Australian-born initiative, Speak Greek in March, aims to engage the Hellenic Diaspora in effort to proliferate the use of the Greek language.
We’re very excited to bring you information on Speak Greek in March, a campaign designed to inspire Greeks around the world to speak more Greek, and learn more about the richness of the Greek language.
About Speak Greek in March
The “Speak Greek in March” (SGM) campaign aims to encourage and to give opportunities to Hellenophiles and speakers of Greek to use the Greek language as much as possible in their everyday lives. The committee believes that the Greek language which, first of all, forty centuries ago, helped the human spirit to express itself and has since then been widely used throughout the western world and civilization, plays a vital role in the way we think, express ourselves and communicate.
This initiative started in 2015 by individuals and representatives of literary and cultural organizations within the Greek community. The organizing committee’s policy is to encourage the various stakeholders to initiate, develop and implement activities appropriate to their own fields of endeavor, which promote the Greek language. For example, schools that teach Greek may organize during March (but also throughout the year) competitions, celebrations, debates lectures and special projects related to the Greek language.
Committee chairman Mike Zafiropoulos spoke about the initiative.
“We believe that learning another language enhances one’s competence in his/her primary language. As language and culture are interrelated, retaining our mother tongue will strengthen our ability to maintain our cultural identity in multicultural Australia. It will also benefit Australia, as multilingualism in our globalized world is acknowledged to have cultural, educational and trade advantages”
The retention of our language in the Diaspora needs constant support, or otherwise it runs the risk of succumbing to the pressures of globalization and assimilation to the dominant culture and language. There are many reasons for this, including the prevalence of intermarriage and the preference and ease for children born in Australia to become monolingual, speaking only English, the lingua franca of their adopted country.
“Naturally, we we speak Greek all year round and all the time but the need to emphasize the importance of speaking Greek. Furthermore, our school system that teaches Greek as a second language, needs new ideas and the ongoing support of the community in order to make the learning of Greek attractive to our youth.”
The committee chose March for the campaign for a number of reasons. March incorporates a plethora of Greek cultural activities, it is the beginning of the school year, includes the celebration of the Greek National Day and the Antipodes festival. Of course, choosing one month for the campaign is only a marketing technique, as the objective of the organizing committee is to encourage and promote the speaking of Greek throughout the year.
For the 2016 Speak Greek in March campaign, an exciting concept has been developed to ensure a heightened interest on a daily basis on the campaign’s goals. They’have identified 31 themes, one for each day of the month. The themes vary from simple topics like the “alphabet”, “arithmetic” and “grammar” to “philosophy”, “politics”, “economics”, “the Olympics” and “mythology” to name a few. All the themes chosen, are English words, which have their origin in the Greek language.
Stay tuned here as as they unveil a new theme for each day with resources and links for parents, students and the general community. People with expertise in any of the themes are invited to contribute brief content in the form of text, pictures, video or sound for inclusion in the website. These themes have been strategically placed on specific days to reflect the historical significance or appropriateness of the theme. For example, the “history” theme is on March 25, Greek Independence Day; the “philosophy” theme is on March 7, date of Aristotle’s death in 322 BC and the “theatre” theme is on March 20, which is the International Theatre Day for Children.
For Hellenes around the world
While Speak Greek in March originated in Melbourne, it has quickly spread to other parts of Australia and overseas. The aspiration of the organizing committee is that the campaign is embraced not only by the Hellenic Diaspora, but also by other minority communities in Australia.
“We are confident that the campaign will continue to impact the maintenance, spread and sustainability of our priceless and invaluable language in the diaspora.”
COURTESY: Speak Greek in March campaign