It is almost inarguable that the world of Ancient Greece could well be dubbed the birthplace of modern civilization. From the ancient Greeks we get our idea of democracy, the blueprint for the modern republic, and some of the most brilliant political writings to date. Not only was Greece a political model for the modern world, but there are so many contributions to culture and society the Ancient Greeks gave us it is almost impossible to list them all.
Greece is a country bordering on the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, a beautiful place abounding in pastures and forests, craggy hills, rocky cliffs, and miles of white sand beaches trimming azure blue crystal clear waters. From this land we know the conquest of Troy, the great name of Alexander the Great, and the brilliant poetry of Horace and Homer. Everyone is familiar with the great plays Equus and Oedipus, among others, and the well-known philosophies of Aristotle and Plato.
From the Greeks we get the complex and vibrant stories of mythology, the gods Zeus and Apollos, the god-man Hercules, the goddesses Athena and Hera, and the many wood nymphs, centaurs and sirens. The Greeks made great contributions to science, mathematics and art besides their astounding literature.
The ancient Christians considered the Greeks to be worthy and brilliant targets for their relatively new religion, and many of the original texts of the New Testament were written in the ancient Greek language. The Greeks eventually embraced Christianity and Constantinople was the first center for Christianity. Today many Greeks consider themselves Eastern Greek Orthodox. However, in the small villages nestled in the cliffs by the sea, there are still some who call on the gods for help in their everyday concerns.
It is no wonder then, that modern Greeks are a proud race, jealous of their culture. Notwithstanding their lofty and magnificent heritage, the Greeks of today are a warm people, who welcome others to celebrate their music, dance, costumes, and distinctive cuisines which includes the well-known ingredients of lamb, beef, goat’s milk and cheeses, honey and nut encrusted desserts, and liquor, especially their own Greek ouzo.
On the internet, on facebook and twitter, you can find groups of Grecophiles who band together to celebrate Greek life and Greek culture. These groups are known as the parea, a word which literally means “companionship” but which encompass all aspects of enjoyment of life: hopes, fears, dreams, loves, aspirations and experiences all to the tune of Greek music, dance, theater, art, travel and cuisine.
The Greek Parea is a unique venue in which you can explore your roots while bonding with other people who enjoy everything Greek. Members of the Parea include chefs, musicians artists, poets actors and those who just love the culture and want to be part of it. The parea travel, talk and share all that life has to offer, all in the context of the great Greek traditions and innovations that inspired a phenomenal culture that left its thumbprint on almost every modern society today.
The Greek Parea welcomes anyone who enjoys the good life, and the good people who are part of it. Venues for the Greek parea can be found online, or in any restaurant, theater, coffeshop, Greek Tavern, bar or bistro which boasts Greek culture and Greek cuisine.
Let the ouzo flow. Savor the dripping honey on the baklava. Recite the Iliad. Travel, dance, sing, talk, hug and kiss. Enjoy life and let new worlds open for you in the company of joyful people. Find the parea, and let the adventures begin. Be part of the Greek parea. It is at your fingertips.
Pareaki sto Kiparissi stou Vitorou
Parea stin Episkopi Mylopotamou – October 2008. Musicians including Antonis Martsakis, Nikos Marendakis, Kostas Kallergis and others.