Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Glenti 2014

Cypriot Community Dance Group Source: News Corp Australia
This weekend has been busy and fun around here. A mix of entertainments catered to all tastes. We went to the Glenti. It was expected that more than 50 000 people would attend and surely that was exceeded. A really well-run event.

Outside Greece, where do the most Greek people live? New York? No. London? No. Melbourne? Yes. There are more Greek people living in Melbourne than in any other city outside Greece. And Melbourne is usually cold and miserable at this time of year. Where else in Australia do Greek people live? The next largest population of Greek people in Australia is right here in sunny warm Darwin. Public holiday and long weekend? Yes, tick that box. Time to party! Ready for the invasion of Melbourne visitors!!!

The term Greek is used quite broadly here and encompasses other ethnic groups such as Cypriots. In Darwin the Greek community centres around the Greek Orthodox Church, St Nicholas, which also runs a Greek school on an out-of-hours basis. People speak Greek at home and English elsewhere.

The biggest rotisserie imaginable, maybe 4 metres long
and everything rotating smoothly.
The Darwin Glenti runs for two days and is held in beautiful Bicentennial Park in the city overlooking our tropical harbour. Jungly cliffs. Music. Lush lawns. Undercover tables and chairs. Side shows. Alcohol. Food. Free entertainment. Dancing. Music. Traditional costumes. Thousands of visitors, mainly from Melbourne. Interstate and International celebrities. No attendance fees. Participate or just watch. Profits are donated to charity.

Greek families work for months to have everything organised. You should see the barbeques!!! I took a photo of one, cooking lamb and pork. It was expected that around two tonnes of meat would be served over the weekend. Squid is popular. Fish and chips. Dolmades. Honey puffs. Salads. Absolutely gorgeous desserts and pastries. Greek wines, beer, and ouzo. Coffee. A good range of soft drinks and water. Most people do not mind paying solid prices for their dinner when they know that the profits are not lining anyone's pockets. Chips were $5 a serve and yiros $10 each. But the entertainment was free.

Loved it. Bought far too many pastries, take away style. I can guarantee that they were all delicious and superbly made.

Are these Greek people Australians? Yes. It is a mix that works well. Would you know a person was Greek just by looking at them? No. Do they all work in construction? No. Do all the old women wear black? No. It is possible to retire and have your Australian pension paid to you while you live cheaply in Greece. Or you can stay here where your friends are, where life is always good.

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