The internationally regarded Greek community in Melbourne proves to be one of the largest and fastest growing communities in the world. With a new and extensive range of social and cultural groups emerging with the younger generation, the Greek community in Melbourne is now arguably stronger than it has ever been. With many community gatherings including the upcoming annual Antipodes Festival, it almost appears hard not to be a proud member of this close knit community. Greeks began migrating over 60 years ago and still today, our Greek heritage has not been lost at all – three generations have passed and we shine as the biggest and best cultural group throughout the diverse city of Melbourne. And here’s why:
“Our Greek community feels like it is small because of its sense of togetherness, but it really is a large and spread-out group” says Victoria Kouloumantas, student of Alphington Grammar School (one of the Greek Community based and run schools here in Melbourne). This is easy to see, especially with the younger generation. With the accessibility of the internet, the Greek community and its groups have made their way even deeper into the Aussie way of life. Groups on Facebook such as ‘fraps stop wars and bring people together’ and ‘half Greek, half awesome’ allow Greek Australians to stay connected with the rest of the Western world and to share common beliefs and values.
Also, many functions have taken place with the intention of keeping our community close together. La Trobe University has the largest Greek student base. Last Tuesday they had their annual LUGS (LaTrobe University Greek Society) night. First Year Student Isaac Konstantinidis commented on how gatherings like this are possible due to the fact that Greeks of this generation “still thrive on enthusiasm.” After being prompted as to why this enthusiasm was still present after 3 generations, he replied that it is because of “the principle of ‘customs and traditions’ that are passed down [from generation to generation].”
The annual Antipodes festival is also just around the corner, so all Melbournians be sure to head down to Lonsdale Street as of March 27th!