Greek School Portland Participates in Panhellenic Student Conference

On February 11 & 12, 2021, Greek School Portland participated in the Panhellenic Student Conference: “Dialogue or clash of cultures? On the occasion of the landmark of 2,500 years from the battle of Thermopylae and the naval battle of Salamis”The conference was hosted by the College of Athens in collaboration with the Vardinogiannis Foundation and was addressed to all Secondary Schools of Greece as well as the Greek Diaspora.

The Conference aimed toward:

● the study of the historical events that shaped the ancient Greeks of the 5th century BC as citizens of an organized city-state but also as members of a pan-Hellenic community
● the development of historical knowledge, the cultivation of historical memory as a basis for respect for the "other" and the defense of human rights
● critical thinking: what are the possibilities we have in our society to communicate as human beings but also as collectives, ethnic and religious groups, coming from different cultural contexts? How ready are we to defend universal moral principles and values, such as human rights and the ideal of dialogue and peaceful coexistence of peoples?
● the research, the collaboration, and the creative presentation of the students' findings, using the Greek language

The students of the Language Certification class of Greek School Portland, Gatziolis Stella and Papasouliotis Katerina, presented at the student conference their work entitled "I, the other person" in Greek.

Summary of Presentation: 

On the occasion of the landmark of 2,500 years since the naval battle of Salamis and the battle of Thermopylae, it is an opportunity to reflect on the influence of historical knowledge and memory in shaping the identity and understanding of the otherness of a nation. Historical knowledge and memory play a crucial role in the formation of a person because they are elements of his culture and national identity. They cultivate the ability to think critically and influence the understanding of otherness.

Growing up as Greek-Americans in a country made up of people with different cultures, histories, customs and traditions, it is obvious that our identity and understanding of otherness is shaped by diverse influences, compared to our peers in Greece. Despite the contradictions that often cause a chasm in human relationships, there are bright figures in history that set an example for future generations.

One such charismatic personality was Archbishop Iakovos, a human and political rights advocate who supported Martin Luther King, Jr., and helped the Americans realize the richness of the Greek spirit and culture.

Students: Stella Gatzioli, Katerina Papasoulioti
Supervisor teacher: Sofia Iosifidi 

Click here to watch the presentation