I’m excited to share the latest project of the Greek America Foundation, which has its roots decades ago when I was a kid, listening to Greek music playing in my family’s home. My dad used to have Glykeria’s albums playing on repeat… non-stop.
Even before I met her in person in 1984 she had already changed my life. Her music AWAKENED the “Greekness” inside of me as a kid and made me want to know more.
Glykeria’s music was one of those early childhood experiences that would help shape me for years and decades to come.
We’ve worked on many projects together over the years and I’ve learned so much from her about music, about life… Today, more than three decades later, we’re making magic again together.
Since this will be a very different “Greek Summer” for many, we wanted to create something relevant, timely, contemporary and unique. We also wanted to make something personal since Greek Summer means something different to everyone.
I created this project as a way to take you on a journey back to the country you love and the magical place that’s given us so many memories and life changing experiences— the country that gave us the ideals we live by in our everyday lives.
The idea was to bring music— integral to our Greek existence— into your homes in a very personal way. We came up with an idea to remix a traditional Greek song into a contemporary sound. By modernizing an old Greek folk song as an ode to our past— we honor our foundation while celebrating who we are today.
I asked Glykeria to be a part of the project and she embraced it from the beginning, not only lending her voice— but also adding a single line in the lyrics of the song that is dedicated to all of us— to the “ξενάκια” that are far away from the country we love so much.
And YOU responded. We received more than 180 crowd-sourced photos from throughout the world— each representing a special moment in someone’s Greek experience.
We built in philanthropy— one of the very core elements of our existence as Greeks and a core ideal of the Greek America Foundation, and with your generosity we raised more than $10,000 that will be used to support Greek island hospitals— and together, we’ve launched yet another perpetual campaign to benefit the people of Greece.
The end result— a new song that’s already playing throughout Greece and the world, and a stunning video montage featuring photos from special moments shared by people throughout the world.
One photo in the video is from a third-generation Greek Orthodox bishop from Chicago who returned to his paternal grandfather’s village for the first time to celebrate Divine Liturgy in the Church where his ancestors were baptized and married.
A Greek Canadian mom shared a photo of her third-generation daughters visiting their grandparents’ village on the island of Karpathos and dressing in traditional folk costumes during the annual village festival.
Another photo showed the traditional Cretan wedding dance of a couple from the United States who returned to the village of their parents’ birth to celebrate their marriage.
A very personal photo that I provided was from a family baptism that brought together members of my family— originally from Crete— that have been scattered over the generations to Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Last summer, all of us came together to rejoice in the baptism of the newest addition to our family.
Finally, another photo featured a stray Cretan dog that was adopted and brought back to the USA and inspired the founding of one of America’s most important shelters and stray animal adoption centers.
This project isn’t over with the video. It’s only beginning. Our goal is to create the world’s largest crowd-sourced photo stream of our memories from country we love. #ElladaSagapo
With every photo we receive, we ask you to share a bit of your generosity in the form a donation that will be applied to our fund for Greek hospitals. The funds will be administered with advice from the United States Embassy in Athens and full transparency in future reports on the Greek America Foundation’s website.
Add your photograph today and help us make this the world’s largest photo stream dedicated to the country we love.
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