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Cultural Association of Galatas “Friends of Tradition”

Katheti, in the context of highlighting important initiatives for the promotion of local cultural tradition, features people and entities active in this field. Among them, is the Cultural Association of Galatas “Friends of Tradition”. The Association was founded in 1990, with the aim of promoting the area of Galatas and preserving the tradition and history of the area. 

The dance groups 

Since the very first years of its operation, the Cultural Association of Galatas “Friends of Tradition” created classes for teaching traditional dances from all over Greece, as well as folk dances, such as hasapiko. Currently, it maintains dance classes with 120 dancers, from four-year-old children to adults. Apart from our wider area, the dancers have been hosted in Corinth, Epidaurus, Piraeus, Naoussa, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Kalamata and Cyprus. They have also participated in a festival of panhellenic scope, at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, among 10,000 dancers from all over Greece.  

Saronia 

In 1995, a cultural festival has been created, the Saronia, now known throughout Greece. It is a ten-day festival, free for all visitors, which takes place in mid-July. It includes concerts and dance performances, with modern and traditional dances. It hosts dance groups from all over Greece and at the same time gives the opportunity to people to exhibit traditional products they produce, such as honey and spoon sweets. In addition, flower, painting and photography exhibitions, theater performances and Karagiozis shadow theater performances take place. In the past, traditional games were revived, such as “kopania”, “koutso” and sack-races. Also, the Indians of our area were invited to present their own traditional dances. In recent years, within Saronia, an attempt has been made to revive the old Anthesteria flower festival. In collaboration with the Association of Attica’s Florists, the last three days of the festival is dedicated to flowers and has been featured even in national media. 

And many more activities 

In 1996, a theater group was formed, with three plays performed in the first years. The theater group then changed name to “Theatrical Stage of Troizinia” and presented important work. 

The Association has established a celebration in Apokries, with relevant songs and imitative dances. It has also revived the custom of Agios Giannis Klidonas with the fires. In Christmas, it organizes events with traditional carols from all over Greece and Christmas theater performances. Its actions include even the cleaning of beaches in the area. 

In collaboration with the Municipality of Troizinia-Methana, they organized Pantroizinian races on the road of Theseus. An event with the participation of more than 400 athletes, Greeks and foreigners, which combined sports and nature with culture and antiquities of the area. The members of the association participated in the excavations of Magoula as assistants and as guards with shifts in the evenings. 

This year, they organized an event for the 200 years since the beginning of the Greek Revolution, in the courtyard of Galatas kindergarten. The program included songs of the pre-revolutionary period and the period of the revolution. 

The Cultural Association of Galatas “Friends of Tradition”, apart from the rest of the activities, records, through interviews and research, the local ways and customs. 

The events organizing is accomplished by the voluntary action of the association’s members and requires time and effort. A key element for the support of the association is the participation of as many of our fellow citizens as possible in its activities. Spyros Karnezis, chairman of the association, tells us: “It is good not to be passive receivers of nice things, but to be active.” 

Plans for the future 

In recent years, due to the pandemic, the association’s activities have been suspended. But they have many plans for the future, and these include the creation of a folk museum. In the near future, they want to increase their 150 traditional costumes by 20. In addition, they aim to buy musical instruments and microphone installations, equipment that is very important for the development of the association. 

The money needed for the activities is collected from its members, from lotteries, calendars and dances that take place in Apokries or other periods. Also, an important support is sponsorships, mainly by Galatas professionals and friends of the association, but also European programs. 

Katheti, with a series of articles, features associations and entities that strengthen the cultural development of the area. Such examples are the Cultural Action of Troizina, The Association of Parents & Friends of People with Disabilities “Agios Kirikos” and the Hatzopouleios Municipal Library of Poros. 

 

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