A hymn to the Greek Diaspora titled “Hellenism” was released recently by the General Secretariat of Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy.
Renowned composer Evanthia Reboutsika wrote the music, based on lyrics by Lina Nikolakopoulou.
The hymn is a touching melody dedicated to all Hellenes who live abroad. An unofficial translation of the lyrics follows:
“We who like birds found ourselves far away from our nest,
but still tied by a thread to the light, the waves, and the mother tongue,
You are everywhere, like a star up there, on the sandy beaches of the mind like a white clam,
So many generations and countless children speak the language of your soul, my Greece,
We who have reached the four corners of the earth, telling others what Hellenism is about,
We who have exceeded our limits and endurance, but value this unbreakable bond.”
Giannis Chrysoulakis, General Secretary of Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy, said the hymn could act as a point of reference for the Greek Diaspora.
“I had a vision that the Greek Diaspora had to have a point of reference, a gift and a wish from their homeland, which will keep the memory alive. I wanted this vision to be musical as well.
“I shared this vision with Evanthia Reboutsika and Lina Nikolakopoulou and, at some point, Evanthia surprised me and sent me the music that really excited me,” he said, speaking to interviewers from Greece’s Action24 TV channel.
Hymn creates nostalgia, hope for Greek Diaspora
Reboutsika embraced Chrysoulakis’s vision and quickly wrote the music. “I was excited by the idea. Greeks abroad are a living part of Hellenism. I’m glad that this idea was fleshed out.”
Through the music, I tried to create the nostalgia, and the hope for all Hellenes abroad,” she added.
Nikolakopoulou explained that Greek lyrics unite all Greeks abroad. “With the lyrics in Greek, we signaled the love and respect we have for all Greeks on the planet. All these people speak the language that is the soul of the homeland.”
From ancient times to the modern day, Greeks of the diaspora, or those who have left their native land to make a home abroad, have enriched the international community in the fields of medicine, technology, arts, culture, and academia.
According to the latest estimates of the General Secretariat of Hellenes Abroad, today there more than 5,000,000 people of Greek origin who live outside Greece’s borders, scattered around 140 countries across the globe.
While Greeks can be found in countless nations across the world, there are certain places that are known as hubs for the Hellenic community, where the language, traditions, and culture of Greece live on through members of the diaspora who keep their link to the country alive.
The countries that house the most people of Greek descent outside of Greece are the US, Germany, Australia, Canada, the UK, and Albania.