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Society

The Fall of Constantinople Mourned, Cretan Heroes Honored in Athens

ATHENS – The Fall of Constantinople in 1453 is one of the seminal dates in Greek history, a ‘before and after’ moment that defines the modern Greek character, evoking mourning – but also inspiration.

Throughout Greece and the Hellenic Diaspora there are events around May 29 that shine a light on the facts and meaning of the dark event, some organizers going all out to produce wonderful blends of education and culture.

The Circle of Greek Literary Judges – ‘Κ.Ε.Λ.Δ’ presented another of their excellent cultural offerings, this time focused on Constantinople.  Joined by the Union of Pontians Sourmenon they presented music, poetry, and lectures. The event also spotlighted a fascinating piece of that history. Along with fighters from Byzantium’s Western Christian neighbors – yes, too little too late, but still a noble gesture – were volunteers from parts of the Hellenic world too, including Venice-occupied Crete, who bravely smashed through the Ottoman blockade of ‘the Poli’. The ‘pentozali’ and ‘syrto’ dances the traditional dance troupe Diktaioi Kastrinoi of Crete led by dance instructor Giorgos Frangakis delighted the guests who filled the auditorium of the ‘Kritiki Estia’ of Pangrati and reminded everyone of the passion dedication to Hellenism and Freedom of the residents of that great island.

The young dancers left everyone with the message that all was not lost on May 29, 1453 – the hearts of the descendants of the heroes of those days continue burn for Orthodoxy and Hellenism in our time.

After greetings by the president of KELD Athanasios Labbetas and the president of the Union of Pontians Sourmenon Georgios Sarafides, a presentation titled ‘The Fall That Never Ended’ was offered by Antonios Panagiotou.

The second part of the program began with a presentation by Marianthi Pagouteli, Vice President of the ‘Areios Pagos’ – the Supreme Court of Greece – and poetry recitals by KELD founders and judges Sofia Lignou and Dimitios Orfanidis.

Songs by the choir of the Pontian Union Sourmena,  dance performances, including the military dance ‘pyrrihos horos – serra’ and more poetry recitals followed.

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