“The Greek language is the civilization’s soul, filled with light…”
We greet all Hellenes and philhellenes, who celebrate the World Greek Language Day on the 9th of February. We express our support to the initiative brought up before the UNESCO by the Greek Government and many organizations in the world about the final approval of this date.
We invite you to join us on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 16:00 at the Branch of the HFC in Odessa for the evening of the Greek language dedicated to the World Greek Language Day.
Admittance is free.
At the evening, instructors and students of the Greek language will make a presentation about the Greek language and the history of teaching Greek language In Odessa from the 19th century until today.
The presentation will be followed by a quiz with prizes for winners. The winners will also sing together the Greek song “Good morning! How are you?”.
The children’s dance group of the BHFC together with younger students of the Greek language courses will perform traditional Greek dances.
Statement of Deputy Foreign Minister Terence Kouik on the International Day of Greek Language
The institutionalization of the World Greek Language Day can be seen as an act of recognition of the Greek language’s contribution to the world’s civilization, the language that conceived and offered the concepts of the polis – city –state – politics. The nature of Greek self-consciousness is expressed in the language of the Hellenes, who first in the history shaped the principles of a democratic society.
In the “Politics”, Aristotle wrote that human speech is the greatest proof that man is, by nature, a “political creature”. Seferis wrote in his essays that from the time of St. Paul to that of Dionysios Solomos, the Greek people managed to save their language for future generations. Evangelos Papanoutsos, the thinker, spoke about a “vital force” of the words, which he referred to as “living creatures.”
Only people who value their language could have given birth to a culture that has invariably attracted all the then known world, up to the remotest plains of Asia. The lofty Greek history taught all nations, through Herodotus’ Histories, showing the complexity of “fate” and the balance between the rules of geography and the dynamic individual initiative of the Greeks from the time of the first colonies to the modern Diaspora.
Our culture speaks of us, recounts and explains how we shall refer to what has been happening in the world at all times. It is our great and peaceful weapon. The idea and the important initiative for the establishment of a World Greek Language Day could not belong to anyone other than the Hellenes. The Greeks of Italy were the first to propose, activate and support this idea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad supported and promoted the initiative. With the support of the Special Committee on the Hellenic Diaspora, the Greek Parliament’ unanimously accepted and institutionalized the World Greek Language Day.
The World Greek Language Day will always remind us that the Greek language of historical, philosophical and literary texts has led to the birth of universal values enjoyed by the modern civilized world, promoted the essence of democracy and significantly contributed to the spread of Christianity.
The Greek language has the privilege of uniting people beyond state borders. A countless number of Greek words have enriched other languages. For example, in the international medical terminology about 80% of the scientific terms have a Greek root and origin. This invisible line of Greek language has a worldwide institutional recognition for the benefit not only of the Greeks, but also of all people who wish to live and work in peace. In this context, one shall once again recall that the words “democracy” and “dialogue”, which all over the world are synonymous to harmonious cohabitation, have Greek origin.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad
Greek Language Day – February 9, 2018
The Greek language is the soul, the soul of civilization. The soul filled with light, which radiates all over the Earth, shimmers in many other languages, and displays the history of humanity. Like there is no life without light, there is no civilization without language. Homer sang in this language, ancient tragedians taught it, modern poets wrote in this language. In this language, humans tried to develop a system of law, so that all people could co-exist together, and so Democracy was born. Philosophy, science and art were based on it. Even today, when a certain language we speak of philosophy, science and art, we borrow words from the Greek language. If once the Greek words for some reason decide to leave, then not only the Greeks will not be able to think and communicate. In all languages, especially in areas such as philosophy and science, darkness would fall. Because the Greek language is the light, the light of civilization. It is a light filled with the soul.
Candidate for Andersen Prize 2018
The Ambassador of Books for Children and Youth
Together we can help the Greek language travel around the world!