Thursday, April 19, 2012

Greek Film "Unfair World" at D.C. International Film Festival

On Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19 the Avalon Theater will be presenting Unfair World, a film by Greek director Filippos Tsitos, as part of the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival.
The film centers on Sotiris, a very unusual police investigator who, one day decides to forgive all those who are treated unfairly in life, going as far as risking his own career by murdering a corrupt colleague. The crime, which has only one eyewitness, a lonely cleaning lady named Dora, brings the two characters closer together, as they are torn between love, honesty, and justice.

The film screenings are Wednesday, April 18 at 8:30pm and Thursday, April 19 at 8:45pm at the Avalon Theater. For more information, please visit

Returning Home to Greece: One Family's Story

Recently, the Washington Post published an article about one Greek-American family's return trip to Greece to visit the home of their grandfather in the Greek mainland. Bob Carden (whose grandfather's name was changed from Gardikys-Karandreas to Carden when he came to America), his wife, and two teenage children visited Lidoriki, north of Athens and about forty miles from Delphi. Carden paints a very different picture of Greece than the one we have so frequently seen on the news as of late. He calls the Acropolis and Parthenon "true wonders of the world", and even marvels at the political demonstrations which he calls "live Grecian theater at its best." Most importantly, howver, Carden discusses the beauty of the Greek mainland and the warmth and expressiveness of its people. To read the full article, click the link below:

Father-Son Traveling Duo Follow the Steps of Odysseus

Several years ago, retired research scientist Jay Mendelsohn decided to take a class on Homer's The Odyssey, taught by his son Professor Daniel Mendelsohn. The class sparked a desire by both father and son to return to Greece to follow Odysseus's journey. They began their journey in Turkey, in what used to be known as the city of Troy, and then continued to visit the various sites throughout the Mediterranean where Odysseus is thought to have traveled. Though they were on a cruise ship with about eighty other passengers, the father-son pair still managed to meet some Homer-esque characters, including a Dutch man who had been injured and survived a long recovery period by reading Homer's works. All in all, the trip was a momentous one for both Jay and Daniel, particularly since it was their last trip together. Jay Mendelsohn died on April 6, 2012. His son Daniel, who recounted the experience in the April issue of Travel and Leisure Magazine, will forever remember this trip as his intrepid father's final Odyssey.

Producer and Actress Rita Wilson Reflects on Pascha

Rita Wilson, producer, actress, and wife of actor Tom Hanks is also well-known in Greek circles for producing the blockbuster film My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In a recent article for the "On Faith" section of The Washington Post, Wilson discusses her feelings about Pascha (Greek Orthodox Easter). She begins her article first by clarifying the differences between Easter as celebrated by most Western churches and Pascha as celebrated by the Greek-Orthodox (and other Orthodox denominations). Wilson talks about the importance of preparing for this very revered holiday by fasting and attending church services, two activities which many Greeks and Greek-Americans know very well. She recounts one particularly amusing anecdote in which her children were debating whether or not a certain soft drink qualified as a 'soda', since they had decided to fast from soda for Lent.

Wilson's light-hearted though profound perspective on the celebration of Pascha in America is one that is familiar to many of us. To read the full article, please click below:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

European Union Youth Orchestra Performs at the Kennedy Center

On April 15, the European Union Youth Orchestra gave a concert at the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. The orchestra, composed of the most talented musicians aged 14-24, is representative of the 27 EU nations from which the performers come. Sunday's concert was conducted by world-renowned conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy and featured violinist Pinchas Zukerman. The program included Copland's Outdoor Overture, Bruch's Violin Concerto, and R.Strauss' Ein Alpensinfonie. The young musicians in the EUYO are the best and brightest in their respective countries, and they frequently go on to enjoy very successful music careers as adults. The performance at the Kennedy Center provided a rare opportunity for American classical music lovers to enjoy their virtuosic talents.

Joan Nathan at the Embassy of Greece

On April 5, the Embassy of Greece welcomed acclaimed chef and cookbook author Joan Nathan to discuss Mediterranean cuisine. Below are two photos from the very successful event - a good time was had by all!

Alkinoos Ioannides Performs in Washington, DC

This Sunday, April 22, at 8:00pm, Washington will welcome famed Greek songwriter and performer Alkinoos Ioannides to the Jack Morton Auditorium. Joining him on stage will be Yiorgos Kaloudis. Together, they will present an evening of unique Greek- and Cypriot-inspired music which is sure to be unforgettable.

Here is the short biography listed on the concert's advertisement:

Alkinoos Ioannidis is one of the most well loved Greek songwriters and performers. Since signingto Universal Music in 1993, his prolific output (11 solo albums and 40 collaborative releases) hasonly been matched by his touring schedule, which has included shows in major cities in Europe,the US and beyond. Standout performances include Madison Square Garden and The LincolnCentre (NYC), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Berlin Philharmonie, The Acropolis Theatre(Athens) the ancient theatre at Epidaurus and the Glazunov Hall (St Petersburg).

The concert will take place on Sunday, April 22, at 8:00pm in the Jack Morton Auditorium at 805 21st St. NW, Washington, DC, 20052. For tickets or more information, please visit

Akrotiri: Gem of Santorini

The archaeological site of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini has recently reopened after a period of 7 years. Ancient Akrotiri was one of the most prominent prehistoric settlements in the Aegean situated in the south coast of the island. The first recorded habitation dates back to the Late Neolithic period but it was during the Early Bronze Age that a substantial settlement was founded -which eventually became one of the main urban hubs of the Aegean. The settlement is huge -approximately 20 hectares- and the state-of-art drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storied buildings with the splendid wall frescoes typical of Minoan art, along with imported furniture and pots, attest to a flourishing and prosperous civilization with an extensive network of external trade relations.
In the last quarter of the 17th century BC residents were forced to evacuate the settlement due to a major earthquake, which caused the Santorini volcano to erupt. Volcanic lava covered the entire island and the Akrotiri town, preserving to perfection buildings, vessels, artifacts, hence the rightful nickname "Minoan Pompeii."
Due to volcanic ash, everything is so well preserved that contemporary visitors still feel that a Santorinian beauty might walk out of the House of Ladies for a morning stroll in the main street, before heading to the triangular piazza and admire the view of her home town!

Source: Greek News Agenda

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Recently, the National Geographic website featured Mykonos as one of its most beautiful beaches, comparing it to magnificent beaches in Hawaii and Thailand. National Geographic cites both Mykonos' unspoiled beaches and unique Cycladic architecture as integral aspects of its charm. To see the full photos, please visit:

Acropolis Virtual Tour

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Acropolis Restoration Service, has devised a way for lovers of Greece to visit the Acropolis from afar: the Acropolis Virtual Tour. This tour includes high-quality images that can be zoomed in and out of, an overview of each particular location, historical information, and a descriptive map. "Visitors" can explore panoramas of the four main monuments: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Choices abound as to how the enormous images can be seen. By clicking directional arrows, it is possible to move to the left, right, up, and down to enjoy the Acropolis and its monuments almost as realistically as in person!

To visit the Acropolist Virtual Tour, please click: