March 25, 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Greece’s struggle for independence. After approximately 400 years of slavery, the Greeks, motivated by the spirit of enlightenment which had overrun Europe at that time, but also by their thirst for freedom, waged a struggle although outnumbered, to rid themselves from Turkish oppression with the motto "Freedom or Death".
Their supporters in this struggle, the people of Europe who were inspired by the effort and unparalleled passion of the Greeks, urged their respective governments to support this struggle. The first country to recognize the right of the Greeks to self-determination was distant Haiti to be followed slowly by the great world powers of the time.
During these 200 years, Greece has grown. It is a beacon of culture, highlighting and promoting its cultural heritage, reviving the Olympic Games, but also participating in two world wars on the side of those who supported free thought, but paying a heavy price in human lives. Today Greece is an integral part of the European family and a pole of stability and development in its region.
The Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal — which has been serving the Greek population of the greater Montreal area (Montreal, Laval and South Shore regions) since 1906 — stated that it feels the responsibility inherited from its ancestors. “Montrealers of Greek origin are a dynamic part of our society promoting the ideals and values that our forefathers taught the world.”
The HCGM invites everyone to celebrate with them on March 25, 2021 as a day to honour freedom and independence.
Long live Quebec and Canada, Long live Greece, Long live March 25, 1821.
Statement by the Prime Minister on the 200th anniversary of Greece's independence
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on March 25, 2021, issued the following statement on the 200th anniversary of Greece's independence:
"Today, on the 200th anniversary of Greece's independence, we celebrate with Greeks around the world, including nearly 300,000 Canadians of Greek heritage who call our country home.
"In past years, Greek communities have marked this day with family gatherings and large parades. On several occasions, I have had the opportunity to participate in the annual festivities in Montréal, and to witness first-hand the sense of joy and community that this day brings. Celebrations will be different this year as we continue to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic, but Canadians of Greek heritage will continue to find ways to honour this special anniversary – whether through virtual calls with friends or by sharing a meal of bakaliaros and skordalia at home.
"Canada and Greece have a longstanding and close relationship, built over more than 75 years of diplomatic relations. We collaborate in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, and La Francophonie, and enjoy greater commercial success for both Canadian and Greek businesses through the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. We look forward to deepening our partnership as we collaborate on shared priorities, including peace and security.
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my best wishes to everyone celebrating Greece's Independence Day, here in Canada and around the world.
"Ζήτω η Ελλάς"
Prime Minister's Office