“We know that if the Greek language is lost, the Greek identity and the Greek faith will also be lost. That’s why we hold onto the Greek language “by tooth and nail”, as much as we can”, emphasized Archbishop Makarios of Australia, during the greeting he addressed at an event – speech about the Greek language, which took place on Thursday, 20 April 2023, at the facilities of the Parish – Community of the Resurrection of Christ, in the suburb of Kogarah, Sydney.
The event was jointly organized by the Parish-Community of the Resurrection of Christ and the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Sydney. The keynote speaker was Vasilios Vertoudakis, Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Philology, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Vertoudakis presented an extremely interesting and enlightening presentation, on the topic: “Language and Identity in the Age of Hellenism”.
At the end of the presentation, the speaker concluded that “Greeks will exist as long as the Greek language exists”. Pointing out the need, especially in the Diaspora, to show increased care for the Greek language, he recognized the decisive role played in this direction by the Greek Orthodox Church, as, both through its liturgical life and its wider actions, strengthens the linguistic feeling of Hellenism in the Diaspora.
In addition, Archbishop Makarios, who took the floor to address the closing remarks, recalled the well-known saying of the historian Herodotus about the single consciousness and identity of the Greeks (kinship (homaemon), common religion (homothriskon), the same language (homoglosson)) and pointed out, among other things, that “these are what today express the course, the ministry and the vision of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia”. Focusing on the more specific actions of the local Church, which aim to preserve the Greek language on the fifth continent, His Eminence cited the example of the recent introduction of the compulsory Greek Language course at Saint Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney.
Finally, Archbishop Makarios warmly thanked the speaker Vasilios Vertoudakis for his presence in Sydney and for the enlightening and spiritually beneficial speech he delivered. Concluding, he wished him God’s blessing in his life, his teaching, and his God-pleasing works.
Among the audience who graced the event with their presence, was Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, Hierarchical Head of the Parish – Community of the Resurrection of Christ, Kogarah, the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, and the Professor of Greek Studies and Director of the Department of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney, Dr. Vrasidas Karalis.