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Amalia: A Queen’s Pattern for Greek Fashion

04.11.2021 in Arts & Culture

Amalia: A Queen’s Pattern for Greek Fashion In 1837, when Queen Amalia arrived from Bavaria to the new capital of the Greek State, she found the city of Athens to resemble an Ottoman province. 400 years of Turkish occupation had left a deep impact in Athenian society, and most definitely on Greek fashion. The Queen, though, was enthralled with the fashion of her time. A wise woman, she realized that must approach her “odd” new subjects in a tangible way: fashion. She created a romantic folklore costume.The ensemble was acknowledged in history as   “the Amalia costume” and today is acknowledged…

Evzone: Threading in Greek Valiance

04.11.2021 in Arts & Culture

Evzone: Threading in Greek Valiance   The Evzones are a special unit of the Greek Army. For over a century, they have been the most recognizable symbol of the Greek Presidential Guard.   The image of the Evzone is deeply significant to the Greek people. They stand as a symbol of national pride, as well as triumph over great tribulations. Hundreds of thousands of people have come from around the world to watch as Evzones stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square.   The word evzonas (Greek: εύζωνας) means “well-girt” and was first mentioned in…

Forged in Fire: An Interview with Panos Valsamakis, Ceramicist

26.04.2021 in Arts & Culture

Forged in Fire: An Interview with Panos Valsamakis, Ceramicist The Valsamakis family has been leaving its mark on the world of Greek pottery for three generations with its distinctive tradition of tile art. But how did this talented family get to where it is today? In an interview with Politismos, family head Panos Valsamakis describes his grandfather’s journey to ceramic mastery, and how it shaped their lives.   Q. How did you personally get your start working with ceramics? Our workshop was established in 1960 by my grandfather and I am the third generation. The workshop was part of our…

Gems of Wisdom: An Interview with Yannis Sergakis, Jewelry Designer

26.04.2021 in Arts & Culture

Gems of Wisdom: An Interview with Yannis Sergakis, Jewelry Designer Born into a family of diamond traders, Yannis Sergakis has spent his career designing world-class jewelry for buyers around the world. But his latest piece is something a bit closer to home for him- a porcelain fustanella, crafted in honor of the 200 year anniversary of Greek independence. In an interview with us, Yannis opens up about his art, his heritage, and his hopes for the future.   Q. What inspired you to create this piece? Greece has just marked the Bicentennial of the start of its Independence War, and…

Laconian orange pie

04.04.2019 in Gastronomy

Laconian orange pie   Ingredients: 2 cups of orange juice 1 cup of oil 1 cup of sugar 3 cups of flour 2 tbsp. cooking soda A sachet of baking powder 1/4 cup cognac Zest of two oranges (for the syrup) 2 cups of water 2 cups of sugar 1 cup orange juice Orange zest Method: Beat the oil with sugar and add the juice in which you have previously dissolved the soda. Pour the cognac, the zest and finally the flour mixed with baking powder. Stir thoroughly to homogenize the ingredients. Grease a baking tray and pour the mixture….

Healthy Foods – Trahanas

23.07.2018 in Gastronomy

The unique foods of Greece and their health benefits: Trahana – cracked wheat fermented in milk   Since ancient times, the Greeks had realized how precious the gifts of Mother Nature were. The Mediterranean climate along with the geological formations of the country created a fertile ground where an abundance of wild herbs and plants could grow. About 1800 endemic species that grow on Greek soil have certified medicinal properties. Over the years, the Greeks have come to discover the properties of these special herbs and foods… This month we bring to the plate warm and comforting Trahana! “Let food…

Pancretan Association of America

15.06.2017 in History

The Pancretan Association of America celebrates 88 years! This July, the Pancretan Association will celebrate its 45th National Convention and 88th year. One of the largest and oldest societies in North America, the PAA, since its inception has continuously supported: Education, Culture, Church and Philanthropy. This history is reprinted with permission of the Pancretan Association Archives. Since ancient times, the Greeks had always wished to emigrate to foreign countries in an effort to find a better life. Looking back on history, we see that the Greeks, through their massive emigration, had created colonies where Greek was the only language spoken,…

Welcome to Crete! Welcome Home!

01.06.2016 in Travel

Welcome to Crete! Welcome Home!   After a long day’s drive through the mountain ranges of Crete, we stopped at a small village cafe to grab a coffee before we made our way to our hotel. We could never have anticipated the experience that followed… the people we met, the bonds we made.    As we made our way to a table under a large shade tree, the cafe owner greeted us with a warm smile, a handshake and pat on the back, asking where we were from after he noticed the “rental” name on our car.  Before we could…

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…

The National Historical Museum: Five Hundred Years of History

01.03.2016 in History

The National Historical Museum: Five Hundred Years of History    When speaking of Greece, the achievements and remains of antiquity are commonly more familiar to most.  But there is a place in the center of the modern Greek capital where visitors will find themselves before a more tangible history, one that reflects the trials and tribulations of Modern Greece…     When visiting the National Historical Museum in Athens, contemporary visitors will inevitably find themselves entranced with the great statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis. It is only fitting that his likeness should stand guard before this institution. Kolokotronis, a deeply loyal and moral man…