The Many Faces of Hellenism

An Interesting Insight into Hellenism around the World

March 4, 2014

Under the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW's Greek Festival, Greek journeyman, Billy Cotsis, delivered an insighful lecture, 'From Albania to Ukraine; The Many Faces of Hellenic Cluture, at Parliament House, Sydney. 

Having traveled to over 45 countries insearch of Hellenism and Hellenic communities, Billy Cotsis, interestingly wove personal experience and history to deliver vivid depiction of Hellenism in Albania, south Italy, Syria and Ukraine.


Above; President of the Mytilenian Brotherhood of Sydney (NSW), Ioannis Spanellis, congratulates Billy Cotsis on his fine lecture.  In the background is proud mother, Maria Cotsis.

Above Right: The Hon. Sophie Cotsis MLC, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, Harry Danalis, and Festival Chair, Nia Karteris, were present at the lecture.

Though the Greek community of south Albania/ north Epirus experienced a strong maintenance of the Hellenic language and culture- due to close proximity to Greece and so many Albanian citizens working in Greece- the other communities are experiencing difficulties in keeping the Hellenic culture alive. 

According to Billy Cotsis, the Hellenic langauge and culture in a country, such as Italy, will disappear within two generation, even though 'Graekanikca' has been spoken in Calabrian and Apulian villages since the Byzantine times. 

Above and Above Right: A couple of photographs taken on the night. In the photograph on the left is Billy Cotsis and Louis Trandalis (left), while in the photograph on the right, Billy's parents, Evangelos and Maria, are on the right.

Interestingly, the village of Al Hamidyah, maintained its Cretan dialect, as these Moslem Syrians descended from Crete and were moved to Syria when the unrest on the island began in the late 1800s. 

A recurring theme throughout the lecture was these peoples openess to express the Hellenic connections whether it was singing Greek songs or giving Billy Cotsis the wolrd-famous warm Greek hospitality.

Above and Above Right; The lecture did get a lot of people talking...

Note; Billy Cotsis' parents, Evangelos and Maria, are from Filia, Lesvos.