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Greek pride attracts thousands

Thousands of people took in the annual Greek Independence Day Parade, in Montreal, on Sunday.
Participants marched along Jean-Talon Street, in the Park Extension area.
The event marks Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821.
“We’re very proud of our culture,” says Dimitri Antonopoulos, of the Hellenic Board of Trade. “I think it’s nice to show that, even in Montreal, we still remember and we honour our ancestors.”
For many, the parade is a spring tradition, including Georgia Giannis who has been attending since she was four years old.
“Now, I’m bringing my daughters to show them what Greece is all about,” she says.
Greek schools, daycares, community associations and churches all take part in the event.
It was easy to discern the community’s pride.
“Greeks cannot live other than being free,” says Chris Geronikolos of Canadian Hellenic Congress. “We believe in freedom and democracy, obviously we created it!”
Despite all the community pride, being Greek wasn’t a pre-requisite to enjoy the event. That was apparent in the choice of this year’s the parade marshal, Montreal football star Anthony Calvillo. He isn’t Greek, though he is married to one.
“You start dating a Greek, you’re going to become Greek,” he jokes. “That’s what happened!”

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