President of the Hellenic Studies Foundation at the University of New South Wales, Costa Vertzayias will be teaming up with writer Billy Cotsis to discuss a range of Greek communities around the world including those that became extinct in the last century.
The pair will present information based on years of their own research and travels to explore these unique communities.
Mr Vertzayias is a practising lawyer, author and the former President of SAE Oceania. Through his work with SAE, he was able to visit and directly help communities in Europe. This direct contact allowed him to gain an understanding of Greek speakers with a long history. He recently returned from visiting former Greek places in Asia Minor (Turkey) which he is documenting.
“The talk is essentially about surviving Greek communities and ones that became extinct in the twentieth century: Magna Graecia, Spain, Corsica, Syria, Pontus, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM,” Mr Vertzayias told Neos Kosmos.
Neos Kosmos’ own Billy Cotsis, director of the film <>Lesvos: Fall in Love and a writer focusing on Greek communities, agreed that it made sense that two people who have travelled extensively to these communities should share their stories.
“I actually read Costa’s book on Magna Graecia around 2000,” Cotsis explained.
“Two years later, I took the book with me and met just about everyone in that book. It enabled me to realise the extent of Greek culture and history is not merely confined to the Balkans – it goes far and wide. Hellenes founded hundreds of colonies and territories in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Africa and Asia.”
A number of these communities survive with many inhabitants speaking a dialect of Greek and maintaining differing aspects of Hellenic culture.
The lecture will provide an overview of the key communities that survived and those that essentially became extinct last century.
‘Surviving and Extinct Greek Communities Worldwide’ takes place on Wednesday 22 March at 7.00 pm at the Greek Community Club, 206-210 Lakemba Street, Lakemba, NSW.
Bookings are essential for this free lecture. Phone (02) 9750 0440 or go to www.greekfestivalofsydney.com.au.
* Billy Cotsis’ latest book is ‘From Pyrrhus to Cyprus: Forgotten and Remembered Hellenic Kingdoms, Territories, Entities and a Fiefdom’.