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Politics

Greeks in Mexico: Opa! Meets Ole! On Greek Independence

MEXICO CITY – This year’s Greek Independence celebration took place on the exact date commemorating the occasion – March 25, which is also the date of the commemoration of the Annunciation of the Holy Virgin Mary – at the official residence of Greece’s Ambassador to Mexico, Polyxeni Stefanidou, who offered an elegant reception.

After playing the anthems of Greece, Mexico, and of the European Union, the diplomat started her speech in front of more than 350 people and inviting the Greek community to honor the 1821 revolution by Greece 193 years ago against the Ottoman Empire.

Stefanidou spoke of the excellent diplomatic relations between Mexico and Greece, initiated in 1939, emphasizing that Mexico is a beautiful country and that it is an honor for her to be working here.

The ambassador thanked the public for joining her on such an important day, presented the Greek Dance Group Aegean, and then offered the guests a buffet consisting of an array of Greek food. Continuing the festivities, Communidad Hellenica de Mexico – the Hellenic Community in Mexico, along with Ambassador Stefanidou celebrated Independence Day, as it has every year from its inception in 1956.

On March 30th, His Eminence, Archbishop Athenagoras, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Mexico, Islands of the Caribbean, Colombia and Venezuela, officiated the Divine Liturgy, the Orthodoxia, and ordained a deacon and a protopresbyter in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia.

The deacon, Anastasios, is of Mexican origin, and the protopresbyter, Father Christopher, is from Texas. After the Orthodoxia to the Virgin, everyone was invited to the Community Center across from the Cathedral, where Stefanidou, Athenagoras, and the Greek Consul opened the festivities by solemnly singing both Greek and Mexican anthems with the public.

Ambassador Stefanidou spoke to the Greek community, both in Greek and in perfect Spanish, highlighting the importance of March 25th as an important day for the Greeks all over the world commemorating the struggle that led to the independence.

She emphasized that the existence of peace and harmony in any nation is fundamental as a way to reach the objectives of the collective nation, and that “discord can bring a nation to the brink of the abyss.” Athenagoras noted the importance of the triumph of the Greek Orthodox Church, and he emphasized the respect shown by the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico for other religions.

“The Orthodox live side-by-side with other creeds,” he added. He also thanked the public for their support and blessed the food. Soon afterward, Greeks and Mexican philhellenes, enjoyed the delicious food, which included horiatiki salata, pastitsio, pita-gyros, baklava, kataifi, and other dishes.

There was Lenten fare available for those fasting, such as briam and skordalia. The Aegean Dance Group, danced for the first time in front of the Greek Community, and offered a sample of traditional representative dances of several regions of Greece.

The public enjoyed the talent of these artists and cheered them on. Later on, the Group invited the guests to take part in the dancing, and the “kefi” lasted for more than six hours; not least of which successful because of Basilio Mavridis and his bouzouki.

It was a memorable day for the more than 450 guests who once again shared and enjoyed their culture and traditions. Ζito I Ellas and Viva Mexico! Georgia Boutsianis is Vice President of Communidad Hellenica de Mexico – the Hellenic Community in Mexico.

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