To commemorate the occasion of the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence, our School hosted a spectacular event , ‘Χαίρε, ω χαίρε ελευθεριά!’, on the grounds of the Secondary Campus. The event was also broadcast live to our community who were unable to join us on the day via the School’s YouTube channel.

After days of heavy rainfall, the weather became our ally, with long-desired sunshine ensuring that the event, which our students had spent all of Term 1 preparing for in their Greek, Music and Dance lessons, could go ahead.

The purpose of the event was to pay tribute to this important anniversary and engage our students and community with our cultural history. We did this by constructing a narrative based in historical fact, that was then bought to life through poetry, music and dance.

The morning started with a viewing of three short 1821 themed documentaries produced by our Secondary Visual Arts students. Then, our four narrators, Maria, George, Vasilis and Leah, took us on a historical journey to Greece’s past and the events that happened before, during and after the revolution. Each chapter was accompanied by matching visuals and, at times, with poem recitals, songs and traditional Greek dancing.

Our students sang five different pieces that were woven perfectly into the narrative, with each having unique significance and symbolism. Our Stage 1 students sang Φεγγαράκι μου λαμπρό which references the efforts of our ancestors to keep our Orthodox faith and Greek language alive through education.

Years 3 and 4 presented Έχε γεια καημένε κόσμε, a song about the heroic act of self-sacrifice by the women of Souli, accompanied by dancing from our Year 7 girls. Other dance items included Year 7 boys dancing the much-loved Cretan dance, Pentozalis, and the popular Tsamikos, presented by our Stage 3 boys. 

Years 5 and 6 performed Ένα το χελιδόνι, Odysseas Elytis’ poem from Mikis Theodorakis’ Axion Esti. It is a revolutionary song that captures the people’s spirit and instils them with the strength to struggle against adversity and oppression and find their way to freedom. 

Our School Captain, Silvie, performed Marinella’s Μάνα μου κρύψε το σπαθί, a song about the people’s uprising, portraying freedom and Greece as two inseparable twin siblings. Anastasia and Karina sang a traditional folk song, Ένα παλικάρι 20 χρονώ, about human loss during war and the devastating effects that it has on families. 

Our event concluded with Dionisis Savvopoulos’ song Ας κρατήσουν οι χοροί, the official song that the Greece 2021 committee selected to create the commemorative video clip for this year’s celebrations. It is a song about optimism that urges us to remain united and combine the past with our present to build a better future.

Hellenism can bypass adversity under conditions of unity. Let this be the message to every Greek in every corner of the earth. Let our roots, values and ideals unite us. In the lyrics of Dionisis Savvopoulous, may God bless us, and may he keep us well. 

 

Theo Panagiotou

Academic Leader Mission, Faith and Culture

 

For those who seek more information about the history of the revolution, we recommend the following resources:

https://www.greece2021.gr/en/  

https://www.britannica.com/event/War-of-Greek-Independence 

http://ebooks.edu.gr/ebooks/v/html/8547/5204/Istoria_G-Gymnasiou_html-empl/index2_8.html 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApceqsS5tQE&ab_channel=LookBackHistory  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pcY9b3dasg&ab_channel=GreekReporter