According to organizers, the Greek Independence Day parade in Montreal on Sunday was one of the city’s biggest ever.

“We figure about 2,000 to 3,000 participants [took part] in it, and about 5,000 spectators were present” said Chris Adamopoulos, director general at Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal.

Part of the reason, some believe, was the good weather. But a more likely cause for the huge turnout, say those who put the parade together, was the presence of two prominent guests.

Story continues below advertisement


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis attend the Greek Independence Day parade in Montreal, Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis greet Tom Argiropoulos, right, during a visit to Cafe Alphabet in Montreal, Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

“It’s a big day,” grinned spectator Maria Govostis. “We have our prime minister of Greece here visiting, we have the prime minster of Canada. Why would I stay home?”


The email you need for the day’s
top news stories from Canada and around the world.


The email you need for the day’s
top news stories from Canada and around the world.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led the parade along with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Jean Talon Street in the city’s Parc Extension neighborhood which is in the heart of Trudeau’s riding.

Story continues below advertisement

“Justin Trudeau invited the prime minister of Greece to come to the parade,” Adamopoulos told Global.

For many at the parade, Mitsotakis’ attendance added significance.

“It’s really cool,” said Anna Maria Vassiliou, who took part in the event. “It’s the first year that he’s been to the Montreal one, so we’re happy to have him here.”


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, look on as Tom Argiropoulos prepares a freddo cappuccino during a visit to Cafe Alphabet in Montreal, Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre left, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, centre right, attend a mass at the Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Montreal, Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

For some people like Nopie Tzotzis, who teaches Greek dancing, the parade is also about knowing the culture, history and keeping traditions alive.

Story continues below advertisement

“The real traditions,” she said. “Greek dancing is not just breaking plates. We have to keep the real traditions going.”

Greece fought for and won independence from the Ottoman Empire in the mid 1800s. Many at the Montreal parade Sunday see the event as a way to pay homage to their ancestors.

“They were enslaved for many, many years and they went through a lot of hardships,” Emmanuel Orfanos, another parade participant pointed out. “To be able to represent them in this day and age and to remember them for all of their efforts, I think is very important.”

For Angie Katsiaras who watched the parade, the event goes even beyond that. She sys it’s about passing on the history and traditions to the next generation.

“So they can feel our culture, our traditions, and instill the values of hope, freedom and acceptance for all of us.”

A key lesson to learn, especially in a place like Canada, she added.

“So we can all share and learn from each other. It’s what defines Canada.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

By admin