is considered the most important and meaningful holiday of the year. Preparations for Easter begin 48 days before the actual holiday, allowing the faithful a period of fasting and contemplation to ready themselves for the Holy Resurrection. Lent, which lasts for 40 days, begins on Clean Monday (Greek: Kathara Deutera), seven weeks before Easter. Immediately after Lent ends, Holy Week begins with the Saturday of Lazarus, the day Orthodox Christians celebrate Christ's miraculous resuscitation of his friend Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. The Holy Week liturgical services culminate in a commemoration of Christ's Last Supper of the Passover meal, His Death on the Cross, burial in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Many people are aware that Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter often on a different day than Western Christians. This is because the Orthodox Church fathers declared Easter to fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. Though this formula for calculating the date of Easter is the same for both Eastern and Western Christian churches, the Orthodox traditionally follow the older Julian Calendar, while the Western Christians schedule their Easter according to the Gregorian Calendar. It is also important for Orthodox Easter to fall after the Jewish holiday of Passover, since Christ celebrated Passover in Jerusalem at his Last Supper.
In Greece and in Greek-American communities in America, Easter traditions are varied and unique. At the center of the celebrations, there is always copious amounts of food. The most popular foods on a Greek Easter table are roast lamb (often cooked on a spit), magiritsa (a kind of soup made from lamb offal), braided sweet bread (tsoureki), and grilled tripe (kokoretsi). One of the most beloved Easter traditions is the dying of red eggs. The women in a family will hard boil eggs and dye them a deep red color. The egg is a symbol of new life, while the red symbolizes the blood of Christ. On Easter Sunday, each family member receives a red egg to 'compete' with. The eggs are hit together, either on the small end (the nose) or the large end (the behind), and whoever is left with his or her egg intact is the winner.

For more information on different Easter traditions throughout Greece, please visit:

Have a Happy and Blessed Pascha!

Sources: Greek News Agenda,,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zagori: The Land Behind the Mountain

At the heart of Epirus prefecture, perched like eagles’ nests on the slopes and ridges of the Tymfi and Mitsikeli mountains, the Greek mainland reveals the wild beauty of the 46 stone-built villages of Zagori, also collectively known as 'Zagorohoria.' The name Zagori means "the land behind the mountain", and geographically, the area is divided into three parts: eastern, central and western.

Throughout the settled area of Zagori, the wealth of past times is still reflected in the stone mansions, the school buildings, and the imposing churches, most of which were built with donations by affluent expatriate Zagorians.

Although each one of the 46 villages may have their own unique qualities, but all of them share an incomparable beauty that captivates even the most demanding visitor. Built amphitheatrically on the mountain slope and sheltered from the wind, the village of Monodendri welcomes the visitors in its central square where an enormous old plane tree (platanus) stands.

From there, after a few minutes walk on a stone-cobbled path, the Aghia Paraskevi Monastery appears nestled on a rock overlooking the Vikos Gorge, which is said to be the deepest in the world. The monastery, which is also known as the 'balcony over the gorge', is the oldest preserved church in Zagori, built in 1412.

At the foot of the Tymfi Mountain lies one of Greece's most delightful and unblemished villages, Papigo, which consists of two districts: Megalo (large) and Mikro (small) Papigo. In Mikro Papigo, WWF Hellas has established an Information Centre for nature and culture in Zagori, housed at the old primary school of the village.

Imposing rocks hang over the village, known as the "towers of Papigo" and on a mountain terrace lies Drakolimni, one of the three alpine lakes in the Pindus mountain range, which according to local legends used to be inhabited by dragons.

No words can describe Zagorochoria. It is a natural and cultural wonder to be discovered and an experience that undoubtedly will not let you down. And with 46 picturesque and idyllic villages, there is plenty to explore and discover!

Source: Greek News Agenda