OXI Day at All Saints Grammar

Most countries are accustomed to celebrating the end of the war, not the beginning. Greece, however, is a unique country that marks the start of WWII and not its end. In the early hours of 28 October 1940, Italy demanded that its troops be allowed into Greece. Prime Minister Metaxas’ denial was recorded in the consciousness of the Greek people as ‘NO.’ 

October 28, known as Εικοστή Ογδόη ΟκτωβρίουΗ ημέρα του Όχι, is the national holiday of the Greeks and a great reminder of their unceasing struggle for freedom, justice and humanity.

Due to COVID restrictions, a whole School Assembly was held via Zoom, where we paid tribute to the day. Primary and Secondary students prepared a presentation that included an explanation of why the Greek community celebrate the beginning and not the end of WWII. Poem recitals and facts related not only to OXI Day, but also to the events that preceded and followed. We aimed to put our national day into the general context of WWII and highlight some of its main events.

A group of Year 6 students presented the start of the war, the opposing sides, the German invasion, the Greek resistance, and the country’s liberation. Before this, we had some interesting conversations in class where students showed particular interest in the facts and asked many questions about their specifics. Our younger students learned about the Greeks’ war cry “Αέρα”, cheered for Greece and participated in craft activities about the Greek soldiers. Our students also watched snippets of the major events in Greece, especially from the main festivities in Thessaloniki. We shared some animated history videos about WWII and the significance of the 28 October anniversary.

Our Greek language lessons always aim to extend the cultural and historical knowledge of our learners. Establishing a meaningful connection to our historical past while maintaining a healthy link to present-day Greece is an important goal of our cultural program at All Saints Grammar.