«So the well educated man will be able both to sing and dance well.»~Plato
The Greek-American Folklore Society is dedicated to
the study, preservation and instruction of the history and traditions of
Hellenic folk culture.
GAFS was founded in 1983 by Apostolos
"Paul" Ginis as a non-profit organization.
After his death, Paul’s achievements and dreams were left in the hands of his
sister, Vaia Allagianis. To this day, she continues,
GAFS and lives on her brother’s dream.
Greek Independence Day
The celebration of Greek
Independence (March 25th) is largely inspired by the Annunciation of
the Theotokos, one of the major holidays celebrated
by Greek Orthodox Christians. On this day, the
Archangel Gabriel stated to
Mary that she would bring a child into this world.
After many centuries of a failure by the Ottoman Empire to integrate and convert
the Greeks, the War of Independence began in 1821, resulting from 400 years of
occupation by the Ottoman Turks. The Turkish occupation began in 1453,
resulting from the fall of Constantinople. During the many years of the Turkish
occupation many Greeks were tortured and killed, attending church and, teaching
history, literature and language. The Greek Orthodox Church instituted Hidden
In 1814, Greek nationalists formed the FILIKHETAIRIA, Friendly Society in Odessa. This group was supported
by wealthy Greek exile communities in Britain and the United States. The society sought to
revive the Byzantine Empire, making Constantinople its capital. John Capodistria, the foreign minister of Russia, led the revolt.Among
the heroes that fought for Greek Independence are Kolokotronis,
Nikitara, Karaiskakis, Bouboulina, and Mpotsaris.
Along with the
other groups struggled for independence. One such was “O IEROSLOCWS,”
the Sacred Band. Prominent figures in the world also fought for the
independence of Greece.
RigasFeraios was arrested
by Austrian officials and then transferred to the Ottoman Turks. Here, he met
his death, where he was strangled to death and his bodies, along with the
bodies of many others were discarded in the DanubeRiver
in 1789.Other prominent figures
worldwide that supported the struggle for independence included Lord Byron of England, Daniel Webster and Dr.
Samuel Gridly Howe of the United States raised the interest level
among Europeans and Americans.
On March 25, 1821, Palaion
Patron Germanos(PALAIWNPATRWNGERMANOS), an Orthodox Metropolitan
of Patra blessed the church banner bearing the image
of the Theotokos (the mother of God) at the Monastery
of AgiaLavra who
proclaimed the national uprising.
-Monastery AgiaLavra, Peloponnese, 1821. "Germanos blessing the flag".TheodorosVryzakis, 1865.
Upcoming GAFS Performances in
“The United Federation of Teachers” Thursday,
March 15th, 2007 at The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has invited the Greek
American Folklore Societyto perform at their Annual Greek Independence
“European Folk Festival” Sunday, March 18, 2007 at The Slavic Heritage Council of America,
Inc. presents the European Folk Festival. It will feature various ethnicgroups, including but not limited to
the Bulgarian Folk Dance Group, the Croatian Dance Group, Macedonian Folk Dance
Ensemble and our very own, Greek American Folklore Society. The Event will be
held at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) located on 7th Avenue/ 27th Street, New York City. Tickets in advance are $25. Tickets for
children, senior citizens and students are $20.
“Steinway Library” Thursday, March 22nd, 2007 at
6:00 p.m.- The Steinway
Library is hosting a Greek Independence Day Celebration at which the Greek
American Folklore Society will showcase traditional dances.Admission is Free and all are welcome to
attend.The Steinway Library is located
on Broadway and Steinway Street.
“Commerce Bank” Sunday, March 25th,
at -Commerce Bank has invited the Greek American Folklore Society
to take part in a tribute to the Greek Independence Day.
“The Cretan House” Sunday,
March 25th, 2007 at The Greek American Folklore Society will be part of a Greek
Independence Day Celebration to be hosted at the Cretan House.All are welcome and admission is Free.
Greek Cultural Center located on 27-18 Hoyt Avenue South, Astoria, New
hosting a children’s theatre workshop that is to begin March 3rd,
2007, and end in June of
2007.The classes will be held on
Saturday’s from , and
tuition is monthly.
Cultural Center is presenting the play “Deka Mikroi Indianoi,” directed by EvangelosAlexiou.Performances will run through March 18th, 2007 on Friday’s and
Saturday’s at , and Sunday’s at For more information call
On Saturday, March 24th, 2007 a tribute documentary to Greek culture featuring the Greek
American Folklore Society, will be aired in Channel 75 Time Warner Cable.The documentary was filmed by one of our members DespinaTheodorescuWe congratulate her on this
achievement, and we hope this is the first of many!
The OnassisCenter is currently hosting an
exhibition entitled “Athens – Sparta.” This new exhibition brings rare artifacts to the United States for the first time, such
as a marble statue of “Leonidas” from the end of the
5th century B.C.The
exhibition is being held till May 12th,
2007 (Admission is Free).The OnassisCenter is located in the Olympic Tower in Manhattan, on Fifth Avenue between 51st and 52nd
Streets.The art gallery is open Monday
Aktina FM presents KostasMakedonaslive in concert, A Tribute to George Zabetas.The concert will take place on Friday, May 18th,
2007 at at Town Hall located on 123 West 43rd
street between 6th and 7th Avenue, New York City.For tickets and more information call Aktina FM 718-545-1151 of Ticketmaster
On Wednesday, March 7th,
2007 Elections were held at the Greek
American Folklore Society.A special thanks to all the former board
member! It was a pleasure having you! Best of luck to the new
The new board members are
President: Anastasia Tsantes
Vice President: MatinaKaragiannis
Secretaries: Maria Allagianis & DespinaHotzoglou
Asst. Treasurer: Effie Parthenis
The Annual Greek Independence Day Parade will take place on Sunday, April 15th 2007.As always the Greek American Folklore Society will be taking
part in the parade and will be performing before and after. More details and
information will follow.We hope to see
would like to extend our gratitude to all those who contributed to our Journal
for our Annual Dance which was held on Saturday, November 18th,
2006.Your contributions greatly help us keep Greek
culture alive, and once again we would like to thank you.
Group: Wednesday’s –
Group: Saturday’s –
Memberships are a one-time $50
$40 per month
$12 per lesson
Children:Memberships area one-time $40 fee
$25 per month
is a non-profit
organization surviving on its members; your help is always appreciated!Any donation is greatly appreciated, and all
are tax deductible.
We want your contributions! If you have any stories, comments
or opinions you would like to share, please email us!