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Faith and History

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Faith and History    “In the pre-Christian Greek and Greek Orthodox experience – ancient, medieval and modern – there has been no division or even a hierarchical arrangement of religious, linguistic, social and even political values. Our tradition is like a large body of water which flows on, even though it breaks out occasionally into rivulets or absorbs other smaller rivers and lakes. Tradition (παράδοσις) is what preserves the unity of a people and secures their identity. When a people forget their heritage, they lose their memory and disappear from history.” – From “Orthodoxy and Hellenism,”  by Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos     This is…

Celebrating the Holidays with the Traditions of Greece

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Celebrating the Holidays with the Traditions of Greece    Traditions, the handing down of beliefs or customs, from one generation to the next.  They allow us to honor the legacy of our ancestors and there are many traditions common throughout all of Greece, but there are also those customs that are special to certain regions of the country.     Do you have a unique family tradition?  The holidays are a wonderful time to share traditions with family and to hand them onto the next generation.   Northern Greece   The Marriage of Fire: In many villages of northern Greece, people wait for…

Happy Healthy Holidays!

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Happy Healthy Holidays!   The holiday season always seems to have a great impact on our hearts and emotions. It’s the unique opportunity we are given to escape from our daily routine which, most of the time, revolves around personal issues and family needs.  During the holidays, we meet with friends and family, socialize, care for the others, enjoy ourselves, have fun, dance and open up to the rest of the world.    However, this festive atmosphere can also bring on a melancholy for some as the season can bring to the surface an array of feelings – unfulfilled emotional or…

Made in Greece Festival

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Made in Greece Festival   The “Made in Greece” festival was held for the first time in Athens this past October 23-26, 2015 at Technopolis.  Produced by 2 FOR 7, the event was an effort to showcase goods “made in Greece” as well as provide an opportunity for festival goers to meet the artisans and crafters of these products.   As a result of the economic crisis in recent years, domestic producers of foods, crafts and other goods have faced great challenge.  Many local or family run businesses simply could not keep up with the rising costs of goods, promotion and…

Wor(th)ship: The Photographic Field Work of Tassos Vrettos

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Wor(th)ship: The Photographic Field Work of Tassos Vrettos    The photographic ‘fieldwork’ of celebrated Athens-born photographer Tassos Vrettos. The images document the makeshift places of worship of migrants and refugees in and around Athens and are  presented at the Benaki Museum, now through January 10, 2016.   Each of my visits, even when it wasn’t the first, even if I had been there time and time again, was like opening a door and entering a place of mystery, emotion, reverence and awe. Each space had its own unique identity and aura, from the bright colorful icons of an Indian temple…

Konstantinos Mougolias and…the art of spinning tops

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

Konstantinos Mougolias and…the art of spinning tops    The spinning top (known in antiquity as the stromvos, strovilos or vemvix) represents a timeless toy for both children and adults. It has a long history and exists in almost all cultures. Reference to the unique toy can be found in Homer’s Iliad (ra. X, I. 413), when Ajax throws a “stone that spins around like a top” just before it hit his enemy, Hector, in the chest during their combat.     This month, I had the opportunity to speak with Konstantinos Mougo­lias, a master craftsman in Greece, who is keeping history alive…

December…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

01.12.2015 in Arts & Culture

December…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!   December, the last month of the year, a time when people contemplate what has passed and what the future holds. Many of us spend some time alone to think about our achievements, our failures, and also our resolutions for the New Year. Throughout December there tend to be two prevailing sentiments. On the one hand, a feeling of melancholy for days gone by, while on the other hand an intense sentiment of anticipation for what is yet to come. It’s during this time we will make plans and regard the future through…

Erato Kouloubi: A Hidden Treasure in the Heart of Athens

01.11.2015 in Arts & Culture

Erato Kouloubi: A Hidden Treasure in the Heart of Athens   Jewelry designer Erato Kouloubi has produced hand crafted jewelry pieces for more than 19 years. Her creations are featured in selected stores, including the Benaki Museum and the ‘’Popeye Loves Olive’’ art space. Erato co-owns ‘’Popeye Love Olive,’’ a hidden arts treasure located in the heart of Athens. Erato shared some time with ‘‘POLITISMOS’’ to talk about her work, her passion for travel, Greece in crisis, and much more.   Tell us something about yourself, your occupation and how you reached this point. In 1996, I started studying the…