Episode #3 – Hellenic DNA – USA (with subtitles)

Friends, ladies and gentlemen, greetings and welcome to Hellenic DNA’s 3rd online newscast, a media platform that deals with news and events regarding the Greek diaspora in the US. Culture, science, business. You can watch all our previous newscasts and topics separately on our website www.hellenicdna.com. Before we’ll proceed to today’s agenda, we would like to thank all those thousands of viewers and followers on social media, our supportive sponsors, and of course our associates who work to bring every episode to life. Today, on Hellenic DNA’s 3rd episode from our New York studios, you can watch the following: Hellenic DNA goes to Milwaukee for the 5th -and winning- game of the Bucks against the Celtics. Economist’s Investment Summit in New York. Two Greek expatriate doctors, George Tsoulias and Dia Christodoulides, in the Aegean Team. A book presentation in New York by author Manos Gavras. The official gala of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in Manhattan. Weattended two events of the students of Saint Demetrios School in April. Theatrical writer Penny Fylaktakis talks about her play “Ftystos o Makaritis”. Painter Giorgos Theodorou presented his art works at the Greek Consulate. The Milwaukee Bucks move towards the top of the Eastern Conference, after their 4-1 against the Celtics. Even though Bucks were defeated at the premiere of the series, they managed to achieve a 4 on 4 winning streak and they will be at the Eastern Conference Finals. Hellenic DNA was in Milwaukee, where we met Greek expats from New York, such as attorney Taso Pardalis and businessman Alexandros Makrygiorgos but also colleagues from Greece, such as the distinguished journalist of gazzetta.gr, Antonis Kalkavouras. We also talked with many Bucks fans about The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo, outside the new, impressive Bucks’ Home Stadium right next to the old, demolished stadium, as you will see later on. Go Bucks! Giannis is not only a Greek God, he is also an American God! A Milwaukee God! MVP! Giannis, he is great, and he has brought this city together, and it’s exciting seeing all these people wearing the #34 jerseys, and it’s a great thing and I hope they’ll go all the way today. Hi everybody, my name is Ben Wagner, and I am a reporter for the ABC station here in Milwaukee and Giannis has been quite the player to watch. I have never seen a talent like it. I just wanna say “Go Giannis!”, I love you, and in our hearts you’re MVP. I have been a Milwaukee Bucks fan since 1968, since the team began, and Giannis is without a doubt the most exciting player the Bucks ever had. And he’s the greatest player they’ve had since Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and I think he’s great. We are here for the second round of the Milwaukee Bucks 2019 NBA Playoffs, it’s Game 5, if the Bucks win tonight they clinch the 2nd round. We’re here to support Giannis, and we’ve ran into our friends Antonis Kalkavouras, the sports reporter from gazzetta.gr, Alex Makrygiorgis, and Hellenic DNA is here. And we’ve ran into each other, and it was like a mini reunion from the Greek Freak event in NYC 5 years ago, and the vibe is amazing, the energy is crazy, and it’s gonna be a wild night in Milwaukee. The city hasn’t seen anything like this in a long time. Let’s go Bucks, let’s go to The Finals, and with Giannis as an MVP! MVP! MVP! Go Bucks! Today’s the fifth, crucial game. Even though it’s May, it’s quite cold. I’m in a jacket and a scarf and I’m still a bit cold. Vassilis told me that I should get a jacket, Vassilis is so much stronger… I found myself here with our friend, Antonis Kalkavouras, and Alexander Makrigiorgis, the atmosphere here is great … First of all, I am very pleased to see you again Panos, being here as part of your new endeavor, Hellenic DNA, Greek-American diaspora’s new online media, at such a major sports event -not just for the USA- the NBA Playoffs, but also a sports event with a great significance for us Greeks, because of the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo as a player for the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo, an undisputed protagonist of this season for the NBA. It is certain that he will be the MVP for the regular season, this is my personal opnion. Even though James Harden is still considered a candidate, I think there is no doubt on who is truly the most valuable player of the regular season of this year. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is the one that carries Milwaukee Bucks on his shoulders, bringing them just a step before the Eastern Conference Finals, for the first time after 18 years. It is a big deal both for Milwaukee, it is a big deal for the Greek basketball, it is a big deal for the Greek community. Gazzetta.gr has proven all these years, since Giannis Antetokounmpo was draft #15, picked up by Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2013, that we’re visiting Milwaukee on a regular basis, and all over America. We are here in the USA for the 8th time, and we really hope to see Giannis and Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals, to watch with Vasilis Tsigkas, for the first time in our careers, we could never imagine that some years back, the ΝΒΑ Finals with Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek basketball player, born in Greece, to be the leading player. I’m in Carson’s Ribs in Milwaukee, right next to Bucks’ Fiserv Forum, we are Greeks who own this restaurant, me along with my uncle, We have Giannis who is a tremendous player, he is a great guy and a great player. He has brought this restaurant, the entire city, everything, on a new level. The entire region has been upgraded, it is called the newest neighborhood of Milwaukee. It it the most newly constructed neighborhood in Milwaukee. 4-5 years ago, when I was visiting for the first or second time, there was nothing here but a parking lot. Since the construction of the new stadium and training center right next to it, the entire area has been upgraded. There are restaurants, hotels, shops everywhere, a new modern neighborhood, which as the years pass, has the potential to reach an even higher level, and of course, you can tell who’s the reason behind all these. We are right behind the Bucks’ old stadium. As you can see, it is in ruins. And on the other side, the new arena, which will host the Bucks’ 5th game right before the Finals… We would like to thank Hellenic DNA for coming all the way here in Milwaukee from New York. Greek diaspora is familiar with the Aegean Team through the participation of Greek doctors who live and work in America, and participate almost every year in the Team’s initiatives, which focus on the fellow man and the secluded islander who lives near the border, who nowadays is in need of real support. Two Greek expatriate doctors, Giorgos Tsoulias and Ntia Christodoulidou, talk to Hellenic DNA about their experience as part of the Aegean Team which operates strictly on a voluntary basis, and its services are being supported by its Medical Department, with more than 15 specialties. Crossing the Aegean with the Team is perhaps the most significant event of the year. We are eager to be part of it, to contribute, to return to our beloved Aegean islands and help all those people and the communities in those distant places. I was aware of the Aegean Team thanks to Dr. Goerge Tsoulias here in New York. I always wanted to participate but my fear was holding me back. And this fear was the feeling of being in a small boat, surrounded by a vast volume of water. In addition, I was feeling seasick every time I was on a boat etc, ever since I was young, and all these were holding me back. Eventually, I reached the point where I said to myself that: “All these I have been saying to my patients, ie that they have to deal with their phobias, I have to do so myself”. So, I decided to join the Aegean Team. Every member of the Team is a volunteer. In total, the Aegean Team consist of 700 members, of which 100 approximately are doctors, and 100 more are the supportive staff that participates in the crossing, and all these people are moving from island to island on speedboats and our ambulance boat to provide their services, thanks to our supportive team, and an even larger team of friends who contribute in every possible way, through financial support as well. What I have seen and truly bonded me with the Aegean Team, is the love of the volunteers for what they do, along with the love and response of the islanders for the Team. The crossing’s purpose is to provide medical services to the people who live near the borders and help them support their communities via infrastructure projects and in any other possible way, in those hard times, in those distant places. One of the most touching incidents was the moment we reached Thimaina, a small island right across Fournoi, Ikaria with a total population of 157. It was so moving to hear the toll of the bells, the fireworks, it was like being in an Easter celebration. I get goosebumps just by recalling it. I participate in the crossing since 2010, almost every year, and that is very important for me, a soul searching experience, being able to help all these people. I care about them, and I carry them in my mind and soul. Why do I participate in the Aegean Team… I can think of a lot or reasons, but the main reason is that as a Cypriot I studied in Greece for free. Everything was free, there were no tuition fees or any other expenses. I feel obliged, I sense that I owe a lot to this country. Greece is everything to me, it is a way of thinking and a reason to exist, it’s something that fulfills me and brings me great joy. Greece, Cyprus, Israel. A partnership that redefines the geopolitical landscape in the broader Eastern Mediterranean region. That was the key topic of Economist’s Investment Summit here in New York, attended by the Minister of Finance and Energy of Cyprus, the State Department Deputy Secretary for energy affairs, analysts, diplomats, and representatives of energy and investment firms. It is a great pleasure and honor to be here in New York today as representatives of the Economist for the region of SE Europe, at an outstanding summit that presents the investment and business opportunities in these 3 countries: Greece, Cyprus, and Israel. As many of you are already aware, the developments in the energy sector play a significant role and there is a potential for further collaboration between the 3 countries. We hope that this forum will be established, and that we will always provide the space for a substantial dialogue, as the least we can do in order to promote and strenghten this partnership. Today, here in New York, takes place a very important forum. An event organized by the Economist, focusing on the energy-related developments, but not only these, κin the Eastern Mediterranean region. It was an opportunity to present these developments, and talk about the challenges the region faces. The main conclusion is that there’s a lot of potential and opportunities regardless of any minor instability factors there are a lot of opportunities and the greatest challenge is to face these factors and increase the opportunities. There are factors that do not help the growth of the region. One of these factors is the Turkish policy in the area. Turkey decided not to be part of any positive development in the area and is being isolated by not recognizing International Maritime Law, the Republic of Cyprus and the country’s lawful claims in Eastern Mediterranean, while maintaining troubling relationships with almost every country in the area. The “No problem with any neighbor” policy, has become a “Not a neighbor without a problem”. It is time for Turkey to realize that it is in its best interest to reconsider some of its positions in terms of her Eastern Mediterranean policy approach, since it is no one’s intention to exclude it. However, Turkey’s participation should be based on a perception compatible with the perception of the other countries. This is the solution we’re suggesting, and we believe it is time to move from a period of tension to a state of strong partnership. I am Citibank’s CEO in Greece, responsible also for both Malta and Cyprus, and I am here today, at a forum that promotes the investment opportunities in the area between the 3 countries: Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. The recent energy developments in the area have been a catalyst for bringing these 3 countries even closer, while promoting the business opportunities brought forth by these developments. Citibank is present in the area for more than 50 years, monitors every development from up close, and it is a substantial factor in terms of incoming foreign investments in the region, especially in Greece and Cyprus, where we play a significant part. For the last 3 years, Economist organizes fora in London, in order to promote Cyprus’ image abroad. For the first time this year, especially today that we have the chance to strengthen the relationships between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel, this forum takes place here in New York. Cyprus’ presence is significant on a state level, since we have here The Minister of Energy along with other institutions, such as the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency and the Capital Market Committee several individuals, like ourselves from pwc Cyprus, being also the forum’s platinum sponsors. I am a partner in pwc Cyprus, namely the Price Waterhouse Coopers institution, and I am in charge of the international markets, i.e. how we promote Cyprus in the international markets, and I am also in charge of taxation matters. Economist’s first forum in New York is a very well-organized event. Today’s event has an expanded agenda covering energy matters, the trilateral relationships between greece, Israel, and Cyprus, creating investment funds for such area. I have personally covered the real estate sector in Cyprus, where is a large number of investment opportunities at the moment. In general, there’s an interest in investing and we’re in a pretty good position to provide enough data about the overall status in the region. We are at the Economist today, and we’re presenting Screentale Project. What is the Screentale Project? It’s a film festival that will happen in Cyprus, hopefully in 2019, the first in the world of technology and film, in cooperation with Tribeca Enterprises. So, we are here happy to announce these news, we’re here to network. The Economist Forum is a great opportunity for us to publish our news regarding Screentale and Tribeca Enterprises. We’re also visiting Tribeca Film Festival, and we hope that everything will go well this year, in order to gladly welcome you in Cyprus next year. We are very excited, Tribeca Film Festival is an incredible festival, we are very excited to host this in Cyprus, and it’s gonna be an incredible event. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Board of Directors of Gennadius Library were the hosts of their official dinner in New York during which the results of the Corinth excavations were presented and celebrated. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, as you will hear from the participants, Is amongst the top research and educational institutions in the world. It was founded in 1881, and since then it is a research and study base in Greece for scholars and postgraduate students from approximately 170 affiliated North American colleges and universities. We are in New York, at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens’ annual gala, an event that promotes the School’s work, while it reaches out to young people interesting in supporting its work. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is a non-profit organization, founded in 1881 in Athens, to study and promote the ancient Greek culture. It collaborates with 195 US universities, giving the opportunity to their postgraduate american students to study and finish their studies in Greece. At the same time, it conducts archaeological excavations in various locations in Greece. Its work is truly remarkable, and promoting the Greek culture is something that truly benefits our country. As you already know, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, or Archaeological School as being called, is a precious gem for Greece. It is indeed because it promotes and assists the efforts of scientists, who are not only of a greek or american, but of an international caliber. Over the years its work has been associated with a large number of archaeological sites in Greece, a truly remarkable and unique work indeed. When it comes to the School’s facilities, anyone who visits them understands the vision of its founders and bedazzled by it, while all the efforts to upgrade them they’re in my opinion a guarantee for the School’s future, its efforts, and the overall promotion of our country’s historical heritage. What impressed me the most is the love of the American people, who have been more than helpful over the years, from President Roosevelt to G. H. W. Bush, namely names that -while i was searching for Greeks who supported it- I was impressed by all those American families that have helped the Greek archaeological efforts to establish, process, bring to the light and to our knowledge. My family’s foundation, the Behrakis Foundation, has supported the School for about 5 years now, specifically the archaeological dig in the Ancient Agora, which is run by Dr John Kemp. That is been ongoing excavation for over 50 years, he is the leading archaeologist on site today, and his work has been tremendous, it’s world famous, it’s through all the major archaeological organizations throughout the world. The highlight’s in Athens, Greece, and we’re proud to be a supporter of that. The mission of the Organization is to continue -you ‘d think that after thousands and thousands of years of archaeological digs in sites that you would’ve covered it already- but there are still many many unknown treasures that are buried, that we really haven’t had the opportunity to explore. We all know about the ancient digs in Athens and up north in Northern Greece, in Macedonia, Alexander the Great, Philip the Macedon, we’ve being finding things in Corinth and Pylos, Greece, in the islands… So, it’s a great opportunity that they’re a leading educational organization here in the US, they’re supported by 200 universities and they have significant programs over in Greece. Tonight, we celebrate the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. This is its annual gala, I am the president of Gennadius Library, which is part of the American School, and it is one of the most significant libraries in the world related to Hellenism. It has more than 130,000 volumes, covering the Post-Classical Era. Good evening, we are here tonight at the Capitale, and it is a wonderful gala, that is hosted by the American Classical School in Athens, and I’m very happy and honored to be here. And I’m also Federal President in Philadelphia, in the greater Delaware valley, and as such it’s just wonderful to see the cultural events that take place all over -especially here in New York. And also as a member of the National Hellenic Society, many of us are here to support this event and I think the cultural benefits are great for all of us here who live in the US and Greece. Caravan of Innocence, Giorgos Theodorou’s painting exhibition, successfully took place at the General Consulate of Greece in New York. Mr Theodorou was born in Athens, studied in Athens School of Fine Arts and in Graphic Design & Visual Communication Dept of the University of Western Attica. On a subject the majority of New Yorkers can relate to, The artist visually approached all those human feelings generated by the phenomenon of population shift. As the title implies, Caravan of Innocence is a selection of works over a 4 year span, presenting fugitives, who are forced to seek a better future. Today, in Greece’s home in New York, in the Greek Consulate, we host Giorgos Theodorou’s exhibition. An exhibition which -as you can see- depicts the course of people towards something better. I strongly believe that this city, New York, is the city that can best understand this exhibition’s messages and true meanings. So, immigration, the caravan, people’s shift in search for something better, is today here in New York. Mr Theodorou is a young artist, it is his first exhibition, and I wish him from the bottom of my heart that this will be the beginning Of a great career for him here in New York, just like the one he has back in Greece. I am impressed by the fact that this exhibition, or better said, another interpretation of this exhibition, is presented in New York, όthe city that probably has welcomed the most of these people, the immigrants, in the world. Ii is a project that tries to depict all those wanderers, the innocents who were forced to flea, the fugitives, the immigrants, Who are looking for something better, and this entire idea and image meets our agony, the agony of Greeks, since it was created in Greece during the last harsh years. This work is a carrier of emotions and messages. What I am trying to do is to see the portrait, see the face, and at the same time transform it into a carrier of an idea. My interest is the face of the wanderer, the face of the fighter, the one who struggles, is in agony and stress, but manages to stand tall. I usually don’t paint when I am in a good mood. But when I am in agony, when I am stressed, I simply enter my studio and try to express what’s happening to me. Caravan of Innocence is subjective. It doesn’t try to express something objective. It is my point of view, based on the experiences I’ve had during these last very difficult years we have been through… “Ftystos o Makaritis”. A funny story about a curse that passes from generation to generation, due to heredity. This was presented at the Center of Greek Culture. A genuine Greek comedy, written by Peny Fylaktaki, directed here in New York by Ioanna Katsarou and produced by Eleni Driva. A modern comedy and a satire of present-time Greece, with lots of classical Greek comedy movies references. A play that was first presented in Thessaloniki, as you will hear today by its writer, successfully toured the entire country and it is now presented here in New York for 11 shows only. The fact that I am now talking at Hellenic DNA is almost inevitably linked to the fact that that the play is about a DNA anomaly that passes like a curse from generation to generation, From the previous one to the next one, and it’s about a disease that makes you lie, cheat, be in debt, covering things up, and try to survive, and ultimately to be proven that you’re actually telling the truth. So, we have 2 DNAs in 1, the best combo! “Ftystos o Makaritis” was written at the end of 2013-2014. Originally it was three different stories, but as I was writing I noticed their similarities, And the fact that at the same time Greece was in crisis, I turned them into a political comedy that includes 3 generations of Greeks, Which reproduce a lie that ultimately comes true. The play has been presented by 11 theater groups so far in various cities in Greece, Katerini, Chios, Thessaloniki, 2 times in Crete… It βecomes an instant favorite everywhere, and I was very pleased that it managed to cross the Atlantic and come here, after Eleni Driva’s invitation, directed by Ioanna Katsarou, who I first got to know at the Greek Play Project last year, where I was participating with another play, “Seaweed At The Bottom” And there’s no greater joy than moving across the Atlantic, finding expatriates who laugh with your play, just like the audience back home. Hellenic Book Club organized a successful presentation of Manos Gavras’ book “Fistikios o Aiginitis”, at the Petros Patrides Cultural Center, in the Greek School of Saint Demetrios of Astoria in New York. The author talked with dozens of kids attending, and signed copies of his book. Manos Gavras was born and raised in Heracleion, Crete. He began his career at a young age as professional musician, while later he participated as an actor in theatrical plays, having graduated from the National Theatre’s Drama School. As an actor, he had worked alongside with the top theatre, movie and television actors in Greece, and participated in various succesful movies abroad. His love for the kids was Manos’ drive for writing the kid book series of “Fystikios o Aiginitis”, which is part of reading curiculum for kids in schools in the US and Canada. Hi, my name is Manos Gravas, I am the author of “Fystikios o Aiginitis” book series published in Greece by Psychogios Publications. I am here in America on a promotion tour for my books, and especially for the latest volume, published in Greece last November. It is my third visit here, in collaboration with the Hellenic Book Club which organizes the entire tour. We visited 14-15 schools in many cities and areas, in New York, Boston, Washington, Bronx, Queens, and this time we visited 14-15 schools. It was an extraordinary experience, the kids were incredible, and for me being able to talk to 2nd or 3rd generation Greek-American kids, as well as other kids that study the Greek language, being able to connect them through my books, with their cultural heritage and language, it is very important. Fistikios is a series of books I began writing 5 years ago, I have published 3 books so far, and the story takes place in 5th century BC Ancient Greece. Fistikios is a sixth grader, an antihero, not the most popular kid in school. However, he is love with Aphrodite, the school’s most beautiful and popular girl And he tries to become famous, someone important, or a hero if possible, in order to win Aphrodite’s heart. It’s his motivation, the reason for Fistikios to act, and onwards I present him through a series of tales that are part our mythology stories that the kids have been taught and read, presenting them in my own version, with lots of humor and adventure, and of course many morals. Which is the reason the book it part of the curriculum in many schools, both here and in Greece, It is a fun way of learning for the kids, plus at the end of each book there is an index with all the names, locations, and events that includes a small, simple paragraph describing to the kids what exactly took place, so they can have the whole picture, based on the Fistikios story, in an easy and pleasant way. At the same time, they study and learn in a creative way about their history and mythology… Hellenic DNA supports all the Greek schools located in the United States, and regularly presents events and initiatives regarding kids that learn Greek, preserving our language and Greek culture in general. In today’s episode, you will have the chance to watch 2 events with the students of the School of Saint Demetrios: An event that took place at Nikos Andriotis Hall, where the little kids performed songs about Spring and Greece, and the Saint Demetrios Choir performing at Frank Sinatra Theatre, as part of a very successful event organized by the Center of Greek Culture in New York. We are more than glad with the way our kids get in touch with our tradition and language. This is the purpose of this school, and I would like to personally thank Ms. Betsy, for doing such a marvelous work all these years here at Saint Demetrios’ branch, here at Saint Catherine. We have reached the end of this episode. Thank you for being here with us, in Hellenic DNA’s 3rd online newscast. From our studios here in New York, we continue with lots of stories and valid information. All the topics included in each episode can be watched serarately as well on our website www.hellenicdna.com as well as on Hellenic DNA’s social media accounts. Until our next newscast, ladies and gentlement, take care. Subtitles: George Mantzouranedes


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