On Monday evening, the parish had a get-together for fellowship, music, and a talk about the important role of grandparents in society.
The event was held at the elegant Panorama Hotel, which is next to my house, and there was a 10 euro entrance fee. After the minimal cost of the coffee that was served, the rest of the money was donated to "Melissa," a home in Panorama for kids with special needs. The money will be used to take the kids out to do things they enjoy.
The evening began with a 10-minute talk on the changing roles in society, and how grandparents play a crucial role especially in caring for children today, as both parents now have to work. The talk encouraged everyone to value the contributions of our elders and not take them for granted.
The evening was then followed by two choirs. The first, from Panorama's group of retired persons (see above and below), sang a few traditional songs.
The second choir (see above and below) sang several traditional Pontian songs (i.e., songs from the Greeks of Asia Minor), which feature a lyre and a guitar. I like this music very much.
As you can see below, the event was quite well-attended. This was aided, no doubt, by the fact that elections are coming up this Sunday, Nov. 7. (In Greece, elections are always held on Sundays, to be sure everyone has the day off and is able to vote, which is actually required by law.)
This also means that in the days leading up the elections, several things happen: 1. All the public works for the whole year take place now. All those annoying potholes are filled, especially if they happen to be near an important person's house. 2. All the candidates suddenly become very devout, attending every Liturgy (and handing out literature afterwards). They are also very eager to be seen in public with priests, so there's much more venerating of the priest's hand in these weeks.
Of course, this is the same in the U.S., where the candidates usually want to be photographed in church in the months leading up to the election, and then are usually never seen there again.
One difference in the election process here that I particularly like is the duration. Since elections aren't on a fixed schedule, but are rather announced periodically, the election season is blissfully short, usually about a month. This is a welcome relief from the 2-year marathons, which no doubt the U.S. will soon be entering for the 2012 presidential election.