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Zimbabwe’s Greek Primary School’s OXI Day Celebration

zimbabwe greek hellenic oxi day
The Hellenic school in Zimbabwe honored Oxi Day. Credit: Youtube Screenshot

A Greek school in Zimbabwe, Africa, celebrated OXI day in the most original way. Guided by a Greek teacher, the students made a human Greek flag, as it has never been done before.

The Hellenic Primary School is located in Harare, Zimbabwe. A private Greek school, it has 400 pupils from all over the globe, not just Greek students. All the students take Greek lessons 2-3 times a week and the whole school participates in Greek celebrations, however.

With the Hellenic Nursery School also located on the campus, the school offers excellent co-educational primary school education and sporting facilities. They cater to children aged between 4 and 12 years.

The Hellenic Primary School offers two classes per grade from Grade 1 to Grade 7. There’s also an extensive extra-curricular and sporting program for all the students. The Hellenic Nursery School also offers two classes for both Grade 00 and Grade 0 reception years.

A Greek teacher leads Harare school’s OXI celebrations

Dimitra Papadopoulou, a teacher at the Primary School, was the one who came up with this unique and totally original idea for the school’s OXI day celebrations. She did some calculations and used the help of the other Greek teacher, Voula Kaklamanis, and the school principal to create this living flag celebrating OXI Day this year.

The Hellenic Primary School is part of the Hellenic Academy in Harare, Zimbabwe. The school was founded by the local Greek community in 2008. Its purpose was to further the standard of education offered by the Hellenic Primary School.

Harare Greek Primary school logo
Credit: Hellenic Primary School / Facebook

The school’s enrollment grew to 550 pupils in 2014. The sports on offer at Hellenic in Summer include cricket, tennis, water polo, swimming, athletics, cross country, triathlon and Rugby 7s.

In winter, the students participate in the following sporting disciplines: Rugby 15s, field hockey, Cross Training, and football (Soccer) for boys as well as girls.

History of Greeks in Zimbabwe

Greek Zimbabweans currently number about 3,000 people of Greek origin, almost half of them from Cyprus. Zimbabwe currently has eleven Greek Orthodox churches and fifteen Greek associations and humanitarian organizations.

Most people in the country’s Greek community are to be found in Harare, and to a lesser extent Bulawayo, Gweru and Kwekwe. Many Greek Zimbabweans maintain their identity through the observation of Greek customs and traditions. They keep their adherence to their Greek Orthodox faith, while also participating in Zimbabwean society.

The number of people reporting their ethnicity as Greek in Zimbabwe was over 3,000 in the 2012 census. An estimated 30,000 to 45,000 people have Greek ancestry, a majority of whom now reside abroad.

In the modern era, many Greeks came by way of Cyprus, Greece and to a lesser extent South Africa, the Congo and Egypt to Zimbabwe. They came in waves from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

The vast majority of these migrants came to Harare, which still has a noticeable Hellenic heritage, with churches, restaurants, small businesses and social clubs. Many of Harare’s suburbs became Greek hubs during this era.

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