Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, along with religious leaders and students of the Greek language, praised the mother tongue of the Greek people on Tuesday, the commemoration of World Greek Language Day.
“Greek is the language of Homer and Aristotle,” Prime Minister Mitsotakis stated, “but also the language of Seferis and Elytis.
“A starting point of history and culture. A compass of today and beacon for the future. A bridge over borders, embracing the world. That’s why we learn Greek. To speak and feel Greek.”
Archbishop Makarios urges Greeks to fight to maintain heritage
Archbishop Makarios of Australia also released a statement to commemorate the day, saying that it should be celebrated by all people — especially Christians.
Reminding his flock that it was the Greek language that brought the message of Christianity to the rest of the world, Makarios said “Of course, all Christians participate wholeheartedly, considering that the Greek language was the vehicle for the spread of the Holy Gospel and the truth of Christ in the universe.”
“Today, a day of remembrance of our national poet Dionysios Solomos, Hellenism everywhere proudly celebrates, for the fourth year, the World Day of the Greek Language. And no one is excluded from this holiday. On the contrary, everyone participates – and there are many – who, regardless of origin, recognize the fundamental role that the Greek language played in the consolidation of European and world culture.
The prelate added that the Greek community in Australia has additional reasons to celebrate today, mentioning their sacred obligation to work for the preservation and strengthening of the ties of the Greek Diaspora with the motherland.
He gave as an example the action the Church in Australia took as it led the fight to save the Greek Studies Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
A tireless struggle, he stated, was essential for the defense and revitalization of the Greek language.
His Holiness assures that the Archdiocese “will continue to be present daily in all small and large battles, holding high the flag … for the perpetuation of the Greek language in Australia.”
He concludes his message by exhorting the Australian faithful with a verse by the poet Kostis Palamas, urging them to “Hold the flag for our Mother Tongue”!
Greek language learners all over the world say what Greek means to them
In a video released on Tuesday by Konstantinos Vlassis, Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Hellenes Abroad, people around the world — both those belonging to the diaspora and other learners of the Greek language — profess their love and appreciation for the ancient, yet thriving, language.
One young tot says that she is “learning the Greek language because I want to talk to my family in Greece.” A young boy explains the allure of Greek to him by saying “It’s the mother of all languages.”
Another boy of the same age, dressed in a picture-perfect Greek folk costume, states proudly “I come from Argentina but Greek blood runs through my veins.”
A teenager says that she speaks Greek because “I am proud to speak Greek and carry on my grandparents’ traditions.”