The dream of going back to Greece this summer is fading away as holidays of Greece during times past are flooding back. Many Greek Australians are reminiscing about the good old days and remember the days when they could jump on a plane and trade the cold winter months in Australia with the glorious days of Greek summer.
Cleansing the mind, body and soul
“Our time in Greece is always filled with pensive moments when busy lives are forcibly slowed to make way for deep connections with family, geography and history. Salt water, blue sky and sun compete to cleanse both body and soul, a feeling shared by our children, now three times removed,” Mary Patetsos, FECCA Chair told Neos Kosmos. She remembers July 2018, which was the last time she visited Kastellorizo, the homeland of her husband, former minister Nick Bolkus.
“What we miss now, is the way Greeks share food, the laughter and the kefi that you only get to experience there,” said the couple, who travelled to Greece often before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A date with light itself
Australian-born chiropractor Adoni Fotopoulos, says his Greek summers are a date with light itself; a special light that warms the skin, brightens the mind, expands the heart and frees the spirit.
“My 2019 summer in Karpathos was a beautiful assault on every part of my being. The majesty of the island’s mountains, the raw clarity of its beaches, the palpable spirituality and many ancient layers; all embodied into its strong and tender population, especially the friendly yet formidable women of Olymbos who negotiate the hardships of their location with wisdom, creativity and authority,” Mr Fotopoulos said.
First Easter in Greece
Jamieson Noutsatos was a teenager when he first visited Greece in 2016 and got to spend precious time with his beloved pappou Dimitri at the island of Ithaki.
READ MORE: The magic of Greece through summer memories
“I made some special memories with pappou and then my second trip to Greece was three years later. I travelled to the homeland with a large group of classmates from our Port Adelaide Greek school. We spent Easter on the grounds of the Church of St Paraskevi, where the kindest community held a luncheon in our honour on the feast day of Pascha. These two times and the memories created, I will cherish forever,” Mr Jamieson said.
“Greece means the world to us”
Adelaide-born pastry chef George Diakomichalis says Greece means the world to him and his family.
“We are proud Greek Australians that love going back home. For us visiting Greece and Kalymnos is the ultimate family holiday. Our carefree days there are filled with food, music, dancing, relaxation, lots of sun and beautiful memories that we have the opportunity to create with lifelong family and friends. These connections last a lifetime,” Mr Diakomichalis said.
The perfect holiday destination
“For us and our children, making wonderful memories with family and friends while experiencing life in incredible places like the Greek islands or Athens, is the ultimate dream come true,” Ms Kerry Diamond said. Another Greek Australian, who together with husband Arthur and their three daughters last visited Greece and her home island Astypalaia back in July 2019.
“Reconnecting with our roots”
Greek Australian Spiros Sarris told Neos Kosmos that to him returning to Siana, his village in Rhodes, gives him the opportunity to reconnect with his roots, delve deeper into the Greek culture, and spend time with family, old friends and locals.
Sofia Dimitrakopoulou migrated Down Under in 2016. Although she was born in South Australia, her parents moved to Greece shortly after Sofia was born. The young girl grew up in Tripoli and returned to Australia as an adult. She last visited Greece in February 2019.
“To me, visiting Greece is about reconnecting with my roots and the people I have left behind. The summer breeze, the Greek sun, the crystal-clear water and the smell of the air back home re-energise me and give me strength to come back to Adelaide and continue my life here,” Ms Dimitrakopoulou said. Her mother and siblings still live in Greece.
“When I go back home, and I walk up the Parthenon I realise how proud I am of my ancestors and how blessed I am to call myself Greek. Greece lays within my heart every day and permeates my actions, my thoughts, my words and the way I choose to live my life,” Ms Dimitrakopoulou concluded.
Spiros Sarris loves Greece and enjoys exploring the Greek culture and mixing with the locals. Photos: Supplied
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