AUGUSTA, Ga. WJBF)- The annual Greek Festival might be coming to an end, but folks a part of the culture say it’s always around us.
“It’s a good time for the Greeks to show who they are, cause people don’t know who we are really,” member of the Greek church Chris Nicholson said.
It’s more than the food, music and the material objects.
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, in Augusta, hosts its annual Fall Greek Festival to introduce their culture and its impact on the world to others.
“Washington D.C., they have a lot of architecture with the Greek Key on it– that means long life, that’s why Washington D.C. is going to live long,” native Grecian Mery Duvlaris said.
Chris Nicholson tells me his family incorporated the Greek Orthodox Church in 1916. The native Greek has been a member ever since.
“I was baptized in this church, my sisters were baptized and my children were baptized. So, I’ve been a member of this church almost a hundred years.”
After spending time with those rooted in Greek culture, I learned that longevity and strength fuels them to share who they are with the world.
“This year is our 12th year, our first festival we’ve done, when we started this, we started here at this church,” Crafts of Bethlehem vendor Louisa Makhlouf said.
And people like Mery Duvlaris tell me symbols you might often see or words you might often speak like “ophthalmologist,” derived from Greek roots.
“The rings– a lot of necklaces too– they have the Greek Key. In Greek it means long life, it’s a very– it’s everywhere, architecture; evil eye– I call it God’s eye, good luck eye– it keeps evil away, it’s not evil eye.”
The Greek Festival spanned over four days, here in the CSRA, but those who carry their culture with them tell me, they can travel most places and see a piece of home from right where they stand.
“Especially in the little town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Our goal is to bring it out here and raise awareness that we do exist in the Middle East,” Makhlouf said.
“They can just see what the Greeks are about, the food dancing, it’s all part of living the life,” Nicholson said.