One Hellas of a Celebration

Unity has been ingrained in the Greek culture since the early stages of the fifth century BC.

During this period, the Persian empire were the most prevalent oriental empire, they were growing at a rapid rate and were an imposing threat to Greece.

The Greek communities united in defense and unexpectedly overcame this almighty force. Unlike the universal world we live in today, the Ancients Greeks were united in their religion, social customs and more miraculously – politics.

The Greek culture was built on the foundation of unity because in unity, there is strength. And so it is this sense of solidarity that defines their culture.

Birthdays, Christenings, Christmas, Easter, graduations; I’ve celebrated them all. My parents, siblings, a set of grandparents and the occasional aunt or uncle were present. I would often reminisce and look back on all these memorable occasions fondly and I felt exceptionally blessed and fortunate.

That is, until I witnessed my first Greek birthday celebration at The Greek Club. Suddenly a gathering of five people mumbling happy birthday whilst I blew out a candle on a Coles chocolate cake didn’t seem good enough in comparison to that of a majestic Greek event.

When the Greeks celebrate, they don’t mess around, they CELEBRATE. On all celebratory occasions every family member appears to be present (As far as I could tell this seemed to include second cousins, aunts twice removed, great, great, great grandparents and the house cat). I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy, why weren’t my family celebrations this festive (and why didn’t we ever invite the house cat)?

I was already at a loss for words but then feasting began. Meals of all shapes and sizes materialised before my very eyes. For a brief moment it felt as though I were sitting in the Hogwarts dining hall. Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any better, the feast was followed by a merriment of singing and dancing. It wasn’t a party, it was a fantastic jubilee and all those gathered were so happy, loving and unified.

The atmosphere at The Greek Club was exhilarating. I wanted to submerge myself in this beautiful culture and become a part of it. As a South African Australian I felt so welcome and at home in a community to which I had no ties.

Imagine my pure delight then, when I received the news that The Greek Club would be hosting a Hellenic Spectacular on March 28!

For the first and only time, two talented Hellenic performers all the way from Greece, would be gracing The Greek Club with their vivacious presence. Both Christina Michalaki and Alexander Kouvelis have worked with several notable composers and have won a variety of prestigious awards in their home country and are now on their way to share their talents with you.

“This incredible talent in combination with a Greek buffet and Greek company? – SIGN ME UP!” I screamed all too loudly before securing my ticket.

I didn’t hesitate to pay $69 for my ticket. With a pre-set meze consisting bread, olives and dips followed by slow cooked lamb with lemon potatoes and Greek salad, how could I even deliberate over whether or not I should go? With the promise of all night entertainment, a breathtaking view of Brisbane’s city skyline and spectacular company, I have no doubt I’m in for one “HELLAS” of a time.

Authors note: Hellas is Greek for “Greece”.

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