Events, News

It’s Greek Independence Day!

Nick Nicoludis :: Thursday, March 25th, 2010 2:35 pm

First, let me say: Yes, I’m Greek American, and I’m proud to say that. No, I don’t want to talk about My Big Fat Greek Wedding; I’m not dark-skinned and don’t have dark curly hair; I do love the soothing, trotting sounds of the bouzouki; I was baptized in olive oil by the Greek Orthodox church; and I don’t riot at the drop of a hat.
Today is the day when Greeks around the world celebrate their victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1821 after four centuries of occupation and oppression. It’s hard not to get a little sad when I think about all of the tragedy that has marred Greece’s history over the last century and a half, but it’s a day to celebrate, so let’s break out the ouzo. Stini Yamas!

In my experience, Greek people, or more appropriately Hellenistic people, are very passionate about politics, music and seemingly everything else someone could have an opinion about. So, it’s only natural that on our independence day, the Greek diaspora is going crazy, and in addition to this celebration, because of the date of Easter in the Orthodox calender, it is the day to celebrate the Feast of Annunciation.

It’s probably a great day to be in Athens. The winter is starting to wind down and the warm Saharan air has begun to drift across the Mediterranean, there are most likely thousands of pigs roasting over fires and music is no doubt bellowing through out the city; the local communist-party (KKE) radio is having a field day I’m sure.

Because of Greece’s current financial state (mounting debt and a budget deficit three times larger than the EU cap) the celebrations in Athens are scaled down a bit. You won’t see any helicopters or military vehicles or planes buzzing around the city today, but I’m sure people are in the streets en masse, half protesting the financial situation and half celebrating their 189th independence day.

So, get out there, wear some blue and white, slug down a bottle of ouzo and celebrate the independence of the culture that spawned western civilization!
Ελευθερία ή θάνατος!