Panchiaki Korais Hails Scholarship Winners
The nor'easter that lashed New York City and forced the postponement of the Greek Independence Day Parade, from April 15 to April 22 did not interfere with the events held by Greek-American societies heralding the original Greek Independence Day in 1821. Panchiaki Korais Society celebrated a unique Greek Independence Day social with a lavish Greek buffet dinner on Wednesday evening, April 18. The focus of the program was the eighth annual 2007 scholarship program for two St. John's students of the Modern Greek Language and Literature program at their center on 43-15 202nd St. in Bayside. Nikolas Kaloudis of Kambia and Karounia, Chios and Taki Sarantis Kokkinos of Leonidion, Greece were each awarded a $500 scholarship for excellence in Modern Greek language.
"I would like to thank the Panchiaki Korais Society for their generous scholarship and all their help in the community," said Kaloudis. "I would also like to thank my professor in Greek, Ms. [Catherine] Tsounis, for her dedication to all her students and her desire to see all of them succeed. I am extremely proud to be Greek. As Greeks we are always looking to help one another and keep our culture and traditions alive. I hope that one day I too can help the future Greek students in their studies." St. John's scholar Kokkinos expressed the same sentiment and added, "It is important to keep our language and culture." Both students have plans for either a legal or medical career.
Professor Dr. Demetrios Kokkinos of the CUNY system, representing the parents of students in the St. John's Modern Greek Language Program, said, "Panchiaki Korais Society is to be commended for their outstanding scholarship program that was initiated in 2000. Eight thousand dollars in scholarships have been awarded to St. John's students. This action encourages and unites students in American colleges. Our Greek-American students only remember the Greek language from church, home and elementary school. Modern Greek language programs encourage our children to carry on our Greek civilization. This can only be done with the support of university professors working with our Greek societies. Our future generations will carry on from us."
"Unity builds and internal dissension destroys," said Panchiaki President Constantine Parthenis. 'All Chian Americans are united. We have an outstanding dance group with Mrs. Angie Klidas who makes us all proud." The Panchiaki Korais Dance group will perform at the Third Annual Greek Culture Evening on Friday, October 12 at 6 p.m. at Council Hall, St. John's University at 8000 Utopia Pkwy., Jamaica.
Professor Kokkinos said, "We must remember the sacrifice of our Greek business community. In 1821, many island communities had barrels of gold coins from trade that they donated for independence. When independence was won, our business community was left penniless with an extreme sacrifice of life. The revolution began in the Peloponnese with Theodore Kolokotronis but was firmly backed by our middle class merchants from islands such as Chios." Kaloudis of Chios and Kokkinos of Leonidion, Peloponnese represent the partnership of a strong merchant and military class. This led to a successful fight for independence in 1821 and a strong Greek American community in the United States in the 21st century.