Touring the Med: Greece

When was the last time you went on a trip? Each one of the member countries of our very diverse MDIO is a jewel of its own. Today, we discover Greece with CR Christina Vezyroglou.

Hello there!

I’m Christina, the current CR of Greece at Rotaract Mediterranean and I’m from Thessaloniki!

Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece and the biggest city in northern Greece. It is located by the sea and its characteristic sign is The White Tower. The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 B. C. by Cassander, whose wife was the sister of Alexander the Great. Fun fact: Thessaloniki was named after her. Thessaloniki was an important metropolis in the Roman period, as it was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire.

Nowadays the city is renowned for its festivals, events, vibrant cultural life, and nightlife is considered Greece’s cultural capital. Events such as the Thessaloniki International Festival and the Thessaloniki International Fair are held annually. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, National Geographic included Thessaloniki in its list of top tourist destinations worldwide. In 2014, Financial Times declared Thessaloniki the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle. Thessaloniki is in a very strong position because its port is a major transportation hub for Greece and South-Eastern Europe.

Last but not least, the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki is the largest in Greece and in the Balkans. I study there, too.

And now, let’s say some things about Greece and let’s begin with a fun fact!

Greece’s official name that we use in the European Union, in our everyday life and, in fact, even in our passports is actually Hellas (Ελλάδα) and officially Hellenic Republic. So, for example, my nationality, even according to my passport, is Hellenic.

But of course, nobody knows that outside Greece. What you probably DO know is that Ancient Greeks had a great culture and they created:

  • The Olympic Games,
  • democracy,
  • theater,
  • philosophy,
  • poems.

They developed all the sciences and Doctor Hippocrates set the foundation of western medicine. That is why in many countries medical graduates swear to Hippocratic Oath. Alexander the Great spread this culture and the Greek language to wherever he passed during the era of the Hellenistic Empire.

Today Greeks love the culture very much. Two Greek poets, Odysseas Elitis and Giorgos Seferis, had won Nobel Prizes. In Greece, there are many theaters and in the summer, they are filled with people watching plays of ancient playwrights like Sophocles and Aristophanes, or modern ones.

Nowadays Greece is famous for the beaches and the islands and I am sure most of you only know the islands of Mykonos and Santorini – but we actually have 117!

Near my town, there is a peninsula calledHalkidiki, which is actually the birthplace of Aristotle and has beautiful beaches and many pine trees.

Besides the beaches, tourists enjoy Greek cuisine and most importantly the Greek nightlife.

In Greece, we have 14 Rotaract clubs belong to 2 districts 2470 and 2484, we try to carry out as many actions as we can to help people that are in need. We strongly believe that actions mean more than words. Last February, Athens hosted an ERIC seminar– the incoming ERIC President Mafalda Luis attended it too –and I was invited to talk about Rotaract Mediterranean.

Photo credits to the rightful owners.

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