ASTORIA – The Federation of Dodecanese Societies and the Dodecanesian Youth Society held their Glenti-Taverna Night and Vasilopita on February 3 at the Nisyrian House in Astoria. The event brought together the members of the various associations for an evening of live music and dancing, food and drink, and the cutting of the Vasilopita.
Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York Chapter General Secretary Nikos Kartalis gave the welcoming remarks and introduced Zoe Pilios Dodecanesian Youth Society President, who thanked everyone for their support, especially the Federation of Dodecanese Societies President, George Andriotis, and Vice President John Sakellis, and the musicians, Nikos Sofos on violin, John Themelis on laouto, and Savvas Perselis on lyra and laouto, as well as DJ Nick Kavounidis. Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, gave the blessing and cut the traditional Vasilopita.
Mr. Andriotis warmly thanked everyone for their support and gave his best wishes for the New Year. He noted that the upcoming celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Unification of the Dodecanese with Greece will take place on March 11 at St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria and Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras will be the keynote speaker at the event. Mr. Andriotis urged the leadership of each association present to prepare their dance groups for the event, since the dance groups especially highlight the traditions passed down through the generations.
Fr. Papazafiropoulos said he was pleased to see so many young people present since they will be responsible in the future for maintaining the customs and traditions. He wished everyone a happy New Year with blessings and joy for their families, for unity so we can move forward and maintain our culture, language, and education which make us Hellenes.
Fr. Papazafiropoulos pointed out that we should embrace our diversity, though we live in a place where everyone wants to be the same, we have to preserve our identity through our associations and churches, that is what we strive for. He then cut the Vasilopita and representatives of each island came up for their piece and the blessings for the New Year.
Among those in attendance at the event were Michalis Mavroudis (Agathonisi), Savvas Perselis (Kasos), Giannis Themelis (Patmos), Adamantia Mari (Leros), Matina Koutsou (Karpathos), Evdokia Kampouri (Kalymnos), Stamatia Fourtouni (Kos), Evangelia Kammas (Symi), Katerina Mavromichali (Tilos), and Eftihia Ziangos (Nysiros).
Federation of Dodecanese Societies President George Andriotis, Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Nikos Kartalis, and Zoe Pilios. Photo by Eleni Sakellis