The Hellenic-Indian Society for Culture and Development (Elinepa) with the collaboration of the cultural centre of the municipality Cholargos and the Indian embassy of Athens organized a ten-day programme from 15th to 25th May 2006 dedicated to India and its culture, as well as the relation of Greece towards it. The festivities took place at the spiritual centre of Cholargos and contained the following:
15.05.2006 (Monday) 8:00 pm:
Welcome from the A.E ambassador of India in Greece Dr. Bhaskar Balakrishnan. This was followed by a lecture from Mrs. Linda Sandala regarding Indian dance: Theory (movements of the hands and body and a comparison to ancient Greek dance), as well as a performance of the pioneer Indian choreography with the Greek theme of Thyseas that was created by Mrs. Sandala.
17.05.2006 (Wednesday) 8:00 pm:
Introduction to the Indian philosophy
Mr. Dimitris Vassiliades, Dr. of Philosophy of the University of Benares, spoke about the ancient Indian and Greek philosophy, pointing out especially the multiple differences and similarities. Mrs. Zelika Pasali, Dr. of Philosophy of the University of Paris, spoke about the philosophy of Nagarsuna and explained the meaning of nihilism. Closing, Mr. Ioannis Manetas, translator of philosophic texts, presented short-winded ancient Indian philosophic texts.
20.05.2006 (Saturday) 8:00 pm:
The Great Alexander and his heirs in India
Dr. Dimitris Vassiliades spoke about the mission of Alexander the Great and his heirs in India.
Mrs. Potisa Grigorakou, Dr. of Archaeology of the University of Paris, spoke about the Greek-Buddhist art of Gadaras using the projection of slides.
Dr. Nicolas Vernikos, Professor Emeritus of the Aegean University, lectured on the Greek-Bactrian coins.
21.05.2006 (Sunday) 8:00 pm:
The musicologist Eugenia Tsoungou was invited from Larissa in order to present the Indian influence on Greek music during the decade of the sixties. Her speech based on the work of Mrs. Eleni Ampatsi and Mr. Manolis Tasoulas, who published the study “Indoprepon Apocalypse”. During the programme, songs of this period in Greek and Indian were performed and extracts of movies, as well as pictures were shown.
22.05.2006 (Monday) 8:00 pm:
The film “The creation of Mahatma” by Siam Benegal was shown. The movie reports on the efforts of Mahatma Ghandi for the advocacy of the rights of his compatriots in South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. The presentation of the Greek dialogues was made by ELINEPA with the kind support in a form of a donation from the Indian embassy in Athens and was also shown earlier with success at the American College of Athens.
24.05.2006: (Wednesday) 8:00 pm:
The author Dioni Ntonti spoke about the 200 year old Greek presence in India (1750 – 1950) with the use of slides.
25.05.2006: (Thursday) 8:00 pm:
The wife of the Indian ambassador in Greece, Mrs. Balakrishnan, Dr. D. Vassiliades, the alternative practitioner Ifiannasa Karampatsou and Mrs. Elisabet Katoni from the Ecological Movement of Mr. Konstantinos Papanikolaos spoke about Indian cuisine.
The festival ended with the salutations of the Mayor of Cholargos, Mr. Dimitris Nikolaos, who emphasised the hospitality of his municipality and expressed his conviction that similar festivals would take place more frequently in the future.
Afterwards, music and songs from India were presented and performed by the musicians:
Kostas Kalaitzis (vocals)
Anil Kumar (tablas)
Lefteris Mitropoulos (tablas)
Giorgos Glinos (tablas)
Giorgos Mitsikaris (bansuri flute)
Giannis Mitsikaris (bansuri flute)
An exhibition of photographs from the journalistic photographer Antonis Vassiliades under the title: India – Colours and spirituality, was presented during the whole festival with positive feedback.
The visitors-listeners enjoyed special Indian delicacies which were offered by the Indian restaurant “Iskandar”, which opened recently and is situated at Leoforos Eleftherias 6 and Leoforos Posidonos at Alimo (Tel: 210-9886474). The expenses were covered by kind donations of the Bookstore Dodonis and the Indian store of Abul Kalam, as well as of the Gulf Airways, who offered three flight tickets from India to Greece.
The great success of the program is owed to the organising competence of Mr. Panagiotis Makridis, vice-president of the P.P.K. of the municipality of Cholargos and Mr. Antonis Papadopoulos, general secretary of ELINEPA.