Greek Life in Astoria!
By Ilija Sekulovski
One of the best ways to learn about Greek culture and become a part of the Astoria Greek community is through the Federation of Hellenic Societies. The Federation, located at 22-51 29th st, represents over 100 local Greek societies.
Each year, the Federation plays a huge part in the Greek Independence Day parade. The parade always has a huge turn out, with participation from over 108 different organizations. There’s more than 50 floats, and it’s covered by local and satellite TV channels. The parade incorporates other cultures as well, such as an Armenian float.
One of the coolest parts of the parade is the crowning of Miss Greek Independence. Now, this isn’t any normal beauty pageant. The competition searches for the brightest Greek female student – intelligence is valued in this competition, setting an amazing example for all the young students that are looking to stand out.
The Federation aims to not only bring Greek culture to Astoria, but to help improve the community as well. They put together events such as dances, lectures and book presentations. They also have a special program that helps residents become US citizens, and one that teaches older residents to use computers!
If you want to get involved, just show up! It’s a great way to make connections in the community, and also to have a way to volunteer. Most events are free, and anyone can participate. In recent years, the Federation used money raised from the Greek parade to rent trucks and deliver collected food to people afflicted by Hurricane Sandy.
If you’re a Greek artist, or simply want to check out some awesome art, there’s a Spring Art Exhibition and Sale going on next Sunday. We all know that Astoria is home to some of the most amazing artists in all of New York City, so the exhibition is sure to be absolutely amazing!