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World Day of the Greek Language

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H.E. the Greek Ambassador, Mr. Yiannis Tsaousis, at the podium speaking to guests about the timeless value of the Greek language; seated at the settee, Mr. Nikos Dendias, Greece’s Minister of national Defence

As part of the celebrations for the World Day of the Greek Language on the 9th February, an event was held at the Embassy Residence on Thursday, February 8, 2024, in which the timeless value, the universal character and the international appeal of the Greek language were emphasized, while its importance as element of unity for Hellenism Abroad. The event was honoured by the presence of the Minister of National Defence, Nikos Dendias, as part of his visit to London.

At the beginning of the event, the message of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kotsiras, on the International Day of the Greek Language was shown, who emphasized, among other things, the “wonderful resilience” that distinguishes the Greek language while he made special reference to the Diaspora, “the journey of its values of Hellenism around the world”. For his part, the Greek Ambassador, Mr. Yiannis Tsaousis, spoke about the timeless value of the Greek language, the actions of public bodies and the role of private initiatives, while he made special mention of the Nobel Prize-winning authors Giorgos Seferis and Odysseus Elytis and the their sayings about the importance of the Greek language.

H.E., the Greek Ambassador Mr. Yiannis Tsaousis with Victoria Hislop

Afterwards, in a debate that captivated the audience, the Greek Ambassador spoke with the British author and naturalized Greek, Victoria Hislop , for her own experience in learning Greek and writing books about Greece.

The international appeal of the Greek language was captured in two videos that were shown: a. The Saheti school in South Africa founded in 1974 by the Greek community headed by the iconic figure of Nelson Mandela’s lawyer and defender of human rights, George Bizo, and b. The school of St Nicholas in Ghana. Both schools have included in their programs the learning of the Greek language and Greek culture.

Another view from the event, east side of the room with guests during the captivating debate with H.E., the Greek Ambassador and Victoria Hislop

Representing the cultural expatriate organization Daughters of Penelope (Daughters of Penelope), Ms. Stella Bobotsiari referred to the association’s actions for the promotion of the Greek language in the United Kingdom and internationally, while Ms. Magdaleni Paroutis described to the audience how the charity organization Kind at Heart Foundation in collaboration with MKO FONELISCO in Tanzania promote a program to spread Greek education.

The speech in Greek by a British student of Oxford University, Mr. Ethan Chandler, who referred to his own journey through “the streets” of the Greek language but also to his love for Greece and our language, excited the attendees.

Finally, representing the Greek and Cypriot diaspora, students from the London Greek Primary School sang familiar and beloved Greek tunes with piano accompaniment, while students from the High School Barnet recited Gelis Delia’s poem “My Language – Flow of Life”. (pictured above).

The event was attended, among others, by representatives of expatriate organizations, professional and cultural bodies of the UK, and professors of Classic Studies of British universities, teachers of Greek schools, as well as Greek correspondents, accredited in the UK, and journalists of expatriate media.


N.B. We are more than thrilled with this event as for many years we keep promoting the Greek Language as well a more than relevant book by Prof. Stavros Theofanides, “English is a Hellenic Dialect“, 2nd edition ISBN: 960-630-019-6

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With thanks to Mrs. Stavroula Metaxa from the Greek Embassy’s Press office for her support and immediate response.

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