Greeks abroad are keepers of Greek traditions including that of travel abroad, where they made new homes and excelled, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in her holiday message to the diaspora for Christmas and the New Year on Friday (Christmas Eve).
“You experienced a tug of war between the familiar and the foreign, and you fought to bridge differences, succeeding without forfeiting your national characteristics,” President Sakellaropoulou said, “and along with your children, second-and third-generation Greeks, you have resisted the relentless process of assimilation, holding on to indissoluble emotional ties with your homeland that determine your self-perception.”
Greeks abroad “keep alive the tradition of their Greek identity,” which is “associated with open horizons, the need for communication, the encounter with other cultures, and the interaction with their most salient features,” the president said, noting that the history of Greeks, since antiquity, has been “tied to travel – wherever Greeks went and grew roots, they prospered and excelled.”
The president named several benefactors of Greece who were diaspora Greeks through the modern ages. She also noted that Greece today faces several challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, the migration issue, the climate crisis and “a turbulent and often threatening environment,” especially in the East Mediterranean. It often has to face Turkish illegal actions and aggression, and particularly the Cyprus issue, she underlined.
These are challenges that the Greek communities abroad have a role to play, and they take an active part in helping promote the country’s interests and a positive image of Greece, Sakellaropoulou said, wishing them the best for the holidays.