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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Remembering the 200th Anniversary of the 1821  Greek Revolution: The Filiki Eteria Museum, Ukraine

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It all began in Odessa, Ukraine. Greek merchants Nikolaos Skoufas, Anastasios Sakalof, and Emanuel Xanthos started the revolutionary group called Filiki Eteria or Society of Friends in 1814. A virtual program entitled “Children of the Diaspora of the Five Continents describe, learn and narrate the 200 years of the Revolution of our Greece” showed us a museum devoted to the Filiki Eteria in Odessa. The Federation of Greek Teachers of America, Office of Greek Education of the Holy Archdiocese of America, and other organizations in late spring were the sponsors.
Eleni Dobra, Head of Education Sector and Vice President of the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine, narrated the “Journey to the Museum of the Filiki Eteria (Friends Society) in Odessa.“
“The Museum of the Filiki Eteria has been operating since 1979 as part of the Historical and Folk Art Museum of Odessa,” explained  Vice President Dobra. “In 1994 the museum moved to its historic location, where the members of the Filiki Eteria (‘Friendly Society’) once met and the HFC is today headquartered. In its new form, the museum was created and organized by the HFC in cooperation with the Historical and Folk Art Museum of Odessa, which provided the collection of exhibits relating to the Filiki Eteria. It was then supplemented with replicas of exhibits on display from museums in Greece. A new gallery with a focus on folk art was recently inaugurated in the inner courtyard area, featuring authentic artifacts which recreate the appearance of the residence of G.I. Maraslis, owner of the building in the first half of the 19th century.”

Eleni Dobra, Head of Education Sector and Vice President of the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine, in front of the museum.

Museum exhibits of an aristocratic business residence of the 1800’s was shown. Students in Greek attire, Greek Orthodox church altar, the banner of the Filiki Eteria, and memorial of the three founders were part of the virtual program.  Vice President Dobra showed us that the Ukrainian government honors the Greek Revolution and the Greek nation. I will never visit Ukraine. This virtual program showed that foreign nations realize the historical significance of the Miracle of the Greek Revolution.
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