With a photograph of her daughter emerging from the chilly waters in Vancouver, Canada, Dora Papoutsakis hopes to inspire parishioners in Tarpon Springs, Florida to allow girls to participate in annual Epiphany celebrations.
Ms. Papoutsakis read the story we published in The Pappas Post about the Epiphany celebrations in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where only teen-aged boys are allowed to participate in the tradition.
We received the following note from mom, Dora, as well as the attached photograph of her daughter Katerina emerging from the water after retrieving the cross during Epiphany Celebrations in Vancouver this year.
I recently read the article posted on your Facebook page about how girls are still banned in Tarpon Springs Florida from participating in the cross dive. My thirteen-year-old daughter won in her category this year and has in 2 previous years. She has participated four years in a row and the whole Community bands behind her as she is one of the few females interested in carrying on this Greek Orthodox tradition. How could I ever explain to her that she wouldn’t be allowed purely because she is female? Especially when there is no basis in our religion to back this up. I hope this photo can inspire the parishioners of Tarpon Springs to overrule this arbitrary rule and to allow girls to participate more actively in our church traditions.Dora Papoutsakis, Vancouver, Canada
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