Rev. Fr. Costas P. Keares being interviewed in the Greek Cultural Garden
120 or so youngsters participated in a week learning about Greek Culture at their Greek Cultural Summer Camp.
One of the activities of the St Paul Greek Orthodox Church Greek Cultural Summer Camp was a visit to the Greek Cultural Garden in Cleveland.
Watch this video showing highlights from the Greek Cultural Garden event.
The Greek Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1940 and is one of over 30 ethnic heritages in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park. The main entrance to the Greek Garden is flanked by two Doric columns representative of the type of column one would see while viewing the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens Greece. The central court is a sunken garden and forms the lines of a Greek cross.
Looking west from the main entrance is a pylon, the chief feature of the garden, symbolizing the wall of the Parthenon in Greece. Inscribed on the pylon are the names of 34 historic Greek figures representing the Greek spirit in philosophy, art, literature and science., e.g. Socrates, Homer, Plato, El Greco, Aristotle and Archimedes. A new relief has been commissioned for the wall.
The reflecting pool in front of the Parthenon wall represents the substance of life-water and is surrounded by circular seating.
For almost all of the youngsters and many of the adults, this was their first visit to the Greek Cultural Garden.
We asked Rev. Keares why the Greek Cultural Summer Camp was important. He said it's important to appreciate the culture and that we owed a debt to the great minds and people who brought us democracy and mathematics and philosophy and so on. He said there is a lot of competition for kids' time so it's important to get them involved in learning, preserving and growing the culture.
Watch the video of Rev. Keares' remarks.
There were several activity stations for the kids starting with a photo booth area where they could try on Greek costumes and accessories.
Next they learned about the Greek Cultural Garden which was established in 1939 and thanks to Lou Frangos, President of the Greek Garden Association and the Hellenic Preservation Society, is undergoing a resurgence.
Another activity featured Harpist Gabrielle Fitzpatrick who demonstrated her harp and let the kids pluck or strum the strings in front of the Parthenon Wall.
After a box lunch everyone gathered for 3 Aesop's Fables acted by some of the older students. Narrator Soci Phyrillas asked students about the moral of each fable after the performance.
Soci (Anastasis) Phyrillas, St Paul Youth Director
This is a video of the Fable of the Hare and the Tortoise.
Next was the Fable of Petra and the Wolf.
The final was the Fable of the Lion and the Mouse.
In between performances there were jokes and more fun.
Of course it took dedicated staff, parents and members of the community to make the event such a success.
Eleni Johnson, St Paul Dance Director and Lou Frangos, President of the Greek Garden Association of Cleveland
Keli Pontikos Paragios, PhD Summer Camp Coordinator
Michael Zanoudakis, Camp helper with Jonathan Cambouris, president of the Hellenic Preservation Society
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The mission of the Hellenic Preservation Society is to present a unified voice of the Hellenes in Northeastern Ohio that will promote the Greek experience through programs, presentation and cultural collections.
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