Romania and Greece have long lasting cultural and educational ties

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Our countries have a long history of cultural and educational activities and exchanges that continues to our days. In the 18th century, two Greek Academies were founded in the Principalities, one in Bucharest (Academia Domneasca de la Bucuresti) and one in Iasi (Academia Domneasca din Iasi). Their fame had spread all around Europe and important personalities, Romanian and Greeks, were among their graduates. In the 19th century, especially after the Greek Revolution, Greek Schools operated in all cities where there were Greek Communities (Braila, Galati, Constanta, Tulcea, Iasi and Bucharest). In the 20th century, the famous Greek School “Ellinika Ekpaideftiria” was founded in Bucharest.

The first Theater of the Greek diaspora, the “Theater of the Red Fountain”, was founded in Bucharest by the Phanariot Princess Rallou Karadja. In 1819, the Theatre of the Red Fountain staged the outstanding Performance “Hecuba” by Euripide, featuring Ion Heliade Radulescu, a renowned Romanian writer and linguist. At the same period, the Greek Theater “Elpis” operated in Constanta.

Furthermore, a centuries old tradition of Publishing Houses has promoted publications concerning Greek history, culture and politics to Romanian readers. Romania is the second country in Europe where Greek literature has been so much embraced  by the public, since more than 460 books have been translated from Greek to Romanian.

Nowadays, the Bucharest Branch of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture is promoting Greek language, art and civilization to the Romanian and international public. It is an active member of EUNIC (“European Union National Institutes for Culture”) and participates in all its activities, including the “The Night of the Cultural Institutes”, “The Night of European Literature”, “The European Film Festival”, “The European Comics Festival”.

In 2017, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (Bucharest Branch) has organized a great variety of cultural events. The Exhibition of Modern Art “Romania-Cyprus-Greece” was presented, in cooperation with “Melenia Art Gallery”, the Embassy of Cyprus and the Minovici Museum of Bucharest.  The Foundation participated in the European Film Festival, that took place in Bucharest, in May 2017, with the film “Silent” of Yorgos Gikapepas. For “The Comics Festival 2017”, an exhibition of the creator Dimitra Adamopoulou was presented, under the title “The Coldest Summer”, dedicated to the refugee crisis. For the National Day of Greece, the Foundation, in cooperation with our Embassy, presented a concert of classical music, in the magnificent “Atheneum” theater. The “Athens String Quartet” performed works of Greek composers, such as Carrer, Papanas and Skalkotas. Finally, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Bucharest, in cooperation with the Czech Center, presented the Dance Performance “Europium” of the group “Rootlessroot” with the support of the “Onassis Cultural Center” of Athens.

The Department of Classic Philology and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Bucharest is offering an undergraduate degree program, as well as a post-graduate degree program. An important amount of scholarships is granted by the Greek business community in Romania. The Department is also a research center, it organizes lectures, conferences and cultural events and publishes research papers. In 2017, the Department, in cooperation with the Museum of Braila “Carol I” and the Cultural Association “Protagoras”, organized an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Andreas Embeirikos, one of the most famous surrealist Greek poets, who was born in Braila. His home was actually the Museum of Braila “Carol I”.

The Lectorate of Greek Studies of the University “Al. I. Cuza” of Iasi, is offering courses of Greek Language and Culture to numerous Romanian students. It is also a research center and organizes conferences and cultural events.

In 2008, the Greek School of Bucharest “Athena” was founded and has a prominent role among the international schools in Bucharest. It offers courses in Greek, Romanian and English to Greek and Romanian students. An important amount of scholarships is also granted by the Greek business community in Romania.

Last but not least, our Greek diaspora in Romania is active in all educational and cultural initiatives. At least 1.000 Greek students study at Romanian Universities. The   Hellenic Union of Romania is offering courses of Greek language and dances in all its branches around the country with the support of teachers seconded by the Greek Ministry of Education. The Hellenic Union of Romania organizes every year the “Olympics of Modern Greek Language”, so as to award the most brilliant students. The Greek Cultural Association “Nostos” offers free theater and dance courses to Greeks and Romanians and has presented excellent theater plays. In 2017, the play “Like a Shadow’s Dream” was presented in Arcub Theater, in cooperation with the Archeological Museum of Pella. The epic poem “The Free Besieged” of Dionysios Solomos, the National Poet of Greece, was interpreted on stage, at the National Theater  “I.L.Caragiale” of Bucharest. Finally, the Choir “Romiosyni” presented, in 2017, two concerts of byzantine music held in the historic Chapel of our Embassy.

Our goal remains to continue promoting the Greek language, art and civilization among Romanians and among Greeks of our diaspora, as well as to actively participate in the rich cultural and educational scene of Romania.