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Annunciation Day School to celebrate Greek Independence Day
by Noreen Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
March 20, 2013 11:10 AM | 1734 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Students at the Annunciation Day School in Atlanta, housed in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, celebrate an extra Independence Day every year.

On Monday, they will salute the freedom fighters of Greece who began their revolt against the Ottoman Empire on March 25, 1821.

School director Michelle Wright said they will draw on ancient and modern Greece for inspiration.

“During this week we will focus on learning about the country and culture of Greece. The children will get exposure to Greek dancing as well as the traditional dance costumes,” she said.

Church member Kiki Papdimipriou will bring in regalia like Greek soldier’s uniforms called evzone and girls’ ensembles called amalea.

Different outfits will dominate the field during a tribute to the Olympic Games which started in 776 B.C.

“Our annual Olympic Games will be our field day,” Wright said. “All students will have the opportunity to participate in games geared toward their age group. This is a fun day for our students as well as the parents.”

A flag parade, part of modern-day Olympic ceremonies, will be reenacted by the 100 kindergarten through third-grade students.

“We’ll have a parade of nations where each elementary school child makes a flag for their heritage,” Wright said. “We have a very diverse population. We’ll have students from Greece, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Germany, Korea and others.”

Prominent will be the blue and white banner of Greece.

“The blue and the white colors are from the waves in the Aegean Sea, the water and the sky,” Wright said. “The cross is because of the importance to the country of the Orthodox faith.”

Cathedral administrator Ginnie Roglin said the school’s and church’s namesake event, the Annunciation of Mary, occurs on the same day..

“That is a religious holiday for us. That’s when the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she was having a baby, which was Jesus Christ,” Roglin said.

The church will hold its dual celebration Sunday, during which Greek Consul Vasilios Gouloussis will speak and students will entertain.

Elizabeth Spetseris, a member of the day school board, said it is a great time to celebrate Hellenic heritage.

“We’re just so proud to be Greek and of Greek descent,” she said. “The Greek culture has brought a lot to the world and we’re proud to be part of it,” she said.

Spetseris cited contributions like theatre, philosophy, mathematics and language.

“The kids study the Greek language, which helps with math,” she said. “Almost all your mathematical terms, like the Pythagorean theorem and ‘octagon,’ come from Greek origin.”
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