Chronia Polla . . . Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Greeks!
A little history for those who are interested!
Greek culture and language, Orthodox Christianity, Roman political institutions, and a dominant Greek population held the eastern empire strong for the previous thousand years beofre May 29, 1453, when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople and all of Greece. For 368 years of Ottoman occupation, the Hellenic (Greek) people were second-class citizens at best, constantly subjected to heavy tax burdens, brutal slavery, and many many oppressions.
On March 25, 1821,Bishop Germanos of Patras courageously raised the Greek flag at the monastery of Agia Lavras in the Peloponnese, and declared “Eleftheria i Thanatos” (Freedom or Death). This was the first day of the struggle for the next 9 years, until 1830. March 25th was already a significant date: it is also the feast of the Annunciation of angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, where she freely chose to bear Christ, who would ultimately free humanity of their sins.
During the first year of the war, the Greeks captured back Monemvassia, Navarino (Pylos), Nafplion, Tripolitsa, Messolongi, Athens, and Thebes. Mavromichaelis, governor of Mani, sieged strategic Turkish garrisons and homes. But even worse, Turks retaliated in other areas of Greece, especially on the island of Chios (directly below Lesvos), where 25,000 civilians were massacred just to try and prove a point.
Greece continued to endure many more struggles until 1947, when her current borders were finally achieved. In my opinion, the 400 years of slavery has greatly effected even the modern Greeks. I think the occupation and almost utter devastation of this country is a huge reason they are somewhat still living decades behind western Europe and the US, among some other holdbacks as well.
I am proud to help celebrate Greek freedom, and I couldn’t imagine my life without a certain amazingly handsome and charming Greek of my own! As a matter of fact, everyone should get their own Greek to love :)
PS. The adorable pictures are from today’s parade, the children all dress in the traditional outfits and proudly walk through their village waving the Greek flag!!!