Once were Greeks … the Hellenes of Auckland and New Zealand

It was at the home of school teacher Ilias Pavlidis that it hit me. Auckland is essentially Greece in disguise. For what you will find here, nestled amongst the population of 1.6 million is a small Greek community that brings to you all the wonderful aspects of filoxenia that one traditionally finds in a village. Continue reading

The Despotate of Epiros: another forgotten Greek kingdom

When we think about Greek empires we tend to think of the achievements of Alexander, Ptolemy, the Spartans, Corinth or the Byzantine Empire. Who can begrudge the heroic defiance of Constantine in 1453 or the last stand of Leonidas as their respective territories were challenged? Heroism, glory, romance, passion. Continue reading

Bulldogs Bite: Multiculturalism and Rugby League in ‘Greek’ Belmore

For sheer athleticism and history, Rugby League is a sport which can captivate and at the same time divide opinion for its ability to give itself a headache every other week. League attracts almost as many negative stories in Sydney as positive ones, which can at times frustrate the fans and those who have grown up supporting the ‘greatest game of all.’ Continue reading

Football and a Greek identity in many leading clubs in Europe

It is fair to say that football was a creation of the ancient Greeks and Romans, playing a brand that required kicking ‘balls.’ The name given to the sport was episkyros by Antiphanes, eventually making its way to Rome, Alexandria and other cities. In Rome, the balls were first filled with air and as has been the custom in Italy ever since, football players would focus on their hairstyles and diving (see Italy vs Socceroos 2006 diving) as the key aspect of a match. Football was played in one form or another across the world until refined properly by the English in the nineteenth century into the beautiful game it became. Continue reading

A Leonidas in Brussels: an Overview of the local Greek Community

Sitting in the aptly titled Pita (Greek) Street in the centre of Brussels having a yeeros and speaking Greek…my trip to Belgium began in earnest. I had ventured here on the recommendation of a priest.

A few years ago I had met Father Christos Sidiropoulos who drives from Belgium to Rotterdam in The Netherlands to deliver liturgies at the picturesque Agios Nikolaos Church. This encounter piqued my interest in the Greek Community of Brussels. Being on a tight schedule time wise, I had given myself just 24 hours to find out what I could. Continue reading

New feature

To add a little more life to the blog, we now have a new Hellenic Travels in Visuals section where, as the name suggests, we let the visual splendour of Greece do all the talking. Please let us know what you think!

https://herculean.wordpress.com/hellenic-travels-in-visuals/

Hellenic Romania: from Greek Colonies to Dracula

Straddling the Black Sea and bounded by Hungary to the north, I was curious by the Hellenic history of Romania and decided to pay a visit. Greek history in Romania dates back over 2700 years! Just don’t call them Eastern European…

When I interviewed Ramona a friend of mine from Ploesti, a small inland city near Bucharest for my article, it was made abundantly clear to me where they are geographically. ‘Billy, we are not East European, we belong to the Romance languages; we are influenced by Greeks and Europe.’ Continue reading

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