The 12th Annual Pan-Pontian Federation Youth Festival in Norwalk

The Pontian traditional dances were at the heart of the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada’s 12th Annual Youth Festival. Photo: Courtesy of the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada

NORWALK, CT – Over 200 members of the Pontian Youth associations from all of North America participated in the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada’s 12th Annual Pontian Youth Festival, under the organizational auspices of the Pontian Society “Pontos” of Norwalk, June 21-23.

The program for the three-day festival included seminars on tradition and folklore, music, dance, and theatrical performances, in the presence of representatives of Pontian Youth from Greece, Australia, Europe, the Black Sea, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia.

In particular, on Friday, June 21, the Norwalk Pontian Society welcomed participants from the associations and abroad, at Stamford’s Holy Trinity Church in Connecticut. Subsequently, the attendees had the opportunity to taste a series of fine dishes, while watching a musical performance of the “Kambana” by Theofilos Poutachidis, who had created the original orchestration. Panagiotis Theodoridis (vocals) with narration in Pontian by Kostas Tsilfidis, Morfo Siamlidou, Nikos Tsilfidis, as well as in English, translated by members of the Federation Konstantina Charalambidou, Paressa Poulikidou, and Stavros Stergiou.

Over 200 members attended the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada’s 12th Annual Youth Festival, June 21-13 in Connecticut. Photo: Courtesy of the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada

At the same time, the artistic program culminated on Saturday, with the reenactment of the “Momogeron” custom that continues to this day in many villages of Macedonia and the historical Pontos.

For the cultural events of the Festival, artists Poutachidis, Theodoridis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Eirini Sachtaridou, Lakis Panagiotidis, Polis Stamatides and Kleanthis Siamlidis traveled from Greece.

To those who attended the 12th Annual Youth Festival, Thank you! We can not express the love and gratitude we have for each and every one of our guests, near and far. This weekend was all about being united; we felt it and we hope you all did too. We cannot wait to see you all at the next youth festival, hosted by our dear friends from Pontiaki Estia Boston! Much love to our #pontosnation…Pontian Society “PONTOS” of Norwalk

Posted by Pontian Society "Pontos" of Norwalk on Monday, June 24, 2019

The short film Genocide: A True Story by Vasiliki Tsanaktsidou, roduced by RECProductions, funded by Mela Rafailidou and Eleni Kostopoulou, art direction by Panagiotis Theodoridis, and directed, edited and with cinematography by Tryfonas Zisis, was also screened at the festival. The screening was presented in collaboration with the Norwalk Pontian Society.

The new Board of Directors for the Youth of the Pan-Pontian Federation

On the margins of the Festival, the appointment of the new Board of Directors took place for the Federation’s Pan-Pontian Youth, which included a strong female element, led by President Myrofora Kalogeridou.

Representatives of Pontian Youth from every corner of the planet had the opportunity to meet and coordinate their next efforts at the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada’s 12th Annual Youth Festival. Photo: Courtesy of the Pan-Pontian Federation of the USA and Canada

In the other positions, Antonis Stergiou was elected Vice-President, Secretary General Louisa Molochidou, Treasurer George Petrides, Secretary of Practices Eftychia Charalambidou, Assistant Secretary Haralambos Tsirambidis, Head of Public Affairs Anatoly Mavromatis, National Affairs Officer Niki Stergiou, Social Networking Officer Maria Petridi and members Vasilis Pesiridis and Eudokia Spiers.

There was a conference with the World Youth Coordination Committee, which was attended by newly elected representatives of Youth U.S.-Canada, Victoria Krafchenko Arabatzi (Black Sea), Julia Zarikova (Ukraine), Anna Hitarova (Armenia), Eugenia Kotanidou (Georgia) Harisios Tsairis (Australia) and Kostas Samoukrasidis (Greece- Panhellenic Federation of Pontian Societies), as well as representatives from a video call from Russia, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Europe, and Greece.

“The most important thing is that the representatives from the Foreign Associations talked about something unprecedented, that they would like to replicate in their own countries, what we did here,” Norwalk Pontian Society President Kostas Tsilfidis commented to The National Herald.

The Pontian Youth members are already planning for next year’s festival, continuing the goal of preserving the Pontian heritage and internationally highlighting the sensitive subject of the Pontian Genocide.

1 Comment

  1. There was a whole other Greece in Asia Minor up until 100 years ago. The atrocities and genocides committed by the Turks against their Christian neighbors cannot be allowed to go unpunished. I’m almost positive their day will be coming very soon. It’s sad that Pontians are now spread out all over the world after losing their homeland.

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