Politismos eMagazine | Arts & Culture
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Manos Hatzidakis: Urban-Folk Modernism in Music

01.06.2016 in Arts & Culture

Manos Hatzidakis: Urban-Folk Modernism in Music   It is a rare phenomenon for an artist to enjoy the respect and veneration of a whole nation after death. Manos Hatzidakis, born and bred of the European Enlightenment, is one of those fortunate deceased.   Born in Xanthi in 1925 to a Cretan father and mother from Adrianopolis (now in Turkey), young Manos, only 14 at the time, started his musical education, comprised of piano, violin and accordion lessons. After his parents’ divorce he moved to Athens where he was earned his living as a multi-task worker while continuing with his musical studies…

Odysseas Elytis: The Poet of Light

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Odysseas Elytis: The Poet of Light   What would the Aegean Sea be without Elytis’ poetry? A Trojan War without Homer… Odysseas Elytis is the poet of “Light and the glorious Sun”     Elytis was born in 1911 in Crete, his family originally from the island of Lesbos. Upon the start of the World War I the family moved to Athens where Elytis graduated from high school and subsequently attended courses at the Law School οf the University of Athens before dropping out. His first venture in Greek poetic circles took place in 1935 when he published his first poem…

Cloudy Day in Athens

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Cloudy Day in Athens    Vasilis Tsistanis was songwriter and bouzouki player. At the age of 15, he wrote his first song, the first of hundreds he would write during his professional career. One such legendary piece was “Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki” (Cloudy Sunday), inspired by the dismay he felt after German troops arrived in Greece in 1941 and incidents he witnessed thereafter.   The following quote is from an interview entitled “S. Gauntlett: An interview with Vasilis Tsitsanis.” published, in the Spring and Summer of 1975, by the Hellenic Society of Melbourne, Australia:    “The occupation was for me an inexhaustible…

May Day: (Protomaya) in Greece

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

May Day: (Protomaya)  in Greece    When talking about May Day, or “Protomaya,” colorful wild flowers, children making flower wreaths, picnics in the countryside, and the smell of flourishing almonds immediately come to mind. In Greece, as in most cultures of western Europe, May 1st marks the end of the cold winter and the beginning of spring and rebirth. For many centuries, “Protomaya” has been regarded as the celebration of flowers and nature. May 1st is also International Workers Day and is now considered an official holiday in Greece.    “Protomaya,” literally translated as the first day of May, is one…

Giannis Haroulis

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Giannis Haroulis   Giannis Haroulis is one of the most well-known modern artists of Greece. His work is a beautiful fusion of Greek folk and traditional Cretan blended with a bit of rock and modern sound.    Born just outside Lasithi, in the village of Exo Lakonia, Haroulis was first introduced, at the age of 6, to playing music by his father who was a sculptor.  It was at this time he learned to play the lute (laouto).  He studied traditional folk music and began performing in local festivals. In 2002, and only in his early 20s, Haroulis was invited…

The tradition of Easter Lampades

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

The Tradition of  Easter Lampades     Holding Easter lampades (candles), a popular Easter tradition in Greece, dates back to early Christian times. The ancient Christian church baptized new members of the church on Holy Saturday, during which time each member of the church held a lampada. New converts carried their own lampades as they entered the church for baptism by priests.    The lampada symbolizes the new light of Christ that came to illuminate the soul of the converts or newly-baptized. It symbolizes the light Christians believe Christ brought to humanity when he conquered death and the darkness through his…

Komboloi Museum

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Komboloi Museum    In April 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Evangelinos established the first, and still unique in the world, Komboloi Museum. The komboloi are strings of beads, often referred to as worry beads or prayer beads.     The couple began their journey on the “road of Komboloi” in 1963 with a visit to Alexandria, Egypt. Their research continued over the years, bringing them in contact with Hinduists, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics and Greeks (from Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt etc.) and gaining insight about these wonderful strings of beads.  Over time they built a unique collection of almost a thousand komboloi, with…

Karonis Distillery Museum

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Karonis Distillery Museum    A family run business, the Karonis Distillery has been operated by five generations – 145 years – of Karonis.  Today, it is under the management of Fotis and Yiannis Karonis.  They produce Ouzo, Tsipouro, and Masticha, all distilled in modern copper stills. They also produce a distinguished cherry liqueur made with cherries from the Arcadia region.    Visitors have the opportunity to see distillery artifacts, including letters, books, machinery, and equipment dating back to 1870.  One special piece that cannot be missed is the first distiller purchased by the Karonis, along with the invoice for this…

Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation: V. Papantoniou Museum

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation: V. Papantoniou Museum    The “V. Papantoniou” Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation (PFF) is a privately supported foundation, based in Nafplion. It was founded in 1974 by Ioanna Papantoniou with an aim to research, preserve and present the material culture of the Peloponnese and Greece on the whole. Papantoniou is a stage and costume designer and  Honorary Doctor of the Department of History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2003, Papantoniou also founded the Greek Costume Society with the goal to create a Costume Culture Museum in Greece.    In 1981, PFF won the European Museum of the Year…

Celebrating Easter in Greece: A look at some of the unique customs, traditions and gastronomy

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Celebrating Easter in Greece: A look at some of the unique customs, traditions and gastronomy   Easter, also known as Pascha, is one of the major religious celebrations in Greece. People from all over the country celebrate Holy Week, with the major celebrations occurring on Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Greece’s unique history, especially events driven by Christianity and the Ottomans, influenced the formation of these widely-varying customs.   Though many customs are often unique to specific regions of Greece, some traditions are celebrated similarly throughout the country, such as coloring Easter Eggs and eating traditional foods like…