By Athina Taggidou
Happy New Year! The new year has arrived and with this new start many are reflecting on the previous year and on what they can do to make this new year an even more memorable one. As we plan on how we can make 2018 even better, let us also take time to consider how we can be more involved with our Greek-Canadian identity this year.
There are several ways in making this happen for everyone and here are some suggestions to get reconnected with our Hellenic heritage:
Speak Greek at home as much as possible. Make it a priority to use the Greek language with your parents, with your children, with your spouse and with your Greek relatives and friends. At whatever language level you may be, make the effort to chat and use everyday phrases as often as you can. And, if you wish to improve your language skills, there are a variety of excellent Greek language programs available with the Greek Community in Toronto as well as online programs that one can take. For the children, it is never too late to register for Greek school. Not only will the children learn Greek but they will also establish friendships with other Greek children and share in the learning of Greek traditions and customs that they can share with their non-Greek friends and community.
Get involved with the Greek Community in your area. The Greek Community of Toronto offers a variety of Greek cultural programs and events throughout the year from guest speakers, dances, theatre, special presentations and information sessions to keep us connected to our Hellenic heritage. Plus, there are associations/societies from all over Greece holding cultural and dance events, as well as independent dance and theatre groups offering lessons and performances. Take the time to learn of the cultural association of your home town/city in Greece that is active here in Toronto / the GTA and contact them. Volunteer your time in being a part of this group and get to know others from your part of Greece. To learn more, contact the Greek Community of Toronto and/or visit your local Greek Orthodox church. As well, pick-up the Greek Press weekly or view online at www.greekpress.ca to view local Greek news happenings and postings of events at Greek communities in southern Ontario. Additionally, you can also access online sites such www.greekevents.ca for Greek events and more. Attend and support the variety of upcoming social gatherings in your Greek community.
Be proud and share your Greek heritage at work and/or school. Wherever you may be, share your Greek pride with your friends and colleagues. Promote Greek products and local establishments as well as informing others on Greek traditions, delicious cuisine, entertaining music & theatre, sports and rich culture.
Finally, consider vacationing in Greece this summer. It is that time of year when summer vacations are being thought of and planned. Make the summer of 2018 your summer vacation in Greece. Check out www.discovergreece.com for full information on Greek tourism at its finest.
In 2018, reconnect with your Hellenic heritage and get involved in Greek community related events! Enjoy… and may the new year be filled with good health, peace, prosperity and happiness for everyone!