International Greek Language Day

Salutation of the Education Counselor in London for the 9th of February, International Greek Language Day

                                           The language is not only a means of communication.

                                                    It carries the psyche of our people, its history and all

                                                    its kindness.

                                                                                                                   Odysseas Elytis  

Dear parents, teachers and associates of the Greek Language Education in Great Britain and North Europe.

On the 9th of February 2019 we celebrate for the second time the International Greek Language Day which coincides with the commemoration day of our national poet Dionysios Solomos. This day is expected to highlight the constant contribution of the Greek language to the development of the European and international culture. Our aim is to promote and disseminate the Greek language trying at the same time to render its projection and reinforcement an issue of paramount importance, both for the Greek schools and for the international community.

The significance of the Greek language and culture is universal. Ranked as one of the richest languages in the world, the Greek language is also a source of values and reveals the quality and the strength of our culture. After all, it has been constantly spoken for centuries! According to the Nobel prize winner poet Odysseas Elytis, “we are the only ones in Europe who have the privilege to call the sky “ouranos” and the sea “thalassa” just like Homer and Plato did more than two thousand years ago”. This unbroken unity of our language points to its verbal and conceptual wealth and proves its duration through the centuries.

The Greek language may be spoken only by some million people nowadays, yet it remains the language of Theater and Poetry, Mathematics and Medicine, Rhetoric and Politics and of the Evangelists and the Church Fathers. The dense Greek language can express accurately even the most delicate meanings of Philosophy and Science. It’s an unfailing source of inspiration for authors and artists, enriching with its boundless wealth all the other languages and our daily communication channels.

Millions of expatriates all over the world help to mitigate the adverse effects of globalization by protecting and preserving the Greek language. On the International Greek Language Day, we are invited to take initiative by reinforcing its presence and promoting the widespread diffusion of the humanitarian values of the Greek culture. Currently, the challenge is to bring our language into the international spotlight, to promote it outside the Greek speaking communities. Through our language the Greek culture can contribute to the establishment of a mutual understanding, respect, cooperation and coexistence in a global world.

To conclude, let us follow Elytis’ quote to the Greeks of the diaspora: ‘Don’t forget our country and above all our language. You should be proud, we and our children should all be proud of our language.’ It would be worthwhile to encourage the dissemination of the Greek language in order to cherish its strength and beauty. After all, by supporting the Greek language we expand its influence and reinforce our country.

The Education Counselor

Georgios Kosyvas