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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 23 February 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2019 15 LONSDALE ST. GREEK FEST 2019 Mastic secrets. Did you know...? Mastic only grows on the trees of Chios. Many have tried to plant the tree in other areas - and have failed! There are references to mastic that date back to the 5th Century BC when it was used in antiquity to whiten teeth. In Greece, mastic is also known as the "tears of Chios", and the tree from where it is collected is known as "the wounded tree". The story goes that the trees of the island began to wail uncontrollably when the Romans came and tortured Saint Isidoros. When Christopher Columbus visited Chios in the 15th century, mastic was already a firmly established trademark of the island. The uniqueness of the trees of Chios has been cause for wars and land claims. You can find imitation-like mastic all around the world collected from pine or cedar trees, however the original and authentic mastic can only be found on the southern part of the island of Chios. The mastic harvest is a laborious process that involves cleaning and soil leveling so that the resin can be gathered from the ground. It then involves cutting the bark of the mastic trees at specific places so that the resin can flow. Locals refer to mastic drops as "tears that please, perfume, relieve and heal". Rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, mastic gum has medicinal properties and has long been chewed as a natural remedy for a wide range of ailments, such as acid reflux, gastritis, fungal infections, heartburn, high cholesterol, indigestion, inflammatory bowel disease, respiratory problems and ulcers. Mastiha tears are used as traditional wedding gifts in Morocco. People keep the tears as a treasured item - sometimes keeping them for more than 20 years. *Want to try something a little different? Make a flambe coating of mastiha-flavoured liqueur over pork belly meat. Festival, formerly known as the Andipodes Festival, was in fact that of celebrated Greek actress Melina Mercouri. As the Minister for Culture at the time, she submitted her proposal to the then President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Savvas Papasavvas. The legendary actress even made a commitment to help financially support the development of the Festival, which caused controversy in the Greek Parliament. 1 2 The first Chairman of the Festival was philhellene and former South Australian Labor leader Don Dunstan, treasurer was Leonidas Argyropoulos, and secretary Peter Treyila. Among the first Board members were Neos Kosmos' amazing current Editor-in-Chief Sotiris Hatzimanolis and the late journalist, Kostas Nikolopoulos. 3 The Antipodes Festival wasn't always held under the sunny 6 + 1 fun facts about the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival M elburnians take the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival for granted, but - as we enjoy the present - there are some fun facts about the festival that you may not know. By all means, sit back and enjoy the moment, but let's take a stroll down memory lane... The original idea for the Lonsdale Street Greek skies of February. Initially, it was a continuation of Greek Week, an institution that began in the 1970s as a joint initiative of the Greek Consulate and the community's Greek newspapers. Later, the Festival was established as a new institution to be celebrated on Greece's Independence Day, 25 March. In the Festival's early years, it had its critics, among them the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, which requested that the date of the celebration be changed so that the copious consumption of souvlaki would not coincide with Lenten fasting in the lead up to Easter. 4 Do you think that the biggest Greek event of Melbourne's calendar year deserves a public holiday? President of the Community, Savvas Papasavvas, thought so and he set out on the ambitious task of persuading local state authorities to declare the day a public holiday, at least for Greek Australians. He was of course unsuccessful. But it was a nice try. was in 1997. With the Monday being a public holiday, that year the event was held over three-days, setting a new record of attendees. The success proved that Mr 5 The Festival's most successful year to date Papasavvas may have been on to something on his mission to create a public holiday around the festival. The event is not just for Greeks. In 1987, not only did a multi-page tribute to the Festival appear in Neos Kosmos, but also in mainstream publication The Age. 6 ABOUT THIS YEAR +1 STEPHANIE DEMETRIOS G A crystalline teardrop falls from the mastic tree. rowing up I'd pass through the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival in awe of the magnitude of the celebration; the vibrant atmosphere, delicious smelling food, and large crowds of people from all backgrounds celebrating and learning about my own Greek culture in the heart of the city. Last year I decided to sign up as a volunteer because I wanted to give back to the community, get actively involved, and have the opportunity to meet other people who shared similar interests. I was inspired to see that the volunteers were not only members of the Greek diaspora; but people from all cultures, ages and walks of life. Over the weekend, and later at the volunteer thank you event, we bonded over our shared passion for the Greek culture and community, and volunteering. Beyond the feeling of helping the community and being part of a team, I also made great friends from this experience that I keep in touch with to this day. After having so much fun last year greeting and assisting guests, helping back stage and getting to see the 'behind the scenes' work that goes into running this wonderful festival, I signed up to volunteer again in 2019 as soon as the applications opened, and encouraged friends to sign up too. I definitely recommend anyone to get involved. As a volunteer for the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival, you'll have a unique and fun experience seeing the festival from a new perspective. *Stephanie Demetrios is a Here are some interesting facts about this year's festival: There will be over 70 stalls offering a range of Greek food options and products available, as well as promoting Greek Schools and community groups. The impressive event site, features four stages, and was built overnight by over 20 volunteers/crew members, ranging in ages from 19 to 60, plus hundreds of contractors. Over 600 performers will entertain festival-goers over the two days. And Over 50 competitors will take part in one of three competitions: Zorba Till You Drop, Magic Mic and My Baklava is Better Than Yours/Pita Pride. A volunteer’s perspective Stephanie Demetrios (far right) returned for a second year of volunteering after the fun time she had at last year’s festival. PHOTO: SUPPLIED 25-year-old Bachelor of Science graduate (Statistics) working full-time as a Technology Consultant. She also volunteer tutors English and enjoys cooking, dancing latin dance styles and spending time with family and friends.
16 February 2019
02 March 2019