Being Greek Orthodox comes with so many great things. Some we may take for granted – food, music, long last names. And others we take pride in – culture, beliefs, tradition. For anyone who knows me, they know I love to dance. Greek celebrations and Greek dancing are synonymous in my mind, which I love. I have been dancing for a long time, and I plan on dancing for a much longer time still. I have stumbled, learned, mastered and perfected a wide array of dances, but along with the tradition of dancing, I love to learn about the story and expression behind each dance I learn.
Each dance, as I have learned, expresses a different story, and a different lifestyle from each specific region. The folk dances weave stories through their portrayal of weddings and courting, victory in battle and lamentation of death. Even simple acts like baking bread, fetching water from the communal well, and fishing are all represented through movements in dance.
What this means to me is that we, as Greek Orthodox, are proud to keep our tradition and history alive in the modern world. We may have found different ways of doing that, but it is there nonetheless. We celebrate our culture and heritage by bringing this ancient tradition to the public, while reinvigorating Greek-Canadians with a new awareness and a sense of pride of their roots.
written by Demetra Kalogeras, VP Ontario