The forum, in which the initiative ’Knowledge and Partnership Bridges’ was represented, was a chance to draw attention to the relationship between Greeks abroad and their historical homeland and for young Greeks everywhere to collaborate.
Three hundred and fifty young Greeks from 20 countries travelled to Athens to take part in the ‘Hellenic Youth in Action’ Forum, held 31st March and 1st April in Zappeion Megaron. Young people had the chance to visit Greece and actively show to all their desire to participate in mass events associated with Hellenism. The event was a perfect opportunity for representatives of the ‘Knowledge and Partnership Bridges’ initiative to give those attending information about its actions, while its pillars and goals were explained by the General Secretary for Strategy and Private Investment, Ministry of Economy and Development, Lois Lambrianidis during the Economy and Development in Greece workshop.
Before the opening ceremony, the 350 young Greeks taking part in the Forum, left their fingerprints on a specially designed wall as a symbolic reminder of their participation.
The opening ceremony took place on Saturday at 11:00 am in Zappeion Megaron. The Secretary General of the Board of Directors of the Olympia and Bequests Committee (Zappeion Megaron) Ioanna Samprakou welcomed the work of the forum and said: ‘At the centre of Hellenism is the mother country, Greece. The ancient Greek values follow young Greeks worldwide. We are grateful to you for always remembering your roots and observing the values and ideals of the mother country.’
At the end of the conference, all the participants went to Syntagma Square to take part in an unforgettable festival dedicated to Hellenism. 200 dancers from 9 Global Hellenic Associations: Cretans, Thessalians, Epirotes, Cypriots, Macedonians, Arcadians, Thracians, Vlachs and Pontians gathered in front of the Greek Parliament to present their own unique traditional dances.
The event concluded with 500 young people from five continents joining hands to form a symbolic spiral which brought together today, yesterday and tomorrow in a ‘Dance of Friendship’. Passers-by delighted in the sight of so many young people from different international backgrounds coming together in this way to celebrate Hellenism.
Choreography was organised by the well-known director-choreographer Fokas Evagelinos and the Forum was co-ordinated by the Australian broadcaster Kyriakos Gold.
On the second day, 4 workshops were held with the following themes: Orthodoxy and Christian heritage, Greek language and culture, Economy and development of Greece and Relations between Greece and its diaspora. During the third workshop, the General Secretary for Strategy and Private Investment, Ministry of Economy and Development, Lois Lambrianidis presented the pillars and goals of the ‘Bridges’ initiative. Attendees showed great interest in the initiative and gave assurances that they would promote it in their countries of residence. Outcomes of the workshops were announced on Sunday evening on the Pnyx in the form of a resolution in which reference was made to the ‘Knowledge and Partnership Bridges’ initiative.
The forum was an excellent chance to draw attention to the relationship between Greeks abroad and their historical homeland and for young Greeks everywhere to collaborate on achieving common goals and objectives by focusing on activities in Greece. The Forum was organised as part of the Olympia 2016-2018 by the Olympia and Bequests Committee and the following 9 organisations: World Pontian Youth Coordinating Committee, World Federation of Young Overseas Cypriots, Youth Coordinating Committee of World Confederation of Thessalians, Youth of World Council of Epirotes Abroad, Youth of World Council of Cretans, Youth of Pan Macedonian Association USA, Youth of Thracian Association of Europe, Youth of World Vlach Amphictyony, Youth of World Panarkadian Council.
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