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  • G l a s g o w H e l l e n i c p r e s e n t s

    w w w . g l a s g o w h e l l e n i c . c o m

    It’s all grεεκεεκεεκεεκ 2 me Written and edited by young Greeks born abroad, mainly in Glasgow

    Special report Glasgow Hellenic’s c u l t u r e & h e r i t a g e t r i p t o C y p r u s As part of an EU programme designed to pro- mote young people’s learning about their cul- tural heritage, 12 of the Glasgow Hellenic dance group spent a week of August 2005 immersed in the historical, religious, and cul- tural life of Cyprus. Along with young Greeks from Cyprus, Thebes (Greece), and Calabria (Italy), we took part in a structured pro- gramme of cultural activities based at the Saint Ioannis Camp at Kalopanayiotis in the Troodos mountains. It was a memorable experience. For some of us it was the first encounter with the rich- ness of Cyprus’ archaeological and early Christian heritage, as well as the island’s unique political situation. It was an introduction to many aspects of Greek culture, as well as Greek-Cypriot and Greek-Italian culture. We found out what makes Cyprus a little bit different from Greece as well as the many common threads. We discovered something about the fasci- nating Greek legacy in Italy’s southern region of Calabria – and were invited there as part of a similar programme next year. And we showed everyone there how “Greekness” can survive even in Scotland, especially through our dancing, of which we did plenty, both old and new. Music featured daily and at unexpected moments — from spontaneous Byzantine singing in corners to traditional Greek island drinking songs; from modern laika (popular songs) and tsifteteli (belly dancing) to southern Italian tarantella, and ‘Strip the Willow’. It was a truly unique fusion of cultural expression through dance and music. Find out more about our trip inside this issue.

    Issue 8

    Winter 2005

    Cyprus trip 2-3

    Outward Bound 4

    Greek school insert

    Community news insert

    Scottish Hellenic insert

    Local Greek busi- nesses

    insert

    Inside this issue:

  • Nevena Marjanovic Cyprus was an experience that I will never forget. As one of the group who has no links to Cy- prus, as I am from Serbia, I found the trip very interesting and fun. I got to see not only the touristy side of Cyprus with its beach resorts and nightlife, but also the other side, not usually seen by visitors - the real, Cypriot side. The people I spent that week with meant this trip was a once in a lifetime oppor- tunity as we were from all walks of life. Visiting the many monasteries and churches also gave me an in- sight into a religion which I have been a part of since birth but knew very little about. The people that met us at each holy place, along with the not so holy, were all very friendly and gave us lots of very interesting information about Or- thodoxy, Cyprus and Cypriot tradi- tions. I wish that it could have lasted longer as we only got used to the very hot weather at the end of the week.

    Georgia Stafylarakis This was the first time I have visited Cyprus and the trip was an entirely different and interesting way to see a country for the first time. The Glasgow Hellenic Dancers were joined by groups from Italy, Greece and Cy- prus to take part in the pro- gramme. One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome was the lan- guage barrier but this made the "getting-to-know-each-other" part of the programme even more challenging and ex- citing. We visited a number of different places that of- fered us an insight into the rich culture and heritage of Cyprus. But the places we saw played just a small part in the whole Cyprus experience. It was everything from the people, the food, the singing and dancing and even the donkey rides, that all added that extra bit of spar- kle. It was an informative and eye-opening trip that left us all a little sad as we had to say our goodbyes to our newfound friends and a wonderful country.

    Georgios Vardaxoglou If some- one asked me a year ago where he/she

    should go on holidays in Europe, I would

    probably suggest Greece or Spain. But

    now, I changed my mind. I would definitely

    suggest Cyprus. I spent about 10 days on

    the island this summer with some amazing

    people and we had a great time, I think, due

    to many factors. Firstly, we really enjoyed

    the natural diversity of the island; from

    beautiful beaches and turquoise waters to

    very hot and dry areas to fresh and green

    mountains. Secondly, we were given the

    opportunity to discover the rich history of

    the island (I have to admit I was not fully

    aware of its history) and the whole Medi-

    terranean area, when we visited Nicosia,

    its museums and archaeological sites. In

    addition, the local people on the mountain

    of Troodos and its villages gave us a taste

    of the island’s culture, customs and tradi-

    tions, which was really unique. I should

    not forget to mention our hosts, Father Kyprianos and a

    group of young Cypriots, and two other groups (one from

    Greece and one from South Italy) who all made our lives

    “tiring” – without them we wouldn’t have immersed our-

    selves in music, dancing and singing. In a few words, would

    you like to visit a place with natural and cultural diversity?

    Would you like to explore the historical roots of the Mediter-

    ranean area? Would you like to experience the real Greek

    hospitality? Then, visit Cyprus.

    Konstantinos Kibaris Cyprus: having never been there before, and only having heard various stories of its greatness from those I know who have experienced it, I could only go there with an open mind. Thankfully it didn't disappoint, and the pic- turesque beauty of the mountain valley village that was our dwelling - complete with gravity defying structures built on almost vertical inclines - was bettered only by the outstanding hospitality the Cypriots afforded us. Of all the things about the trip that stuck with me, the main thing I will never forget is the nighttime atmosphere we were always able to create after our long days under the sun, 'appreciating' the an-

    cient culture. Music. Games. Dancing. Food. Tradition. All from 4 different cultures melded together like long lost cousins who seem to have everything in common. Even the language barriers couldn't slow down the spirit of the ball we all had at every opportunity; whether it was in the enclosure of the camp hall, or on the walkway of a coach, causing a spectacle for anyone driving level with it. Whether we will ever be able to take part in this type of event

    again is uncertain, but if one thing is for sure it's that this was unique for us. Even if I don't get to take part in another, I’ve had enough of a taste of cultures dif- ferent to my own to know that there's no point in limiting myself in ignorance for the rest of my life. Keep an open mind; and next time you frown on something strange about an ethnic tradition, remem- ber being British can seem pretty weird in a lot of the

    world too.

    This was our home base for a week in August 2005—a camp at the village of Kalo- panayiotis in the Troodos

    mountains of Cyprus. The village is famous for the church of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis with its amazing 13th and 16th century frescoes. In fact this small area of Cyprus prides itself as having three UNESCO world heritage sites—as well as ‘our’ church, the 13th century chapel of Panagia tou Moutoulla and the painted church of Archangelos

    Cyprus 2005

    Kon & Georgios

    Georgia, Anna, John & Nevena

  • the divided Island by Elena Styli- anou Up until 1974, Cypriots - both Turkish and Greek - lived side-by-side. However, the situation changed when Archbishop Makarios on the 15th July 1974 was toppled by the military junta ruling Greece at that time. This gave Turkey the much longed for excuse to invade the Republic of Cyprus, which it did on 20th July 1974. Today, 35% of the island is occupied by Tur- key and its ‘official’ name is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, founded in 1983. It is not recog- nised by any country except Turkey. In April 2003, the borders which divide the two communities of Cyprus were opened, allowing for the first time Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike to go freely into the north or south of the island. This was a huge step, in my opinion, towards a once again unified island. However, with the opening up of the borders came once again more problems. The majority of Greek Cypriots I have spoken with since the opening of the borders feel that they shouldn’t need to show any form of identification as they still deem Cyprus to be ONE country. During the summer camp experience, we got the opportunity to go to the north of Cy- prus. I felt that this was a great chance to see and experience a part of my native coun- try which I had never before known. For the entire time of the camp, I was very much looking forward to visiting the North as I did- n’t know what to expect. Just like many oth- ers, I had mixed feelings and preconceptions. My first impressions of entering into Northern Cyprus was quite a surprise as the border controller was asleep in his little shed! What does that say about Turkish secu- rity?! And here was I thinking that this would have been a similar daunting experience to that of the corrupt Russian border control which I encounter