A taste of Greek culture, history and tradition came to Flinders yesterday, with the annual Dimitria Greek Festival being staged at the University’s Bedford Park campus for the first time in the event’s 34-year history.
The festival featured the unveiling of a bronze statue of Greek philosopher Aristotle by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
The statue has been kindly donated to the University by the Halkidikeon Society in Greece, with the SA chapter providing generous financial support to assist in bringing the bust from Greece.
The SA Halkidikeon Society also donated $20,000 to the University’s LOGOS Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture, which was established in 2011 to preserve and promote Greek language and culture in Australia.
The Dimitria festivities, presented by the Pan-Macedonian Association of South Australia, including many dignitaries and members of the local Greek community.
Highlights of the day-long festival included Greek music, dancing, art and photography displays, cultural exhibits and traditional Greek food and drinks.
Professor Michael Tsianikas, director of the LOGOS Centre and Professor in Modern Greek, said the event also marked the formation of the new Aristotelian Society of Flinders University – a forum for members of the local Greek community to honour the great philosopher and continue to promote and debate Aristotle’s ideas.
“A student of Plato’s and a teacher of Alexander the Great, Aristotle is one of the most important and well known founding figures in Western philosophy,” Professor Tsianikas said.
“Flinders is proud to be associated with his scientific thinking, which is connected with the University’s own philosophy,” he said.
“The University would like to thank the Halkidikeon Society in Greece and South Australia for bringing a statue of this great philosopher to Flinders, where it will take pride of place in our plaza and be a talking point among staff and students alike.”