The capital of the State of Arizona, Phoenix, had the opportunity to experience a great feast for three days.
More than 3,000 Greeks from the western United States came to Arizona and proved that the younger generations of expatriates keep their love for traditional dances and music from their homeland. Proving in the best way that the musical and dance tradition from Kythnos, Crete, Epirus, Pontus, and other areas of the homeland, not only does not fade with time but is transmitted to the younger generation even stronger.
The Orthodox Church of America has managed to inspire thousands of young children and adolescents with passion and love for Greek music and dance tradition. In Phoenix, Arizona, last weekend thousands of Greeks and their children participated in the largest festival of Greek music and dance, the FDF, organized by the Orthodox Church and specifically the Metropolis of San Francisco. FDF is the largest music and dance festival in the United States with Greek color and sound and has been organized for 46 consecutive years.
The three-day event was honored by the presence of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who presented awards to children and young people who competed in the festival. The Archbishop of America said he was impressed with the passion and love of children and young people to learn and compete in the traditional dances of the country.
“Your presence and the struggle you are waging is a living testimony of your Greek Orthodox identity,” he said, addressing all the contestants, calling them to be proud of themselves, as he is proud of their presence at the Festival. “You all did your best and you are all champions. Your participation confirms your faith and your love for our country,” he said.
For a whole year, young people prepared feverishly in the Orthodox parishes of the western states of the USA to participate in the festival. To prove that the dances and musical traditions of their land, their ancestors, not only do not fade away but must be kept strong and kept unchanged in the future.
With pride they wear traditional costumes from all corners of Greece and present dances with great difficulty, singing elaborate traditional songs. In order to be able to perform the difficult songs, some Orthodox parishes invited organists from Greece from Crete, Macedonia, and the Cyclades to participate.
In fact, the FDF organizing committee announced that they intend to organize, on the occasion of the Festival’s half-century anniversary in 2027, a similar event in Athens. To enable young children to present their own view of the Greek and dance tradition.