Happenings

Obama’s Visit to Greece; his Outstanding Speech

The last official visit of Barak Obama as president of the United States was to Greece. A visit and an address to the Greek people which will remain memorable if not to the entire world, but surely to both Greeks and Americans alike.

President Obama received a very warm welcome at the Stavros Niarchos foundation where he gave his speech; a speech that inspired me so much and made me feel proud to be Greek. There could not have been a better-chosen person to speak about Greece in these times than the president of the United States himself.

The president opened his speech by stating why he chose Greece to mark the end of his term as president and stated it as follows: “I was determined on my last trip as president to come to Greece, for the Filoxenia (hospitality), the Parthenon, but mainly for Greece’s contribution to humanity”. “We are in debt to the Greeks mainly for the understanding of the right and the capacity to govern ourselves; Democratia.

After a reference to Socrates and Aristotle, the president underlined that the ideals of ancient Greeks are challenged today. Global economy and cultural diversity are 2 things that trouble our world today, and to many people in the world, they seem to be jeopardizing democracy.

Longing to live with dignity is something that all humans want no matter where they come from. The crisis in Greece has both internal and external causes; at the same time, Greeks prove that they have democracy because they opened their heart to all the refugees who arrived, something that inspired the entire world. Still, Greeks shouldn’t carry the burden alone.

He emphasized the following: “I don’t think that people around the world are aware of the sacrifice that the Greek people have made during this time, but I am aware of it, and I am here to underline the good steps that have been made. And help Greece to get back on a sustained economic recovery. People need to see hope, they need to see that there is a future”.

We cannot get 100% of what we want in a democracy because we need to leave room for compromise. We need to see the capacity of others in ourselves. We need both a financial and a cultural structure in today’s world.

President Obama closed his speech with the word “Filotimo”. “I see it every day, and it gives me hope”.

The round of applause was enormous and the inspiration from his speech even greater.

We thank the president for valuing our ideals, our country, and our contribution. He is leaving a unique mark in the books of history.

 

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Being Back Home

In the southern part of Greece, in the Peloponese, lies a traditional village, which even though it stands at an altitude of 950 meters, it is situated on the foothill of beautiful colorful mountain, the Parnon filled with chestnuts and walnuts.

This traditional village has the name of Karyes. Karyes is related to the Caryatids, the young girls of Karyes, which are illustrated in the famous monument in the Erechtheion of the Acropolis.

Karyes is also my hometown, my place of birth.

This year, on the 28th of October, a National Day in Greece, also known as “OXI Day”, being in Karyes brought about an extra sence of pride in being a Karyes girl myself.

The day began with everyone’s presence in church for the mass followed by a doxology or a praising the Lord prayer.

The children, all 15 of them, dressed up for the parade to honor the flag and recite the parralel poetry fit to praise the day.

As known Greek tradition goes, lunch was cooked and served for everyone in the square of the village, an event that filled us all with the sence of celebration, unity, sharing, and caring. The plate of the day: cooked goat, a traditional dish that fits the Autumn season. Of course, after food comes dancing, an important part of the celebration.

But what really makes it home is the home itself. Our house in Karyes was build 50 years ago as a traditional house of Karyes. One year ago, my daughter Vivia decided to renovate this house, the Floreico house as we call it. Her grandparents, my parents, never left this house. Thrilled with the renovation they helped in keeping all the details that grandpa, or “pappou” has put in it that mark his style and his life there with grandma or “giagia”.

I feel quite blessed that they are there where they feel that they belong and where I feel will always be home.

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Matrona’s festival, Santorini

The place, mesmerizing Santorini. The setting, delightful Village of Foinikia. The occasion, unique Matrona Festival. The people, new and old wonderful friends. The food, local mouth watering specialties, feasting on bakaliaros xelouristos (specially made bass) and fava beans. In magical October coloured by Santorini’s own, romantic and enchanting sunsets.

I was fortunate to be met with a great and delightful surprise while visiting the alluring Santorini when I coincided with the original Panigiri (Festival) dedicated to the Panagia Matrona celebrated in the island every October in the village of Foinikia.

It was everywhere. The streets, the squares, the cafes, the welcoming smiles and eyes of the locals opening homes and hearts in joy and pleasure to serve and include their guests in their preparation meals and the bustling atmosphere of their panigiri.

Authentic and joyous, an experience to be kept in the heart. Enjoy!!

 

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Fava beans, the other thing that Santorini is famous for! After 3600 years of cultivation in the volcanic soil of the island, fava beans from Santorini have recently been added to the EU’s list of Protected Designation of Origin products!

Taste and find out why Santorini fava beans are the best!

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Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church dinner

It has been an honor to be chosen to organize such an important spiritual event, we have organized the first dinner and we looking forward to organize the last.

A unique experience being in Chania and working at the Maritime Museum, with the extremely devoted and dedicated president of the Museum Mr. Manolis Petrakis, I owe him a big thank you for all his help.

I have to stress that the Maritime Museum is a must see in Chania.

I also have another tip about Chania… don’t eat to much, the Cretan delicacies are heaven on a plate!

 

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HIT LIST 2015 – JANUARY

I have to start with the launching of a life time plan, the LOVE FLORIS CONCIERGE experience!

A project dedicated to offer a unique experience to those searching a relaxing holiday combined with Greece’s natural beauties exploration of cultural wealth, both ancient and modern. LOVE FLORIS vacationing scheme designed to provide exclusivity, authenticity and high quality services.

The person who made this concept a reality is my daughter Vivia, for whom I am extremely proud of her endeavors.

A close to heart project that I took over for LOVE FLORIS CONCIERGE was the creation of a calendar, an ode to ancient Greek gods and the equivalent contemporary  Hollywood ones.

This project could not be complete without the efforts and talent of the LOVE FLORIS wonderful girls.

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