Monday, March 30, 2009
Greek Independence Day Parade
Market Street and the Civic Center were shut down to traffic on Saturday afternoon as the small Greek Independence Parade made its way through San Francisco.
There was a reviewing stand across from City Hall...
...where folk dancers showed off their moves...
...in what looked like bursts of joy.
Like most other ethnic parades in San Francisco, the contingents were multi-culti...
...and included mostly Asian-American JROTC groups and marching bands.
According to the Hellenic Communication Service (click here), Greek Independence Day is actually on March 25th. "It dates from the The War of Independence begun in 1821, rising up against 400 years of occupation and oppression by the Ottoman Turks. The origin of the Turkish occupancy began in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople (currently referred to as Istanbul). All true and faithful Hellenes living in their occupied homeland reacted to the Turkish oppression and resisted the attempts to deprive the Greeks of their heritage, their freedom and their religion."
Though plenty of problems remain, in the last decade relations between the two countries have become as warm as they have ever been in history, which is one of the more promising things one can say about today's world.
After the parade was finished, the Hellenic revelers walked across the street to Bill Graham auditorium for food and more dancing.