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Τhe cutting of the traditional Vassilopita

In a very festive and pleasant ambiance the House of Europe has cut its traditional Vassilopita in the hospitable hall of the “Rodon Cafe” with the attendance of numerous members and friends.

The Vassilopita has been blessed and cut by the Archbishop of Rhodes Kyrillos and the Mayor of Rhodes Mr Stathis Kousournas has honored the evening.

The president Marilena Sokianou, addressed the party approaching the crisis problem in Greece and in the E.U. then she shortly referred to the activities of the House through 2012 and announced some of the activities the House plans for the next 5 months.

At this year’s Vassilopita the House has proclaimed Mr Manolis Antonoglou, as its honorable member. Mr Antonoglou economist, writer, director and actor, is the founder of the Theatre of Symi and has written, directed and played 27 plays, all written in the dialect of Symi. The House has also honored the Symian Association “Glafkos”, which has been founded in 1983 and a year later it has started its theatrical amateur group, aiming to save the symian dialect and the symian culture.

A rich lottery has followed.

The evening was concluded with the kind participation of the two young sisters Asteropi, playing the piano and Theodora Hatzimichali singing.

Manolis Antonoglou was born on the island of Symi and graduated from the Panormitio High School of Symi. He has studied in the Industrial Economic University of Piraeus (today Economic University of Piraeus). Since 1983 he lives and works in Rhodes. At first he has worked in the ANES nautical company and later worked at the Port Authority Foundation of the Dodecanese.

He has been a founding member of the Economic Chamber of Greece. For a number of years he was elected member of the Regional Section of the Dodecanese and he served as its President for the period 1993-1996. In 1994 he was elected member of the Municipal Administration Board of the Municipality of Rhodes and for the period from 1995 to the beginning of 2006 he served the Municipality of Rhodes as President of the Municipal Cultural, President of the Municipal Regional Theatre and of the Museum of Modern Greek Art.

Since 1983 he contributed in the foundation of “Glafkos”, the Association of the Symians living in Rhodes, as founding member, with many activities related to the Symian folklore. In 1984, within the Association “Glafkos”, an amateur theatrical group was founded, aiming to preservation of the characteristic Symian dialect. 27 plays, all written in this dialect, have been presented with people originating from Symi interpreting the leading roles.

A leading moment for the Symian Theatre has been the presentation in 1989, of the classic ancient comedy “Lyssistrati”, by Aristophanes, written though by Mr Antonoglou in the Symian dialect. The play, which was supported by the Municipality Theatre, has been crucial for the opening of the group to more collaborations. The play has been attended by 12.000 spectators in Rhodes and another 5.000 in the theatre of Lycabetus, in Athens. Its undoubted success has been praised by prestigious critics of the Athenian press, namely by Mr Georgoussopoulos (daily newspaper “TA NEA” 17/10/1989). Video-taped fragments of the play have been shown during the 1st International Conference of the House of Europe in Rhodes (European Year of Languages), in the section concerning dialects and local tongues, organized within the premises of the University of the Aegean. Another two plays, inspired by classic ancient Greek comedies by Aristophanes, have been presented later and namely during the celebration of the 2.400 years since the foundation of the City of Rhodes.

In 1994 he was in the first rank for the foundation and function of the Symian House in Rhodes, in a building own by the Symian Association, which functions eversince as a folklore museum and hosts several activities of “Glafkos”. Fellow-travelers in all these efforts has been a number of people, members of the association, who offer their time and skills voluntarily. Among them one should distinguish the late Merkouris Charitos and the current president of “Glafkos” Mr Sotiris Zouroudis, for their valuable contribution.

Asteropi Hatzinikola was born in Rhodes and since her very young age she started attending lessons of classic ballet dancing (3 years of age) and classic piano (5 years of age) with many distinctions in pan-dodecanesian or local school contests and very high grades in the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD).

Through all of her school years she has been a diligent and an excellent pupil succeeding her admission in the Philosophical Faculty of Athens, the literature section, attending simultaneously the professional Dancing School “Anna Petrova” and the Greek Conservatory of Athens. In 2010 she has got her Diploma of Dancing Teacher and in 2011 her piano diploma, getting the highest grade. Now she is a graduate of Greek Literature and continues her studies as a graduate in the piano. She has participated in many performances (3rd Piano Festival in Poros -“Clair de Lune”, “Hindurch” etc).

Among her literary activities one distinguishes her writing of fairy tales which she intends to publish and she is dreaming to write a play for children and a scenario-direction of a short length film.

Theodora Hatzinikola, has received her first prize, among 136 participants, in the Children’s Contest of Singing, which is organized every year in Karditsa in 2009, at the age of 14.

During the past 9 months she has started attending opera lessons with the German soprano Mrs Guizela Schubert. She is attending the 3rd grade of the Senior high School Venetoklion and she hopes to be admitted in the University to study Medicine, hoping to become a doctor to help people. She has participated in many performances pro bono.