The Manuel Marín Hellenic Society composed of the students Evita GKAIDATZI, Tatiana KAKARA, Christina KATTAMI, Alexia KAZTARIDOU, Vera KERAUDREN, Konstantina MARKOMICHALI, Mirka OIKONOMOPOULOU, Orestis PASTELLAS, Dionysis POUKAMISAS, Vassilis ROVILOS, Juan SCHINAS, Sophocles SCHISAS, Katerina TERLIXIDOU, Chrysa TRAMOUNTANA and Roy TZIVRA, successfully organised the 2019 Hellenic National Week. The Hellenic Society of the College dedicated itself to delivering a high-quality and high-value outcome both for the students of the Marín promotion as well as for the academic staff. Utmost importance was placed on the relevance of the speeches to the academic curriculum of EU studies, the introduction to the cultural heritage of Greece & Cyprus and last but not least, the entertainment of the student body in true Hellenic fashion. This way, the whole campus could #GoGreek4aWeek!Monday: First Speech – Sofia ASTERIADI, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner AVRAMOPOULOS
On Monday 11th of March, the Hellenic Society had the honor to kick-start the Hellenic National Week with a very special speaker. Mrs Sofia ASTERIADI, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Mr Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, addressed the students of the Manuel Marín Promotion. In her insightful speech, she highlighted the challenges this portfolio carries, but also the opportunities that arise from the given circumstances to foster a more sustainable European policy on migration. Specialised in external border management and Schengen, and in charge of non-portfolio responsibilities, including – among others – relations with Turkey, the Western Balkans and enlargement, the Hellenic Society felt she was an ideal speaker to address graduates specializing in EU policies. The Q&A session after her intervention allowed for a lively debate and a fruitful exchange.
- After the conference, in collaboration with Phoenix Café, the Hellenic Society decided to introduce the student body to a Hellenic staple: Frappé coffee! Of course, our coffees were accompanied by traditional Greek delicacies and treats, courtesy of our sponsors Alpha Foods S.P.R.L. and Leonidas Chocolatier.
- Flag Inauguration – Traditional Dancing On the same day, during dinner at Garenmarkt Restaurant, to truly inaugurate the Hellenic week, we had to have a dance. Accompanying the hanging of the Greek and Cypriot flag - as is customary for the National Weeks - we gathered in the canteen to dance a round of traditional syrtaki with all of the students of the Manuel Marín Promotion. Ever heard of Zorba? That's it. No prior knowledge of the dance steps was necessary - the dance is very simple and the Greeks made sure to guide the students through it.
Throughout the week:
- The next day, on Tuesday the 12th, we coordinated to embark on a serious cultural and gastronomic mission. EVERY residence got filled with small tales of ancient Greek mythology. Students would stumble upon them in different parts of their residences, while having breakfast or studying in the common room.
- Apart from knowledge, we were spreading calories, as well. All residences kept getting refills of Leonidas chocolates daily throughout the Hellenic Week, as well as Greek yogurt and honey sponsored by Alpha Foods!
- Rumor has it their housemates were begging the members of the Hellenic Society to stop. Despite this, no one in the library could keep their hands off the magic Leonidas Box (an approximate estimate gives a rate of 2 full boxes a day consumed in the Dijver library).
On Thursday the 14th, the Hellenic Society decided to have a Greek Overload Day – meaning food, debate and dance. Early in the morning, the members of the Hellenic Society gathered to prepare everything for the much anticipated (and rightly so) Greek Feast! Serving grandma-sized portions, the Hellenic Society offered giouvetsi (orzo pasta with veal) or gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers), complemented by a wide range of spreads. Nothing could be done without the important contribution of our sponsors: Olive Tree, Alpha Foods, Antlantide, and Strofilia.
- Second Speech – Margaritis SCHINAS, Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission & Reception Later on the same day, the Hellenic Society had the honor to host the Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission, Mr Margaritis SCHINAS. He addressed the students of the Manuel Marín promotion, highlighting the ways in which the European Commission communicates with the public. After his presentation, a Q&A session followed, as well as a reception rich in delicacies and wines by our sponsors Mylonas, Limnos Municipality, Panagoulis Wineries, Kourtis Winery and Chrisostomou Winery.
- Plato’s Cave – The Greek Toga Party The same night – the famous Bar Night - the Hellenic Society gave a party-twist to Plato’s Cave. A toga party was arranged, and let’s just say that many sheets had to be washed the next day! Free masticha shots for anyone who came dressed in a toga made the whole bar look like an ancient Greek agora.
On Saturday 16th March, the Hellenic Society bade farewell to its National Week by hosting a conference of vital importance both for the society itself and for the students. We had the honor of hosting Chief Negotiator for the Cyprus Question, Mr Andreas MAVROYIANNIS. He delivered a speech on International Negotiations, Cyprus and the role of the EU, while outlining his experience as Negotiator at the United Nations and the European Union.
- Final Reception – Wine, Food & Tickets to Athens The final reception with wine and (a lot of) food - including Cypriot halloumi - followed in the foyer of Dijver, where we also announced our big winner of the lottery for a free trip to Greece. Thanks to our sponsor Aegean Airlines, the Hellenic Society had the opportunity to offer one student two return tickets to Athens!
The Hellenic Society would like to thank everyone for an amazing and crazy week. From conferences to togas, you outdid our expectations every single time. The entire College went Greek for a week and we loved it. You can see the photo album of the Hellenic Week following the facebook page. You can view the week’s schedule (together with some fun marketing) here.