How Do You OPA?

Happy almost the end of the semester!

December break is right around the corner. It’s approaching fast, and all of the Scotties are working hard to finish this semester strong. Before we get to take our finals and submit all the last assignments though, we are heading to celebrate Thanksgiving, a big American holiday. Check out a video post about this celebration on my previous blog.

As we approach the end of the semester, I reflect on all the events that have happened in the past couple of months. I asked one of your admission counselors, Ashley Lawrie, to share with us one of her most memorable experiences this semester. She chose the Atlanta Greek Festival, which is just one example of the amazing diversity of cultures we have in Atlanta. I hope you enjoy reading about her memories as much as I have:

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Entrance to the festival

 

A few weeks ago I attended the Atlanta Greek Festival hosted by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation here in Atlanta. The festival has been an annual occasion since 1974, making this fortieth anniversary year extra special. People came from all across Atlanta and surrounding cities to partake in the celebration of Greek and Greek-American culture.

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The Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta

I had a very memorable experience. It was all I expected and more, as I truly got to engage in a cultural experience, something that’s always possible in a world-class city like Atlanta. The music, dancing, eating and laughter all carried the joy of the occasion throughout the Cathedral’s grounds. I even got to take an ever-popular tour of the Cathedral and learned a lot about the Greek Orthodox Church, a main part of Greek identity and culture.

I bought the ‘Greek Chicken Plate’ meal for lunch, which consisted of chicken deliciously cooked with oregano and garlic seasonings with lemon and olive oil, as well as rice pilaf, Greek-style green beans, a dinner roll and Spanakopita, which I enjoyed the most. As I ate, I watched happy people do traditional Greek dances on stage as melodious music floated through the air. I could not help but feel immensely happy as though I had magically drifted across the globe to the Greek islands themselves.

I later had a very delicious Baklava ice cream sundae, visited the Greek marketplace or ‘Agora’ set up in the Hellenic Center, bought some incense and watched children performed traditional Greek dances much to the delight of the crowd. The kids had clearly been rehearsing for a long time!

Lastly, one of the most memorable parts of my experience was the Cathedral tour. The guide told us all about how important the Greek Orthodox Church is to Greeks and all about the beautiful architecture and art work of the Cathedral that we were seated in. Above us was the giant dome, which consisted of thousands of tiny tiles to make a mosaic of Jesus Christ, and on the altar at the front, there were all the very brightly colored instruments for worship.

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The mosaic on the Cathedral’s big overhead dome
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Cover of the sacred text

The church services are open for all to attend, not only for Greeks, and the guide encouraged us to attend Sunday services. I learned so much about religious and cultural history, which are two areas of interest to me. This visit made me think of even more things that I would like to learn about the culture. It was overall one of my best experiences here in Atlanta!

 

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