12.11.13Rebranding Greece

by Eleni : Canada...Vancouver, Faces of Greece, Thoughts and Travel : No comments yet - add one!

A friend recommended that I look up Peter Economides on You Tube to hear his view on Rebranding Greece. I was fascinated and inspired that one person could with so much conviction imagine a Greece that many people have given up on. Economides states “a brand is nothing more than a set of impressions that live in people’s heads, nothing more…stong brands create strong and consistent impressions…It should be the ambition of every brand to be the protagonist of it’s category”
I thought about my impression of Greece as I know it to be true for myself in the sense of the story it tells for me. Economides is saying “we need to tell the same story to each other and to our children so that we all get the same story.” My story is that I am a Greek citizen born in Canada where my cultural roots and heritage are accepted and honoured. Canada gave my parents the chance to retain their stories to pass on to me, my siblings and me to my own children. As Deputy Secretary General for the Hellenic Congress of BC, this volunteer contribution has helped me share my passion for Greece since my role is to promote Hellenism and in this sense I am providing an impression of Greece through the stories I share about my experience as a Greek citizen living abroad. I listen, I talk, I write and I recommend Greece. This may seem like futility in a time where the crisis is as Economides says “Greece is the poster child for the crisis” however, I am not focusing on what it is but rather as he says I am imagining the future. I am Greek and I have the power to imagine what my Greece can be. I choose to seek out the stories of what Greece’s stories that inspire me to continue like Economides urges…the ones that built the foundation and although they are relegated to the back of the world’s mind due to current circumstances,continue to dust off the stories and allow their lustre to make Greece shine…even if it means one beam of brilliance reaches one person. All Greece needs is one beam because it’s light is so powerful. Nothing can conceal it’s strength,resilience,and most of all the spirit that lives in it’s heart. Diaspora tell their stories and move the people of the world to visit Greece, to know Greece through their sharing of their heritage in their adopted communities and countries. Greece’s stories live through the Diaspora’s unspoken yearning to always return to the birthplace of their roots. Those roots can never be destroyed because they are deeply entangled with honour’s grace that continues to send it’s message of hope and possibility. The possibility of each story reconstructing Greece’s foundation. The light is still on…don’t let the flicker fool you. Every fire burns brightly with a spark and there are sparks like Economides willing to be the one to continue to light the fire. Patience and determination to believe that a people’s stories can rebrand Greece successfully and expose the filotimo of it’s existence.image

01.16.13The Lighting of the Flame of Hope Ceremony, January 17th, 2013

by Eleni : Special Olympics World Games Athens 2011 : 1 Comment

Today later on this morning at the Zappeion Megaron,
Mrs. Joanna Despotopoulou, President of Special Olympics will give her final Address as the Flame of Hope prepares to make it’s way to Pyeongchang,Korea. Athens hosted a spectacular Special Olympics World Summer Games in June 2011 that invited the world to be “in”… ΕΙΜΑΙ ΜΕΣΑ, I’M IN, a powerful message that captured many Special Olympics Greek Volunteer’s hearts as they shared theirs with the Special Olympics Athletes, their families and friends.
Inclusiveness starts with being a fan of all human potential without limits dependent on intellectual ability. I will always be an advocate for these Global Athletes and the Special Olympics movement that supports them to be “brave in their attempt to win…” not only in sports but in every aspect of their lives.
Congratulations to all Special Olympics Athletes competing at the Special Olympics Winter World Games, and Good luck!

12.20.11Food architecture …a Roman surprise

by Eleni : Culinary Adventures Rome : No comments yet - add one!

Rome is beautiful in a dramatic flow of ancient, modern, and unexpected spaces. I turned a corner in saint Angelo neighborhood where I am staying at Antonia’s little apartment that embodies my opening sentence… Look for my post devoted to it! I discovered this little paticcere…bakery coffee shop . It is inviting with its warmth, beautiful cakes and Xmas displays. You make your own espresso or tea and finally choose your sweet from the bakery part. I chose a meringue topped chocolate tart that was crisp and Iand in the middle the secret liquid chocolate slowly coats your taste buds as they toy with the fascination of the other surprise…soft subtleness of a little chunk of pear. This is a combination that instantly makes you understand why simonetta bontempi is a self ascribed”food architect”. Families, couples, and friends meet to share a sweet…and like me leave with a smile and a lingering deliciousness still permeating their senses…and when you leave they will know I sent you by the broadness of your smile…

06.28.11Day 2!

by Eleni : Special Olympics World Games Athens 2011 : 1 Comment

Softball Divisioning started today.  Teams are excited and families even more so. They come prepared with their own cheering gear, coordinating shirts, hats and a variety of noisemakers. The Canadians are a sea of red which against the blue backdrop stand out like neon signs declaring “WE ARE CANADA”  US fans make the pledge of Allegiance proud as their allegiance and dedication to their athletes carries it’s honor and awe of them straight to their hearts.  The Greek team that consists of a group of young female athletes  all determined to play. Aussie Oy Oy Oy can be heard being chanted religiously as the Australian fans are led by their softball team athletes.

Today is also the Unity sport event which Timothy Shriver attends and in which Special Olympics athletes are paired with chosen partner to compete against another pair. A member of Parliament, CEO’s, a young member of the Kennedy family, this event was sponsored by Mattel and proved to be a highlight for the athletes and the spectators.

06.27.11First Day!

by Eleni : Special Olympics World Games Athens 2011 : No comments yet - add one!

Today it is Divisoning for cycling. Our team is ready and it is our first day of  working together. George, one of my volunteer team members and I discover that our mother’s are both born in the same village called Manna. We speculate that we may be cousins and I laugh because every time I go to my mom’s village, I always am approached and discover another long lost cousin! 

Eleni who is 70 years old is charming, witty, and an authority on dispersing valuable advice. She is my star, and the face of what volunteerism is about. I find out her brother lives in Vancouver and as we finish up our day, She is beaming with the satisfaction that she made a difference.

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