UPPER DARBY, PA – [Story & Photos by Steve Lambrou]
On Sunday, March 19th the Saint Demetrios Greek School in Upper Darby held its annual celebration for the Greek Independence Day. The celebration took place in the community’s hall and was attended by many of the students’ parents and grandparents, as well as the parishioners.
More than 85 of the Greek school students, from grades Pre-K to 8th participated in the celebration this year which was presented by Ms. Eleni Petropoulou who did a wonderful job not only presenting the participants, but also explaining some of the important historical events of our ancestors’ battle for freedom.
Apart from the poems that were recited by some students about our national holiday, the second graders honored our Theotokos by reciting poems about the Feast of the Annunciation. The Saint Demetrios Greek School choir, under the direction of Ms. Marilena Drakou, honored our national heroes by singing Thourio Tou Riga, Bouboulina, and Messolongi.
The excellent collaboration between Ms. Maria Markaki and Ms. Vaso Stavraki helped students to put on a wonderful short play, “Krifo Scholio – Mathima Istorias”. Some of the 3rd and 4th grade students gave the audience a brief history lesson. By reenacting the “Krifo Scholio”, they showed the audience that the children of that era would secretly go to school to learn Greek and were taught by the town’s priest, who was portrayed by George Gilbert (5th grade).
The performance continued with “Mathima Istorias” and a flash forward to 2023 as some students in 6th and 7th grades were being tested their teacher, played by Victoria Kaltsidis (6th grade), reciting some of the major events which led to the Greek victory and gaining our independence from the Ottoman Empire. During the final act of the play, other students brought some of our major heroes to life by portraying Athanasio Diako, Manto Mavrogenous, Marko Mpotsari, Bouboulina, Nikitara and the show was stolen by Theo Gilbert who portrayed Kolokotroni, amazingly.
The finale of this year’s remembrance of March 25th featured 5th grade student Apostolia Serevetas who recited the poem “Eleftheri Poliorkimeni” bringing chills to the audience and reminding us to be proud of our faith and Greek heritage.
Many congratulations go out to all of the students and teachers for their excellent organization, hard work and wonderful performances. GREAT JOB!! ΖΗΤΩ Η 25Η ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ – ΖΗΤΩ Η ΕΛΛΑΔΑ.