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2007-03-31

Μοναξιἀ...

Μόνο ο   ἀντίλαλος ἀπό τόν πόνο τής καρδίας μου
   ἀκουγεται μέσα στό σώμα μου.
    Ή ψυχή σου ἀφησε
     τήν χαρά μου ραγισμένη.

που καί νά πάω
  μ᾽ ὄποιαν κι ἄν βρεθώ
   ἠ μορφή σου εἴναι πάντα μπροστά μου
    καί ἠ φωνή σου ἀκουλουθεί τήν δική μου
     Βρίσκω τόν ἐαυτό μου νά προσπαθεί
      νά βρεί κάποιαν νά σού μοιάζει.
      σάν ἔνα ἀπίθανο κατόρθωμα.

μοναξιά μ᾽ ἔχει τυλίξει
  χωρίς νά τό καταλάβω
  μ᾽ ἔχει φυλακίσει στήν κρύα της ἀγκαλιά
   μέχρι νά ἐξαφανιστώ
    χωρίς κανένας νά τό καταλάβει.

λλα τώρα μπορώ νά ζήσω ἔτσι,
  ἠ μοναξιά βάζει τά κρύο χέρι της στό δικό μου

     καί προχωρούμε μαζί.

Π
ροχωροὐμε γύρω ἀπ᾽ ὅλο τόν κόσμο,
  καί κανείς δέν ξέρει τό μυστικό μας,
    ἐκτός ἀπό ἐσένα...




(c) copyright 2007 Αντώνης Βαλαμὀντες

Martina McBride-Anyway



I Want to be...

GREAT SONG TO LISTEN...

TOMORROW IS A BETTER DAY!


2007-03-26

Katerina's diary: Τα υπουργεία σας.. Αφιερωμένο εξαιρετικά

Katerina's diary: Τα υπουργεία σας.. Αφιερωμένο εξαιρετικά



2007-03-25

CONSTANTINO BRUMIDI: BIOGRAPHY

CONSTANTINO BRUMIDI: BIOGRAPHY

Constantino Brumidi painted scores of frescoes in the United States Capitol. In addition to "The Apotheosis of George Washington" which appears in the Capitol dome in the Rotunda, Brumidi created artworks in the House of Representatives Chamber, many committee rooms, the President's Room, the Senate Reception Room, and throughout the corridors of the Capitol. One cannot tour the United States Capitol without being inundated with the work of Brumidi. The West Corridor of the Capitol has been termed the "Brumidi Corridor." The influence of Constantino Brumidi's artistic sensibilities on the artwork of the nation's Capitol are undisputed, but definitive and scholarly treatments of Brumidi's life and work are less evident.

Constantino Brumidi was born in Italy in 1805. He grew up in Rome, and studied at the Italian Academy of Arts. He showed his talent for fresco painting at an early age and painted in several Roman palaces, among them being that of Prince Torlonia. Under Gregory XVI he worked for three years in the Vatican. The occupation of Rome by the French in l849 apparently decided Brumidi to emigrate, and he sailed for the United States, where he became naturalized in 1852. Taking up his residence in New York City the artist painted a number of portraits. Subsequently he undertook more important works, the principal being a fresco of the Crucifixion in St. Stephen's Church, for which he also executed a "Martyrdom of St. Stephen" and an "Assumption of the Virgin".

In 1854 Brumidi went to the city of Mexico, where he painted in the cathedral as allegorical representation of the Holy Trinity. On his way back to New York he stopped at Washington and visited the Capitol. Impressed with the opportunity for decoration presented by its vast interior wall spaces, he offered his services for that purpose to Quartermaster- General Meigs. This offer was accepted, and about the same time he was commissioned as a captain of cavalry. His first art work in the Capitol was in the room of the House Cornmittee on Agriculture. At first he received eight dollars a day, which Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War of the United States, caused to be increased to ten dollars. His work attracting much favourable attention, he was given further commisssons, and gradually settled into the position of a Government painter.

Brumidi was a capable, if conventional painter, and his black and white modelling in the work at Washington, in imitation of bas-relief, is strikingly effective.

Brumidi devoted his time to numerous commissioned frescoes, paintings, and sculpture in the Capitol building. The only known quote from Brumidi has been preserved by American author Smith Fry, who asserts that upon reaching America Brumidi said:

"I have no longer any desire for fame and fortune. My one ambition and my daily prayer is that I may live long enough to make beautiful the Capitol of the one country on earth in which there is liberty".

This quote may be inauthentic. Mr. Fry, the author of "Thrilling Story of the Wonderful Capitol Building and Its Marvelous Contents" (1911) and "Fry's Patriotic Story of the Capitol" (1911), provides no documentation.

In 1860, Brumidi married an American woman named Lola Germon.
There is no information on his first (Italian) marriage, but he did keep in contact with a daughter, Elena, who remained in Rome.

On February 18, 1880, Constantino Brumidi died at his home in Washington, D.C. Brumidi died in relative penury, but Congressional records indicate that he was well-paid. Originally, his salary was pegged to the annual salaries awarded to United States Congressmen, but this was eventually changed to a per diem ranging from eight to ten dollars. The largest work commissioned, "The Apotheosis of George Washington," was contracted for a lump sum of $40,000. Brumidi received all but the $500 reserved for completion of the project.

Brumidi's reputation waxed and waned, both during and after his lifetime. For almost one hundred years after his death, his grave in Washington was unmarked and unadorned. Little notice was made of the artist of the Capitol frescoes. The public's limited awareness of the existence of Brumidi was expanded by a conscious resurrection of his reputation in the 1950's by Myrtle Cheney Murdock.

In 1966 the U.S. Congress authorized the creation of a portrait bust honoring Constantino Brumidi that would be displayed in the Brumidi Corridors. The legislation was spurred in part by renewed appreciation of Brumidi following publication of a biography on him written by Myrtle Cheney Murdock, the wife of an Arizona congressman. Sculptor JIMILU mason was awarded the commission in early 1967; she based her likeness of Brumidi on photographs taken during his life. The Joint Committee approved the plaster model, and the image was translated into Carrara marble in Pietrasanta, Italy. JIMILU's bust of Brumidi was unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda in 1968 at dedication ceremonies attended by Congressional leaders and the ambassadors of Italy and Greece.

VALERIANOS, Apostolos, known as JUAN DE FUCA

VALERIANOS, Apostolos, known as JUAN DE FUCA, Greek navigator, born in Cephalonia in 1531: died in Zante in 1602. For thirty years he served as a sailor and pilot in the Spanish possessions of America. In 1590 he sailed as pilot with a commander that had been sent by the viceroy of Mexico with three ships to discover the fabulous Strait of Anianu but on the coast of California the crew mutinied, and the officers were forced to return to Acapulco.

In 1592 Fuca was sent again on the same errand by the viceroy Luis de Velaseo, with one caravel and an armed sloop. In latitude 48 north he found a wide inlet, through which he sailed for twenty days, and discovered many islands. To the northwest of the entry to the straits he discovered a promontory formed by high pyramidical rocks, and, on landing, found natives clad in furs. Through the northern mouth of the straits, nearly 100 miles wide, he entered the Pacific ocean again, and, judging that his commission had been fulfilled, he returned to Acapulco.

Having vainly waited for several years for the just recompense of his services, he left the Spanish colonial service, and after his return, about 1596, he spoke of his discovery, in Venice, to an English officer, John Douglass, who afterward gave Fuca's diary, "Relación del viaje de Juan de Fuca y descubrimiento del estrecho de Anian," to Michael Locke, formerly English consul in Aleppo, by whom it was published (London, 1604).

This account of his voyage was mingled with such romantic and improbable tales that it was generally disbelieved and taken for a skilful imposition, until the trading vessels that frequent this coast in the fur-trade rediscovered the inlet and proved the general correctness of Fuca's description. His name was given to the strait which connects the Pacific with the Gulf of Georgia.

An account of Fuca's exploration is also given in the 3d volume of Purchas's "Pilgrimes." Duflot de Mofras, in his "Explorations de l'Oregon et des Californies " (Paris, 1844), and Navarrete in his "Historia de la Naútica," also mention Fuca's discovery.


Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

Juan de Fuca - a Greek, born in the island of Cephalonia

The straits which separate the State of Washington from Vancouver Island bear the name of the navigator who was the first to round the point now called Cape Flattery and to sail inland to a considerable depth in 1592. They are called Straits of Juan de Fuca. Juan de Fuca was a Greek, born in the island of Cephalonia in the Ionian Sea, and his real name was Apostolos Valerianos. Adventurous, as all the Cephalonians are, he went to Spain and there he became a mariner and a pilot in the service of that country for 40 years, sailing to and from many lands.

While returning from one of his expeditions from the Philippine Islands and China in November 1587 in his ship “Santa Anna” he was intercepted by the English Captain Candish, and was taken to Cape California where he was deprived of his cargo amounting to 60,000 ducats. Five years later, the Viceroy of Mexico sent him as a pilot with three small ships and 200 soldiers aboard, who were under the command of a captain, to discover the Straits of Anian along the coast of the Pacific and fortify them against the English who, they feared, might pass through those Straits into the Pacific Ocean. The expedition however failed owing to misconduct of the Captain; the soldiers mutinied and the ships had to return from California to Mexico where the Captain was duly punished.

After this ill fated voyage, in the year 1592, the Viceroy of Mexico sent him again with a small Caravela and a Pinnance with armed marines on board to discover the Straits of Anian and a passage through them to the North Sea. He sailed along the coast of Nova Spania (Mexico), California, and up the North American coast to 47 degrees latitude. He entered the straits there and sailed therein through many islands for more than twenty days. At the entrance of the above straits he saw a great island. He went on shore and there he saw people in beasts’ skins. The land was very fruitful and rich in “gold, silver, pearls, and other things like Nova Spania (Mexico)”.

Having explored the Straits to a considerable depth, Juan de Fuca thought that his mission was successfully performed and, fearing the ferocity of the savage people, he decided to return home to Nova Spania, and in 1592 he arrived at Acapulco. In Mexico he was greatly honoured by the Viceroy who also promised him great rewards. These he never received, although he stayed there for 2 years, but was advised by the Viceroy to go to Spain and receive his reward there by the King himself.

In Spain he was received very well by the Court and heard very many pleasant things but received no rewards. In disgust de Fuca, who now was quite old, left Spain to go to Cephalonia where he wanted to spend his remaining days. On his way through Italy, he met an Englishman by the name Michael Lok through whom he offered to serve Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of England, in the capacity of a pilot for the discovery of the North West passage into the Pacific Ocean, provided she put at his disposal one ship of 40 tons. He promised to navigate the Straits from one end to the other in thirty days. In offering his services to the Queen of England, he expressed the hope that she would compensate him for the goods taken from him by Captain Candish.

Lok wrote to Lord Treasurer Cecil, to Sir Walter Raleigh, and to Master Richard Hakluyt asking them to send 100 pounds to bring de Fuca to England. They were favourably disposed to the idea but no money was forthcoming. In the meantime de Fuca left for Cephalonia. Lok by July wrote to de Fuca to go with him to England and in November an answer was received that de Fuca was willing to go to England if Lok sent him the money. Evidently Lok was not in a position to supply the money and the matter rested thus until 1602, when no reply was received to letters sent and it was surmised that the old Pilot was dead.

This story of de Fuca’s discovery of the Anian Strait is not corroborated by any other source except by the narrative of Lok, who met the Cephalonian navigator in Venice in the year 1596 where he resided then an Consul of England. This narrative of Lok is contained in the third volume of the “Pilgrimes” by Samuel Purchas, printed in London in 1625. In 1847 the historian, Robert Greenhow republished this narrative in the fourth edition of his history of California and Oregon giving the original Spanish and the English translations of the correspondence between de Fuca and Lok. In 1859 A.S.Taylor in his second article on Juan de Fuca published in the October 1859 issue of the Magazine “Hutchins’ California Magazine” under the title “Memorials of Juan de Fuca, discoverer of Oregon,” reprints this same narrative of Lok with the following preface.

“The character and truthfulness of this great navigator whose name was given to the Straits which separate the American Continent from Vancouver Island have become the topic of one of the greatest discussions in the history of naval explorations. Even the fact of whether such a person ever lived has been disputed and confirmed time and again in the course of 268 years, i.e. from 1592-1859 without any efforts as it appears on the part of the writers or of the Governments to try and ascertain the facts mentioned by the first chronicler of the notable services of Juan de Fuca to Spain and Humanity. Besides that chronicler (Lok) was a much respected English Consul and evidently a capable, clever and cultured gentleman…”

Around the question of Juan de Fuca and his voyage to the Northwestern shores of America the historians are divided into different schools. While some admit his existence and dispute certain points only of Lok’s narrative, as this is related in “Purchas His Pirgrimes”, there are others, as Bancroft, who wrote the history of the Northwestern States of America, who consider Fuca an imaginary person, and others who, even if they admit the existence of a person with such a name, maintain that he never made the voyage which Lok reports. These last ones base their arguments on the fact that no mention is made of Fuca in any of the Spanish archives of that period nor of any voyage to the Straits of Anian.

In the year 1854, however, Alexander S. Taylor who specialized in the study of the history of California and Oregon, asked the American Consul in the Ionian Islands, A.S.York, to gather everything concerning Fuca and his family.The information which York sent from Zante to Taylor convinced him that Fuca did live and that his story, two and a half centuries after his death, remained alive in Cephalonia. In the September and October 1859 issues of the Magazine “Hutchings’ California Magazine” Taylor published two extremely interesting articles, in the first of which he gives the biography of Fuca, which was sent to him by York based on manuscripts in Cephalonia, and on a book “ The lives of Glorious Men of Cephalonia” written and published in Venice in October 1843 by Rev. Anthimos Mazarakis, a Cephalonian, which was translated into Italian by Tomazeo.

According to Taylor’s biography John Phokas (Fucas), the seafarer was born in the island of Cephalonia at the beginning of the 16th century at the end of which he became renowned for his venturous voyages in the Pacific ocean as well as for his explorations in the Northwestern shores of America.

The ancestors of this fearless seafarer were those who fled Constantinople in 1453 and found refuge some in the Peloponese and others in the Ionian Islands. The brothers Emmanuel and Andronikos Phokas were amongst those who went to Peloponese where Andronikos remained and became the head of the Phokas family branch there. Emmanuel who was born in Constantinople in 1435 left in 1470 for Cephalonia and established himself there near a beautiful spot called Elaion or Elios. Elios is a beautiful valley in the Southwestern tip of Cephalonia full of olive trees and vines, in York’s description. In the center of the valley, he adds, there is a village Valeriano, upon a small height stands an old building with a wonderful view around as far as your eyes can see. This building, according to information given by the inhabitants around, is supposed to be the home of Juan de Fuca where he retired after his tortuous life to enjoy the comforts of peace and tranquility.

All the numerous families of Phokas in Cephalonia hail from Emmanuel. According to the genealogical list the head of the family Emmanuel, had four sons, Stephanos, Emmanuel, Hector, and Jacob the father of Juan de Fuca who, because he was living in the village of Valeriano near Elaion, was given the name Phokas Valerianos, as a distinction perhaps from the other Phokas who were living in Argostoli.

The extension of the Spanish dominion in the neighboring shores of Italy and the commercial relations which sprang up as a result with the Ionian Islands, gave the opportunity to the seafaring men of the Ionians islands to serve in Spanish ships as crews or officers. Fucas driven by such an ambition went to Spain where he embarked on Spanish ships sailing over the oceans. In a very short time he learned the art of pilotage so well that he attracted the attention of the King of Spain who appointed him Pilot of his navy in the West Indies, a position which he kept for over forty years.

As it has been stated the story of de Fuca’s discovery of the Anian Straits is not confirmed by any other source except by Lok’s narrative. It is also to be remembered that the name of Juan de Fuca was given to the Straits north of Cape Flattery by John Mears in 1788. That Juan de Fuca, however, the Apostolos Valerianos of Greece was a Pilot and that he may have sailed up to the Mexican and California coasts we have no reason to doubt.

2007-03-22

Lefkada's alchemy: Turning scrap metal into gold

Despite the corrugated-iron architectural details, the island is rich innatural and historical beauty... and you can reach it even by car




AMANDA CASTLEMAN from "Athens News" Article

Porto Katsiki beach: Where turquoise waters embrace green pine

LEFKADA Town could pass for modern art. Blocks of sassy colour - peacock, rose, ochre, emerald - adorn the haphazard alleys that spiral and splinter (to disorient marauding pirates in mediaeval times). The buildings are cobbled together: Venetian stone arches crowned by sheet metal, corrugated tin and salvaged wood. And, like so many contemporary masterpieces, the island's capital perfectly blends this mash of emotion, colour and texture.

The town's quirky architectural style was born of necessity. Lefkada was the poor step-sibling among the Eptanisa, the seven Ionian islands (many argue it isn't even a proper island, as a mere 25m channel divides it from the mainland, spanned by a causeway and floating bridge). After the severe earthquakes of 1948 and 1953, the poverty-stricken district couldn't afford to raze the ruins and make a fresh start, like Zakynthos and Kefalonia. Locals simply patched upper stories with whatever materials lay at hand.

The casual approach could have reduced Lefkada to a shanty town, except for the good taste of the locals. With a coat of cheery paint here, a wrought-iron balcony there, some climbing vines exploding with buds, they made corrugated siding a chic fashion statement. Like alchemy, the Lefkadans transformed scrap metal into gold.

The townsfolk didn't have much money, but they had pride, an urge to 'Do Things Right'. That same spirit continues today, prompting Lefkadans to pinch dead leaves off potted geraniums, scrub away graffiti and crisply whitewash each courtyard. People care.

Such a sense of community is rare in a tourist town, but Lefkada manages to welcome visitors - mainly Greeks and Italians - without selling out. Sure, you'll pass shops pushing sponges, soaps and souvenir fridge magnets. Bars abound, pumping Eurovision pop, filled with slick-haired stallions and glamour girls in massive Farah Fawcett sunglasses. But the tawdry, convivial atmosphere evaporates quickly, away from the main drag, Dorpfeld Street.

The houses, the streets, are immaculate. Grandmothers linger in the alleys, watching the world pass by scrubbed stoops. Children race about, shouting and lunging after footballs. Locals still promenade each evening - the traditional volta - brushing past visitors with broad smiles. The homey undertone makes Lefkada an even sweeter destination: you are not a fat-walleted sheep, ripe for fleecing, you are a guest in a cherished home.



Myths and history

Aristotle Onassis' island of Skorpios is just a stone's throw off Lefkada coast

And the home could be the very one Odysseus fought so hard to recover. Pioneering archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann placed the wily Greek's home on the neighbouring isle of Ithaca, following brief investigations in 1878. Yet his assistant Wilhelm Dorpfeld insisted Penelope unravelled her tapestry close to Nidri on Lefkada.

Excavations did uncover an extensive Bronze Age settlement on the plain, but no conclusive proof. Homer's description is ambiguous. He sings of an island with clear skies, wooded peaks and close neighbours: "But Ithaca, the farthest out to sea, lies slanting to the west, whereas the others face the dawn and rising sun."

Dorpfeld's theory aggravated Lawrence Durrell no end. "Despite the clearest of textual indications to the contrary, some archaeologists have argued that Lefkas is really the Ithaca of Homer, " he wrote in The Greek Islands. "This ivory-skulled and contentious race of men, each determined to be original, is responsible for almost as much confusion as the ambiguities of history, the intrusions of myth, the disappearance of sources; the poor traveller is bedevilled by their squabbles."

The area has other nebulous claims to Homeric fame. Travel writer Tim Severin placed Scylla's lair on a steep eastern slope and the sucking whirlpool Charybdis in the narrow straight below. Italians would dispute this, preferring to imagine the monsters in the Strait of Messina. Lefkada did play a role in the epic, however. Laertes, Odysseus' father, gave the island to Penelope's family to seal the marriage.

Legend also brings Sappho to Lefkada. The poetess, spurned by Phaon, supposedly leapt to her death on the southwest cape, now called Doukato. Suicide may not have been her goal: the ancients believed the towering white cliff could cure heartbreak. Aphrodite was the first to take the plunge, after the death of Adonis. The lover's leap became a popular image for poets, including Sappho (which probably inspired the tall tale about her death). Other traditions insist that the Mouth of the Underworld yawned there - or at least a current pouring into the River of the Dead. Archaeologists suggest the site was initially used for human sacrifices. By classical times, the outcrop was sacred to Apollo, god of purification and healing. Feathers and live birds were tied to victims, all convicted criminals, whose lives were spared if they survived.

Lefkada's history, stretching back to the Palaeolithic era, is just as colourful as its myths. Its first capital, Nericus, was one of the larger ancient Greek cities, a member of the powerful Akarnanian League. The ruins, near the village of Kallithea, were destroyed by farming and construction, so little is known about this period. The Corinthians grabbed control of the island in the 7th century BC. Colonists dug - or perhaps simply widened - the channel between Lefkada and the mainland. The Roman historian Livy was impressed by the ancient bridge, which measured 125 paces wide and 500 long. The islanders fought in the battle of Salamis and the Peloponnesian war, supporting Sparta. Asopius, the son of an Athenian admiral, vindictively looted Lefkada in 428 BC. Locals counter-attacked during his departure, killing him and annihilating a good portion of the army. A Roman siege later destroyed the ancient city of Lefkas. Columns and carvings were lugged off to adorn the new mainland settlement Nikopolis, after the Battle of Actium in 31BC.

Lefkada suffered further setbacks: invasions by the Vandals and Huns, severe earthquakes and Pisan raids. The Crusaders opened the door to foreign rulers, like the Despotate of Epirus and the Italian Count of Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Throughout the 14th century, the island was bought, swapped and plundered by opportunistic nobles. Geduk Ahment Pasha went one step further in 1479, actually selling the islanders as slaves in the bazaars of Smyrna and Constantinople. While the other Ionian communities blossomed under the Serene Republic of Venice, Lefkada staggered under the Turkish yoke. Authorities permitted pirates to harass the natives, imposed heavy taxes and periods of forced labour, and abducted children into the Jannisary corps. In 1684, the Venetians recaptured the island under Francesco Morosini, the infamous commander who accidentally ignited the Acropolis. Priests and monks from Kefalonia fought alongside soldiers during the 16-day siege.

Lefkada had five masters between 1797 and 1810, including the liberal French and oppressive Russians. The island was nearly sold to the fearsome Ali Pasha of Ioannina, who needed an operations base to attack Greek freedom fighters. Instead, it became part of the United State of the Ionian Islands, under British protection in 1815. England didn't want to dirty its hands in the War of Independence and forbade any involvement. Nevertheless, hundreds of battle-seasoned Lefkadans sneaked onto the mainland and helped oust the Turks. The island joined the new Greek nation in 1864.

Lefkada enjoyed a brief period of peace and prosperity, which ended in 1900, when a fungus destroyed the area's famous vineyards. Many locals fled, emigrating to America. Those who remained saw their homes crumble in the earthquakes.

Modern tourism

The Venetian castle of St George is said to conceal the ancient acropolis of Sollion underneath

Tourism has revived the island economy in the last 25 years. Typically, this seaside success comes at the expense of village life. So far, package companies haven't trashed the fourth largest Ionian island. Independent travellers seek out Lefkada Town's nightlife or water-sports along the 117 kilometres of coast. Windsurfers flock to Vassiliki, where 30-40mph winds whip down off the crags. Porto Katsiki and Kathisma beaches are listed among Greece's top ten.

Some visitors prefer trekking on the island's slopes. Lefkada is about 90% hills and may actually be a peak thrusting up from a submerged mountain chain. The Great Ionian Rift lies off the western shore, accounting for the sea's depth and sharply-plunging shoreline there. The eastern coast is softer, blanketed by pine forests, citrus groves and vineyards. Sharp cypresses flank pastel buildings, lending a luxurious Italian air. Nidri is the dominant resort in this area, within striking distance of the Dimosari waterfall, the pristine cove of Yeni and the abandoned shepherds' village of Nicohori.

Nine islets cluster around Lefkada, including Skorpios, owned by the Onassis family (catch a glimpse of Aristotle's old helipad from Nidri's port). Boats skim past the stretch where Jackie O was snapped sunbathing topless, but aren't allowed to dock. Cruises also visit the Meganisi cave where the famous submarine Papanikolis hid during WWII and Madouri, the home of poet and politician Aristotelis Valaoritis (1824-1879).

Valaoritis isn't the only literary legend of Lefkada. Angelos Sikelianos is considered one of Greece's greatest modern writers (1884-1951). He struggled to revive the Delphi Festival and revitalise ancient drama. He paid a high price for his progressive ideas, being passed over twice by the Nobel Prize Committee. Spyridon Zambelios, the 19th-century historian and author, also hailed from the island. He founded Byzantine studies and wrote the classic novel Cretan Wedding. The Lefkadans build on these cultural foundations with an annual Festival of Language and the Arts. Conferences and plays fill the first ten days, then give way to folklore. Local dance troupes and the town band (Greece's oldest) have won international acclaim.

2007-03-21

Hellenic Air Force Hunters

Aegean Vipers

Destruction Of Kosovo Christian Church

Greece at War

HELLAS - DOXASMENA KYMATA

HELLENIC REVOLUTION OF 1821 - Η ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΕΠΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ 1821

Sparta +

Greece-Hellas-Ελλάδα-Ελλάς

Emerson Drive - "Moments" (Music Video)



"Everyones been in a tight spot at least once in their life.This song has a strong meaning...You can accomplish anything...EVeryone has something to offer...Whether its food, money, shelter...Even if you dont have any of that...One of the most powerful and meaning full things you can give on this planet is Friendship"

Carrie Underwood - Wasted

Carrie Underwood - Before he cheats

Carry Underwood - Jesus take the wheel...

Keith Urban - Once in a Lifetime

I Cross My Heart by George Strait



ΣΤΗΝ ΑΓΑΠΗ ΜΟΥ!

ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΑΝΤΩΝΗ...

2007-03-16

Notis Sfakianakis - Soma Mou

Kaiti Garbi & Antonis Bardis - I Patrida Mou

Kaiti Garbi - Mou Leipeis

Kaiti Garbi-Akouse agori Mou

Marianta Pieridi - Gyro mou

Marianta Pieridi - Meine Dipla mou

Marianta Pieridi - Sagapo

Marianta Pieridi Afti H Agapi (This love)

Marianta Pieridi - Ta Pio Megala Oneira

Antique - Alli Mia Fora

Antique - Greek Megamix Music Video

Asteri Mou



ΑΦΙΕΡΩΜΑ ΣΤΗΝ GIGI ΜΕ ΠΟΛΥ ΑΓΑΠΗ,

ΑΝΤΩΝΗΣ...

Nikos Vertis - Pes To Mou Ksana

Antique - Die For You

Antique - Opa Opa (Music Video)

Elena Paparizou - Mambo (International Version)

Helena Paparizou Thalassa 2004 (3)


Antique - Follow Me (Greek Version)

Tribute to Greek Independance 1821... the story continues

Γνωρίστε την πόλη... Ελλάδα (Greece), στην Πολιτεία Νέα Υόρκη, των ΗΠΑ

Δημιουργήθηκε στα 1822 και ονομάστηκε "Ελλάδα", ως συμπαράσταση των κατοίκων της στον αγώνα των Ελλήνων γι' ανεξαρτησία από τους Τούρκους. "The name is also a tribute to this old-world nation, a symbol of intellectual and athletic excellence"...
Το πρώτο γυμνάσιο της πόλης (δεκαετία '60) ονομάστηκε "Ολυμπία". Τα επόμενα 4 ονομάστηκαν: "Αρκαδία", "Απόλλων", "Αθηνά", "Οδύσσεια".

Town of Greece (Πόλη, Ελλάδα): Population-Πληθυσμός (year 2000): 94,141. Males-'Ανδρες: 45,186 (48.0%), Females-Γυναίκες: 48,955 (52.0%)
County-Κομητεία, "νομός": Monroe, State-Πολιτεία, "κράτος": New York

(Από την ιστοσελίδα του Εμπορικού Επιμελητήριου της πόλης, αντιγράφουμε:)

GREECE - EARLY HISTORY
In the early 1300s, Algonquin Indians and the Iroquois began settling along the shores of Lake Ontario, near its bays and ponds and in the Genesee Valley. As their civilizations grew, and the Seneca joined the Iroquois League, paths through the woods became main thoroughfares, many of which are still in use today. According to local historians, many of the main roads in town, including parts of Ridge Road, Long Pond Road and Dewey Avenue, were constructed along these paths.
The first white settlers to the area, arriving in the 1790s, were William Hincher, a Revolutionary War veteran, and James Latta, a merchant seaman. Though no documentation exists, it is believed that the Latta family was heavily involved with the famed Underground Railroad. Slaves seeking freedom in Canada were hidden in Samuel Latta's warehouse in Charlotte where they awaited transportation across the lake.

THE OFFICIAL BEGINNING
The Town of Greece was incorporated in 1822. It was named after the country of Greece, as a show of support as the Greek people fought for their independence from Turkish rule. The name is also a tribute to this old-world nation a symbol of intellectual and athletic excellence.
The Town of Greece was formed from the northern part of the town of Gates. In 1823, extension of the Erie Canal resulted in the development of the southern part of town. Mason workers came from Europe to help build the canal and often settled here. Many of them built cobblestone houses, some of which still stand today.
Throughout the 1800s, the local economy centered on agriculture. Many of the beautiful farmhouses that were built during this period have been converted for commercial use. The Upton-Paine house, now Ridgemont Country Club, is one such home. (A handful of people associated with the club even claim that the house is haunted by Mr. & Mrs. Upton.) The Greece Historical Society currently occupies the charming Larkin-Beattie-Howe house built in the 1850's. (Gordon Howe, former Greece Supervisor, raised his family there.)

CHARLOTTE
The history of Greece would not be complete without mentioning Charlotte. Incorporated as a village in 1869, Charlotte was the center of the community for many years. Its quaint lighthouse has been pictured in the town seal since its inception.
In the early 1900s, the Manitou Trolley carried summer vacationers to the many resort hotels contained within eight scenic miles along the shore of Lake Ontario. It only cost a nickel to go from Charlotte to Manitou Beach, crossing Braddocks Bay on a wooden trestle. In 1916, Charlotte was annexed from Greece to become the 23rd Ward of the City of Rochester.

NEW BEGINNINGS
The turn of the century brought about changes which shifted the economic focus from agriculture to industry. Photography magnate George Eastman opened the first Kodak plant in 1891. Kodak became the largest employer in the area, and its success fueled the town's growth. Further economic development was also spurred by local grocers: brothers John and Walter Wegman founded Wegmans Food Markets, in 1931. Wegmans has been expanding ever since, and is recognized as one of the country's premier grocery operations. (Many members of the Wegman family still reside in Greece.)
The shift from agriculture to industry was also a result of devastating crop losses in 1934. An unusually severe freeze that winter destroyed many orchards. Additionally, World War II brought about the building of more industrial plants to support the war effort. Post-war peace combined with a swell in population throughout the late 1940s and 50s, lead to even more industrialization and commercialization, especially along Ridge Road.
Greece Olympia, the town's first high school, was built in the 1960s. With the town's population approaching 75,000 in 1970, many new shopping plazas and churches were formed. Park Ridge Hospital was built in 1975 on Long Pond Road, and the Historical Center opened on English Road in 1978.

RECENT HISTORY
One of the most important new developments was in 1983 with the construction of the I-390 highway running north from Ridge Road to the Lake Ontario Parkway. Another remarkable development was the formation of Greece Ridge Center in 1994. It was formed when Greece Towne Mall and Long Ridge Mall were connected, making it one of the largest shopping malls in the northeastern United States.
In 1997, the town government moved to its new location on Vince Tofany Boulevard, and the old town hall on Ridge Road was demolished as part of the redevelopment of Ridge Road. The original cupola from the old town hall was saved and is now part of the Greece Historical Center and Museum, in the old Larkin-Beattie-Howe house, now on Long Pong Road.

Greece today is the gateway to recreational paradise. Nearby ski areas like Brantling and Bristol Mountain and state parks like Darien Lakes, Hamlin Beach, Oak Orchard Marine and Lakeside Beach cater to a variety of recreational needs. Locals partake in camping, biking, hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling at Hamlin State Park. More adventurous residents hike Lake Ontario's Waterfront Trail, which spans 218 miles.

Niagara Reservation State Park, a few hours away, is the home of the famous Niagara Falls, Prospect Point and plenty of islands. In addition, a scenic trolley, a discovery center and an observation tower enhance visitors outdoor experience. Shoppers embrace the Greece Ridge Center Mall, which has numerous department stores and more than 200 specialty stores.
Greece's Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum and Rochester's International Museum of Photography enrich the area's culture and history. Students can choose from many local colleges and universities including Roberts Wesleyan College, University of Rochester and State University of New York College.
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Approximately 94,000 people reside in Monroe County's Greece, a northwestern suburb of Rochester. About 40% of the city's land is undeveloped and rural, providing a reminder of the area's agricultural past. Lake Ontario is adjacent to town. Greece is just an hour or two from exciting destinations including Niagara Falls, Buffalo and the Canadian border. Ski areas and state parks are nearby as well, allowing for endless recreational fun.
The Niagara Reservation State Park the nation's oldest state park makes for a perfect weekend getaway. In addition to enjoying their town's favorable location, residents also enjoy its seasonal climate. Rainy autumns, cold and snowy winters, cool and rainy springs and hot summers are created in part by Greece's proximity to the Great Lakes. Downtown Rochester is about 15 minutes from town. The Greater Rochester International Airport is about four miles away and an Amtrak station and bus services are nearby as well.
More than 14,000 students attend more than 20 schools in the Greece Central School District. Several private or parochial schools are also available. The Greece Performing Arts Society encompasses choral, theater and arts groups and an orchestra, providing a cultural richness to the community.
Greece's largest industry is the Eastman Kodak Company. IBM, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox are large employers as well. Real estate offerings consist mainly of single-family detached homes, although some condominiums and townhouses are also available at very affordable prices. The lush scenery, cultural wealth and diverse, affordable real estate market of Greece make it a dynamic hometown for families of any shape or size.

Hindi Films of the 50s in Greece: The Latest Chapter of a Long Dialogue

Most people know that Alexander the Great conquered northwest India in 327 CE. But very few people know that India conquered the heart of Greece around 1960. Not even Indians know of this remarkable event. [1]

The invasion started in 1954 and took place on the screens of working-class movie houses. It was an invasion of spectacular colors, music, dances, songs, and gorgeously dressed actresses. The generals were Greek importers. The missiles were about 111 films. The vanguard was Aan, that movie importers renamed Mangala, the Rose of India. Thereafter came Saqi, called Rosana, the Rose of Baghdad. Then followed a movie on a topic that always moved Greeks, Sikandar, Alexander the Great. With time, the invasion took hold.

How was this possible?

The economic condition of Greece was bleak in the early 1950s. Since its liberation from Turkey in 1827, the country had been a poor agricultural nation with high levels of illiteracy, limited life expectancy, and a low status for women. World War II and a subsequent civil war with communist insurgents had destroyed the countryside and killed many inhabitants. An atmosphere of depression and mourning prevailed as people tried to rebuild their lives. One survival tactic was migration to larger cities (such as Athens) and emigration to countries like Germany, which needed cheap labor. Uneducated orphans and people caring for widowed relatives were forced to leave their homes and become bricklayers or housemaids, living in unhealthy and oppressive circumstances. It was in that climate of desperation that Hindi movies made an indelible impression.

Fascination with Hindi Films

The years 1945-65 were a golden period in Indian cinema. Though made with limited means, many of the films produced then became timeless masterpieces. Most were dramatic love stories set in a background of tangled family relations, poverty, exploitation, and misery. In a format that became characteristic of Hindi cinema, many songs and dances were included. Frequently during the movies, actors sang, pondering on problems and situations like a protagonist and a responding chorus in a Greek drama. Many of the songs, composed by the greatest Indian musicians for the films, have become timeless tunes that every Indian knows.

The plots of the movies resonated with the wounded Greek psyche. Suffering women, street children who had to drop out of school, jealous sisters-in-law, vengeful mothers-in-law, interdependencies, betrayals, and frequent unhappy ends resonated with the difficult choices of poorly educated Greek people subsisting in large cities. In particular, the characters appealed to poor women. The maidservants and factory workers saw themselves depicted on the movie screen, hoping for deliverance. Maybe the rich young man would marry the poor beautiful girl who worked at his house. Maybe lost relatives would appear to take care of the abandoned street child who sang so beautifully.

Suffering in the movies was combined with spectacle. There were scenes of palaces, beautiful houses, jungles, elephants, spectacular countrysides, and medieval-period costumes. Though often depicted as poor and unhappy, the Indian actresses were gracefully modest, with bright clothes and much jewelry. They enabled the audiences to see people like themselves improving their conditions, and also enabled them to be transported to a reverie far from reality. Thus, India managed to package and export its main problem, poverty, with its main attraction, exoticism. And Greece at that time was a willing buyer.

At least 111 movies are known to have been imported in 1954-1968. They were most popular in 1958-1962, when at least one out of the 35 movietheaters of Thessaloniki played one or two Hindi movies per week.[2] (For example, Awaara in 1957 played for six weeks in Alkazar, a working-class movie theater in Thessaloniki.) The films were always subtitled in Greek, challenging people with limited education to read. Their one-word symbolic titles were changed to indicate tragedy: mothers losing children, social upheaval, and other emotional topics. Thus, Ghar sansaar (“House and world”) became Tears of a Mother. Mother India became Land Drenched in Sweat, and Mela (Fair) became Love Drenched in Tears. The advertisements contained text that accentuated the dramatic aspects of the movies and declared that the newest import was better than Mother India, Awaara, Saqi, Aan or other earlier arrivals.

These movies were considered working-class fare. They had much less appeal for the middle-class, which looked westward for entertainment, wanted more humor, and was not plagued by the social dilemmas of the poor and the limited solutions available to the heroines. Nevertheless, the Hindi masterpieces were seen by many. Mother India premiered without much advertisement in Kotopouli, a downtown theater on a snowy day in February 1960. The first few curious spectators were so moved by it, that they stopped strangers on the way out and told them not to miss that “social gospel”. Four hours later, a waiting line two city blocks long had formed, and the movie played in some Greek town or other at least for the next 10 years.

Eventually, Greek producers imitated the Hindi success recipes. The result was Greek films with 8-12 songs (mainly set in bouzouki night-club scenes) and tragic plots and titles. To lure the audiences of Hindi films, Greek titles were sometimes almost indistinguishable.

Fascination with Hindi Songs

Mother India, Awaara, and other movies established Nargis as the great priestess of the family dramas, with Madhubala a close second (Tasoulas 1992). The ability of these heroines to express pain made the beautiful and haunting songs that they sang instant hits. It was only natural that the emotions of the poor Greeks would be expressed through those very same melodies. Thus, starting in 1959, Greek-language renditions of many songs appeared. For example:

Sad Nargis! Where do I come to find you?
with a bitter song you can sing my own pain.

My tortured Nargis, who sings songs and wails
please cry tonight about my own separation.
I am the only one who knows your poor tears
because I have been wounded heavily
and I can't forget her because I love her so deeply.
(“Kis se malum tha ek din” -- Saqi 1952)

The number of songs that were adapted from Hindi movies is considerable. From the 111 movies known to have come, as well as from others whose importation is uncertain, 105 Greek renditions were identified. Many came from the best-known movies, that is from Awaara, Sri 420, Mother India, Ghar Sansaar, Laajwanti, and Aan. Many Hindi songs engendered duplicates, triplicates, and quadruplicates. For example, “Pyar hua ikrar hua” (Sri 420) and “Gao tarane man ke” (Aan) have four renditions, “Unchhi, unchhi dunia ki divare…” (Naagin) and “Aajao taRapt hai arma…” (Awaara) have three. At least 10 others have duplicates. Of all songs, 57 (55%) have a great similarity with pre-existing songs; 25 (24%) deviate significantly from the originals, 16 (16%) are partial renditions, where other melodies are mixed with Hindi, and 5 (5%) use only some musical bars.

Most Hindi song copies were temporary hits or remained obscure. However, 11 were still known among the general public in 1998, about 35 years later. The best remembered in the 1990s were: “Madhubala” (“Aajao tarapt hai arma…” from Awaara) one of three renditions of this song by Stellios Kazantzidis; “kardia mou kaimeni” (my poor heart -- “dunia me ham aaye” from Mother India), “auti i nyxta menei”(this night remains -- ulfaT ka saaz chhedo from the 1953 Aurat), “oso axizeis esy” (as much as you are worth -- “duniawalon se duur” from Ujaala”). The Hindi songs were rendered in an oriental style that was popular with Asia Minor refugees (who fled to Greece after the 1922 massacre) and with residents of remote villages, where older musical traditions were remembered. [3]This style of songs was called “rembetika” before 1959 and “laika” or popular songs (sometimes also “varia”-- heavy laika) after that date. The imitation and inspiration from Hindi created a specific class of songs called to this day “indoprepi” (Hindi-style). To hellenize the songs, composers often speeded them up, simplified sections where they could not reproduce the trained voices of the Indians, and changed instruments, using the string instrument bouzouki. Although some songs were hasty improvisations, others were good, some possibly better than the originals. For example, there are many excellent renditions of “dunia me… ham aaye hai…” at different periods, and this song is considered a test of vocal skill.

Since there were practically no Hindi-speaking Greeks at the time, and movies did not clearly render the words of the songs, the lyrics of the Hindi and Greeks songs almost never coincided. Instead, the themes of the indoprepi and other laika songs echoed the concerns of the folkloric composers and their audiences. The principal concern was migration abroad and subsequent separation from loved ones. Thus, a large number of the Hindi songs were transformed into emigration dirges, often depicting the lonely dependent mother waiting for a son to return. One version of ”Gao tarane man ke” became the “bitter letter” which tells the recipient that the beloved will not return. “Pyar hua ikrar hua” (Sri 420), a song well known for its optimism, yielded four Greek versions, each one a sad emigration song. The best known version starts with the sound of a train and has the following lyrics:

A train, a cursed train, a train will take you away.
It separates us and breaks and tears my poor heart apart.

Tears are rolling in the station, mothers are wailing disconsolately
but I shed no more tears, because my eyes have no tears left.

Such a pain, such a wound, may the enemies never feel,
please write me every day before I die of sorrow.

Other issues echoed in the songs were the dependence of women, jealousy for happy couples, and condemnation of women who were immodest or married for money. When the Hindi and Greek version were both love songs, the lyrics often contrasted the cultural differences in social interactions. Greece in the 50s still had the customs of dowry and arranged marriages, but there were no castes; access to education made it possible for some poor to marry into rich families, and young people could actually get to know each other (particularly when they were both migrants living away from home). Therefore, the Greek love songs imply intimate acquaintance and describe joint activities, whereas the Hindi songs often imply that the two lovers see each other from a distance and really have no personal acquaintance.

The Controversy

In the 1960s, many educated Greeks did not look kindly on Hindi movies and songs. They saw them as a threat to the country's drive for modernization. The middle-class admired the West. Its members associated the indoprepi with refugees from Turkey, poorer people, uncouth villagers, and backwardness in general. Emigration was not a middle-class concern. Even when the songs echoed more general themes, the words alienated the educated listeners. The same Urdu vocabulary that is considered poetic by Indians (e.g. dunia, zamana, ashik, khabar) was considered Turkish by Greeks, and therefore backward. The words were too emotional, too depressed, too angry. They often expressed negative attitudes against women (e.g. “I will throw this nagging woman out...”), as well as male demands for female obedience and virtue. Students often ridiculed or parodied the laika songs and the tearful movie titles. In particular, young women, who had brighter prospects than their mothers through education and salaried work, wanted to have nothing to do with them.

The negative middle-class attitudes towards the Hindi imports were expressed through articles such as the following:

Sinking low

The historical moment when Alexander the Great conquered India was fateful. So fateful and defining that thousands of years later we are paying for the consequences.

This conclusion is completely true. India conquered Greece in every artistic expression, to the point that we imitate it and follow it slavishly....

The trouble started with the first Hindi movie that was shown. Its incidental commercial success -- that was due to anything but its intrinsic value -- resulted in a ton of the saddest Indian concoctions, which set cinematography back for years, to the time of the tear-drenched melodramas with the shamed mothers and children of sin. Today the situation is such that the Hindi cinema is the most direct competitor of the Greek cinema. Hindi movies are everywhere, and tearful Nargis is much more popular than Vouyouklaki. [4]

The drawn-out and bothersome Indian music which accompanies these sad creations also tends to become our national music. Many “smart” composers managed to expropriate motifs for Greece and to create “folk” hits, bringing the musical level of our people down to basement night clubs. So, various Singoalas, Mangalas, Madhubalas, etc., disturb our peace and, most sadly, are broadcast by radio stations, notably the Armed Forces station.... Most modestly speaking, this is sinking low! It is not permissible, when we fight to stand in the geographical space of Europe to have become a spiritual colony of India... Except if, as we wrote in the beginning, we are now paying for the consequences of Alexander's conquests... But even then, the price is too high (Matsas 1961).

As the above article implies, the transformed songs had a big problem: plagiarism. With few exceptions, the songs appeared as creations of at least 26 Greek musicians. The copying was systematic. Some musicians copied some songs on reel tape recorders directly from movie theaters, and in other cases, music companies ordered records from India and distributed them to willing people for copying. The names of Naushad Ali, Shankar-Jaikishan, and Chitalkar Ramachandra were never heard in Greece.

Clearly, people loved Hindi songs, and profits were large. Copyright laws were lax or non-existent at that time, and the bardic tradition (dating from Homeric times) of adapting existing melodies to suit the conditions of the time was still strong. The folkloric musicians were often poor and poorly educated, and saw a way to make some extra money. Some people who lacked significant talent became known composers by taking Naushad's works in their names. [5]The tendency of musicians to reproduce Hindi songs resulted in humorous episodes, as in the case when three composers went to a studio at the same time to record different versions of the same Hindi song (Tsitsanis 1979).

This scandal could not be hidden for long. Audiences often did remember the movie originals, and the outcry started a controversy that raged for years. The notable Greek composer and bouzouki virtuoso, Vasilis Tsitsanis, railed against the plagiarists in articles published in popular magazines. He considered the Indian composers giants, whose creations were shamelessly expropriated by worthless musicians; he also argued that the copiers adulterated the tastes of the Greek people, habituating them to foreign tunes. (Habituation to western tunes was clearly not seen as negative.) In response, composer Apostolos Kaldaras and traditional music teacher Theodoros Derveniotis, clarified that they were not copying Hindi; they were instead composing byzantine music and taking the Greek music back to its roots! (Simirioti 1962, 1967a, 1967b).

During that same period, many Turkish and Arabic songs were also copied and expropriated through acquisition of records and radio programs. (The Turkish and Arabic movies never achieved the prominence of their Hindi counterparts.) Although this tendency was generally known, it was not considered very important; copies from neighboring countries could be explained away as originally Greek or as legitimate heritage of the refugees. Somehow, India was threatening in a way that Turkey and the Arabic world were not. It used formulas and musical patterns that vaguely sounded byzantine and harked into glorious eras that to Greeks were painful. Imitating the culture of an extremely poor county was very unsettling to development-minded intellectuals, and westernizing Greek tastes became ever more urgent.

Thus, the fate of the Hindi imports was doomed. The accusations of plagiarism stuck with some folk composers, and Hindi songs became their shame; the sometimes excellent pieces were hidden and forgotten. The reign of the movies also did not last long. Although they were imported systematically for about 14 years (1954-1968), their heyday lasted for only about four. The Greek movies that imitated the Indian family dramas, eventually imitated them too well and won over the audience. American and European movies showed faster action along with sex and violence that fascinated young men. Possibly because Indians had no experience with personal relationships, the love scenes and characters appeared superficial and unrealistic to Greeks who did date (albeit secretly). Indian producers responded with thrillers that looked quite artificial (such as Chinatown of 1962) and did not win converts.

By the end of the 60s, the economic conditions of Greece greatly improved, and the demand for family dramas, and for songs with themes of emigration, poverty, and depression decreased. As women's social condition and earning capacity improved, songs about jealousy and girls sacrificing poor lovers for wealth became less relevant. A defining event was the military junta that ruled Greece in 1968-1973. The colonels wanted to emphasize the glory of ancient Greece and to repress the years of Turkish occupation. Therefore, anything that reminded of Turkey was suppressed, and it was forbidden to transmit "heavy" laika songs on the radio. Finally, contact with western Europe, and later, membership in the European Union made the country look ever westward and forget the eastern side of its heritage. As more skillful Greek music developed under Hadzidakis and Theodorakis, the oriental-sounding songs became unfashionable for many years. The Greek movie industry was nearly extinguished as western productions supplanted it. The Hindi movies and laika or indoprepi songs became a distant memory.

But nostalgia in cultures often brings back old productions. The generation born in the 1970s did not find the eastern-sounding songs threatening and made them fashionable, releasing new renditions. Thus, in 1998, one could hear again on the radio melodies from movies that had been long forgotten in India and Greece, such as “Mera naam raju” and “Gao tarane man ke" ("Mangala, the daughter of the maharaja”). At the time the research was undertaken, the Hindi, Arabic, and Turkish songs that had once been copied or imitated were again in full swing. The resulting book, Hindi-Style Song Revelations (Abadzi and Tasoulas 1998),[6] was widely reviewed by the press in the summer and fall of 1998. Many articles wrote that in the 1950s Athens and Delhi had had remarkable similarities and the people had very similar concerns (Keza, Bakounakis, Kessopoulos, Zografou, Papadopoulos; 1998).

Forgotten Connections

Did the indomania of the 50s have any historical significance? Hindi films became popular in many countries outside the indic world, such as Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Uganda, even Colombia; the plots generally resonated with the concerns of the poor, and the songs were uniformly considered melodious. Some songs such as “Awaara hou” were adapted in many countries. But it appears that Hindi songs were not copied outside South Asia as widely as they were copied in Greece. Few are known to exist in Turkey and in the Arab world, which have specific musical traditions. By comparison, at least 26 Greek musicians are known to have adapted Hindi songs. The systematic Greek acquisitions may be due to commercial ingenuity that found opportunities in a country that was too far to protest. However, profit alone is not a sufficient explanation. Perhaps there is an affinity that created this special allure.

Songs often sound vaguely familiar to Greeks, like the traditional songs of many areas in Greece, including Asia Minor and the islands. One gets the impression that one once heard a similar tune and forgot it. Musicologists who have studied Indian music have been impressed by certain patterns of similarities and have written about them (Amaryanakis 1985a, 1985b, 1992, 1995, 1996; Daniélou 1967, 1979, 1980). It was this similarity perhaps that the musicians, Apostolos Kaldaras and Theodoros Derveniotis evoked when they stated that they were not copying Hindi songs, but instead recreating byzantine music.

Centuries of commerce with various Mediterranean and Asian cities have created a musical tangle, where certain similar patterns are shared by many neighboring countries (e.g. scales, rhythms, musical instruments). In addition, Greece has strong eastern traditions, dating from the centuries when its cultural center was in Asia Minor. An additional point of contact has been the dissemination of Greek music in India during the Hellenistic era. It is known that Greek or Greek-style musicians (Yavana ganika) were sought after during the Maurya dynasty and in subsequent centuries (Varadpande 1981, 1985). Finally, the Turkish influence on both civilizations (see below) resulted in the dissemination to both countries of musical patterns and instruments. As a result of contacts and common origins, there are several points of similarity between byzantine music (used only in Greek churches) and more traditional Indian music: notes and divisions of the natural scales, use of quarter-tones, characteristics like alaap and tarana (Amaryanakis 1985a, 1985b, 1992, 1995, 1996; Daniélou 1979, 1980). Certain raagas correspond to the Turkish or Persian maqamat, which Greeks also used. For example, many of the Hindi songs that Greeks adapted were in the Bhairavi raag, which corresponds to the maqam "ushak". Also, certain instruments are common to both countries: tampura (pandouris in ancient Greek, bouzouki in modern Greek), santur, saaz, and double flute (Amaryanakis 1985).

The older musical traditions were best kept in isolated areas of Greece as well as in the Asia Minor, where they received more reinforcement. The villages and islands were places of poverty, and the Asia Minor people became refugees, sharing their misery with the poor of mainland Greeks in the crowded and unhealthy conditions of Athens and Thessaloniki. The folkloric singers who in their home areas had best kept the old musical traditions were most likely to watch the movies and be influenced by their stories. They were most likely to find the song modes familiar and to reproduce them, adapting them to the instruments and modes that made them sound more Greek.

Historical Analogies

Musical relationships are related to cultural and linguistic relationships in the distant past. There are specific linguistic similarities between ancient Greek (particularly the aeolic dialect) and Sanskrit. Many old deities have similar names, implying a much closer relationship in the prehistoric indoeuropean past (e.g. Diaus Pitar, Varuna, Surya, Sarameyas, Yavishta, Ushas - Arora 1985). Attested contacts between Greeks and Indians date at least from the 6th century BCE, when some Asia Minor Greeks and some western Indians were citizens of the Persian empire. Alexander's invasion and contacts are well known, but lasted very little. Much closer interactions followed during the Hellenistic era, when Seleukid generals succeeded in conquering Afghanistan and Punjab about 256 BCE and setting up the Bactrian and Indogreek kingdoms, whose rulers are mainly known from the thousands of coins they left behind (Bopearachchi 1991, Dani 1991). The last Indogreek king probably ruled until 50 BCE, when he was overrun by the Kushan. The Indogreek kings did not leave a lasting imprint in India. Inclined towards Buddhism and having a tradition of more democratic regimes, they might have helped eventually rid India of the caste system. Instead, they dissipated their energies fighting among themselves, and the Brahmins who had grudgingly accepted them as debased ksatrias were glad to see them disappear (Velissaropoulos citing the Gargi Samhita, 1995.)

Although of minor importance when seen in the passage of thirty centuries, distinct points of influence can still be traced. In the approximately 200 years of rule and cultural contacts, Buddha acquired the appearance of Apollo through the Gandhara art, and many Greeks (like king Menander) became Buddhists. The Indians learned from the Greeks astrology, possibly medicine (the Yunani system), and possibly the arts of making coins and golden artifacts. In turn, the Greeks rather unsuccessfully tried to understand Indian philosophy, but nevertheless received stories and myths that eventually entered the Christian tradition (such as meditation practices of the Sinai monasteries and the story of St. Josaphat-Schulz 1981). During the Roman empire, commerce and contact continued. Greeks and Hellenized people continued to travel to Indian ports, receiving and transmitting musical and cultural influences (Thapar 1966).

Relations and influences with India took a strange turn when the eastern part of the Roman empire became a Christian state in the 4th century CE (now known as Byzantium). The Orthodox church was very intent on combating heresy, and most of the Middle East had accepted doctrines that the clergy in Constantinople considered heretic. The Byzantine emperors spent much energy combating the heresies and harassing their followers. When the Arabs arose as Moslems in 622 and started to wage war, the Byzantines did not pay much attention to them until it was too late. Not only were the populations of the Middle East and North Africa unable to resist the Arab attacks, a number of them converted voluntarily to Islam to escape Orthodox persecutions. Strengthened by Byzantine conquests, the Arabs conquered Persia in 20 years, and attacked Afghanistan, Sindh, and Punjab in 30 years. The multiple and often warring kingdoms of India were unable to organize and defeat the enemy on time (Lal 1990). To some extent, the Islamic conquest of India was a consequence of Byzantine sectarianism.

Eventually, the two countries met a similar fate. Around 1100 CE, they were invaded by Turks -- Moghals in India and Ottomas in Byzantium. Eventually both countries came under Turkish rulers for about 500 years. Large segments of the populations were converted to Islam, while the languages, customs, and music were influenced in similar ways. Having gained independence in 1827, Greece tried to annex Asia Minor in 1922. The defeat resulted in a massacre, millions of Greek refugees, and finally a population exchange in 1927, while left almost no Greeks in Turkey and no Turks in Greece. On the eve of its independence from Great Britain in 1947, India split into two countries, with resulting massacres and a population exchange which left almost no Hindus in Pakistan. Massacres, partition, and population exchanges were repeated in Cyprus in 1974. The suffering that Hindi movies depicted was often a direct or indirect result of these common historical events and was well understood by both cultures. This is one reason why the movies proved so popular.

When one looks at history globally, it becomes evident that the movie craze of the 50s-60s was merely the latest chapter of a dialogue that has lasted at least 3000 years. The 105 songs adapted by Greeks in the 1960s might be considered an exchange for the astronomy, medicine, sculpture, and minting that the Indians learned from the Greeks in the Hellenistic years. And the offense that the movies and songs caused to westernized intellectuals may be seen as a just revenge for the sins of Alexander the Great.

Ethnomusicological Search for the Hindi Movies and Songs

Interest in the indoprepi songs started as a hobby for the author (a Hindi-speaking Greek educational psychologist), who remembered seeing some Hindi movies as a child. In partnership with Emmanuel Tasoulas, a dentist in Athens who had a large collection of Hindi-movie posters and pictures, an amateur ethnomusicological research project was carried out in 1996-1997. The researchers tried to find:

    ° which Hindi movies were played in Greece;
    ° the songs of those movies;
    ° which of the movie songs had engendered Greek songs (through a search of Hindi songs);
    ° which “suspicious” Greek songs were Hindi (through search of Greek songs);
    ° Greek musicians willing to discuss their adaptations.
Since musicians often recorded the songs directly from movietheaters, it was hypothesized that if the movies and soundtracks were found, many Greeks songs would be identified. The 111 movies that came to Greece were identified through searches in newspapers (Makedonia, Ethnos, Nea, Bradyni, Akropolis, etc.) and movie trade magazines of the period (Theamata, Astir Kinimatografikos). Some movies were identified through combinations of actors and plots, but 32 could not be positively identified. The soundtracks of 23 movies were commercially available, but the rest had had become obscure or totally forgotten. To find the songs, the researchers went to the Internet discussion group of Hindi film songs called re.music.indian.miscellaneous (RMIM), where several experts frequented. They asked which persons had the soundtracks of these movies. Several collectors of old songs offered their help, most notably Messrs. Vish Krishnan, Satish Kalra, and Ashok Dhareswar. The experts sent soundtracks to the researchers, who then sent them to Greece, where two collectors of old Greek songs listened to them and tried to identify copied songs. In turn, the Greek collectors sent about 15 cassettes of songs to the researchers, who forwarded them to the Indian experts. Thus, many songs were identified, bringing the known total to 105 in 1998. Several others are known to exist, but they are forgotten in Greece and/or in India and could not be identified positively.

The research also brought out some issues of psychomusicology that had not thus far been identified in field research. The listeners of one culture to the songs of the other had to make very complex comparisons, searching their memories for critical features that implied similarity and ignoring others that were irrelevant. It was easy to identify songs that were very similar to songs that the listeners knew very well, but it was quite difficult to identify others that the listeners had only heard a few times or that had been changed significantly. Changes in rhythm, contour, and in the number of voices (choral to monophonic) were quite confusing, while changes in the singers' gender were easily overcome. Some listeners were much better than others in identifying songs, and some truly expert persons could not identify any. Also the process was tiring. After listening to a few songs of the other culture, tunes tended to get mixed up, and the listeners got the impression that all songs were somewhat alike. A detailed discussion of these issues is the subject of a separate article.

It was hoped that some of the old composers would agree to discuss what moved them to copy certain songs and not others and why they made certain changes. However, it proved impossible. Two of the most prominent ones (Voula Palla and Apostolos Kaldaras) were dead. Others were still ashamed and defensive. At the end, there was very little collaboration.

It is unfortunate that the Hindi adaptations were not seen as a positive cultural phenomenon. The musicians that used them deserve congratulations and praise for the work that they did. They heard a distant sound of a common cultural past, which they tried to transmit. In turn, this article transmits it to the readers of the 21st century.

Notes

[1] Unless otherwise stated, the material from this article is abstracted from the book Hindi-Style Songs Revealed.

[2] Newspapers in Thessaloniki and Athens were researched for the years 1951-1969. The frequency and titles of movies were registered.

[3] Greece became independent of Turkey in 1827. But the ancestral mainland of Greece included Asia Minor, the coast of Turkey, which had millions of Greeks. The Greeks tried to regain Asia Minor in 1922, but they were defeated by the Turks. There was a massacre of Greeks and Armenians, and at least one million refugees came to the mainland in 1922. There was an official population exchange in 1927, when any Turks living in Greece were exchanged with Greeks living in Turkey (exempting two areas).

[4] Aliki Vouyouklaki, who died in 1997, was the most popular Greek film star for several decades.

[5] Indian composers did not lose revenue as a result of Greek reproductions. In the 40s and 50s, they typically signed away their mechanical rights to film songs and received a lump sum. International companies like His Master's Voice and later Gramophone of India owned and published the songs, keeping most or all the profits. Many of the Greek companies were subsidiaries of the same multinationals. So, at company level, there was no loss. Furthermore, even if the Greeks had wanted to share with the Indian composers the modest amounts earned from these songs, there was no way to do so. For example, there was an excellent rendition of all the "Mother India" songs in 1979 by the late Voula Palla. The work was correctly attributed to Naushad Ali and the publicist paid royalties, but His Master's Voice received the proceeds. Naushad Ali found out about this work from the author in 1996.

[6] Reviews of the book and Hindi imports of the 50s appeared in Vima, Nea, Eleftherotypia, Rizospastis, Makedonia, Difono, Ethikos Kyrix (of New York).

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