2015-04-01 / Features

Greek Culture Day At Bayside Senior Center

Catherine Tsounis with book and pastry exhibit. Photo by Mr. Hermann Cheung, volunteer and professional photographer.

Catherine Tsounis with book and pastry exhibit. Photo by Mr. Hermann Cheung, volunteer and professional photographer. Ya sas, Nin Hao! A Greek Cultural Presentation was presented to over 100 seniors in eastern Queens by Catherine Tsounis and Dr. John G. Siolas on March 21st, 2015.

President Irene Cheung of Key Luck Club said, “Queens is a unique and diverse place to live, we meet, we learn and we appreciate every culture and value of each community member.  Today, our members have enjoyed and learned a lot of the Greek culture from the presentation.”  One member, Mr. Dang said, “There are so many similarities between two ancient countries - Greece and China.  We love to make food for good health and good friendship.”  Another member Ms. Lin said, “I love the Greek music!  They are beautiful!” 

“Food is a reflection of a country’s geography, history and culture,” said author Catherine Tsounis. “ Enjoy Greece by tasting its diverse cuisine. One can understand mainland Greece and the islands through its gastronomy. Eating is about understanding the country’s local customs. New Yorkers can enjoy the local cuisine of each area, gaining an insight of whom and where the local Greeks came from by going to Greek Festivals. In my book “Through My Eyes, The St. Nicholas Church, Flushing, 1987-2014, I explain the cuisine at the annual Festivals.”

“Cookies are a living family history.  an afternoon in a sweet, oven warmed kitchen is about Dr. John G. siolas and Catherine Tsounis thanking Mrs. Irene Cheung Founder and President of the Key Luck Club and Mr. Hermann Cheung, volunteer and professional photographer for their assistance in a Geros Tou Morea Greek Society Book Presentation, March 10th.
Dr. John G. siolas and Catherine Tsounis thanking Mrs. Irene Cheung Founder and President of the Key Luck Club and Mr. Hermann Cheung, volunteer and professional photographer for their assistance in a Geros Tou Morea Greek Society Book Presentation, March 10th. revering one’s past and building bonds for the future,” she explained. Twice a year I bake Greek butter cookies called Koulourakia. Food helps you remember who you are and where you came from. These recipes traveled with my great aunts from Western Anatolia. Today we are sampling koulourakia, Kourabiedes (sugar dusted vanilla cookies ) and Ravani.

Ravani is a traditional dessert that is served in Greece. Usually, the dish is made from semolina or farina and flour. It has an overwhelmingly sweet taste as it is prepared by soaking in sugar syrup after baking.”

Author Catherine Tsounis concluded her presentation by explaining  “in hospitality, the chief thing is good will, says a Greek proverb. Hospitality came from the Gods, according to the Ancient Greeks. The host was expected to make sure the needs of his guests were satisfied. In Greek society, a person’s ability to offer hospitality, determined nobility and social standing.  This concept has been woven into Greek culture for thousands of years.

Koulouria and Kourabiedes from Elite Bakery. Photo by Hermann CheungKoulouria and Kourabiedes from Elite Bakery. Photo by Hermann CheungHospitality is shown by offering the finest cuisine to one’s guests. The public’s imagination is captured by the Mediterranean Diet. Tourists experience the cuisine of the Greek mainland and the islands. They take many photos of their culinary dishes so they can prepare them in their kitchens. Enjoy Greek Festivals. I would like to thank the following persons who helped make this historic culture event possible: President Irene Cheung and her assistants Kay Wang, Wendy Lu, Teng Zhou, Justin Lin, Shihe Liu and Cindy Wu; and Mr. Hermann Cheung, volunteer and professional photographer.

Please join our Greek friends and neighbors to welcome the Greek Independence Day on March 25th." said President Cheung after the presentation. “Since December 2011, Key Luck Club a volunteer-based group provides recreational and educational activities to the older adults at Bayside Senior Center” explained President Cheung. “Our programs run every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Programming includes Tai Chi exercise, ESL classes, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese painting, wellness exercise, ballroom dancing, line dancing, vocal lessons, karaoke singing, ping pong, pool playing, and educational workshop.  Adults sixty and over of are welcome to attend our activities. It is funded by the NYC Department for the aging.  For more information, you may contact us at 646 752-1302.”

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