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Classroom Lessons in Greek History, Beyond the Written Page

October 10, 2018

 

GREEK HERITAGE EXPRESSION

Children need anchors. Bringing an understanding to the origins of their culture, becomes one of the defining anchors.

 

They learn of their heritage through many means: from their family's accounts (storytelling by Yiayia and Pappou), through visits to their country of origin (to Greece and their ancestral villages), by attending secondary language school (Greek School) and by role playing ( poetic presentations and dance exhibitions).

 

Being photographed in ancestral clothing brings a concrete message to the stories heard and learned. Together we brought history into the present time making it part of the here and now.

 

“As I worked with the young people during this project, the feedback I received was universal. The kids iterated how they felt more Greek, more proud and empowered. During our portrait session, the older ones were able to articulate how they felt closer to their ancestral roots and could understand what life was like in the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

 

“Our parents understood being Greek and living in America are not mutually exclusive. Everyone lives their ancestral roots, yet we are all still American. To learn about one's heritage is a blessing. To fully experience it is a powerful gift.”

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

A special thanks to all of the children and their parents who participated in this exhibit. Also to Anneca George Philippakis, art historian, curator and editor who contributed her expertise, helping to bring my vision to this completed state.

 

~ Please remember and support Greek Culture & Language at your local schools and universities ~

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