An idea, born at Easter 2015 on the platia of Agios Kirikos is now shaping up and will be realized at the beginning of November 2015 in Brussels. Sitting over a coffee and discussing the urgent need of financial support to enhance socio-medical projects as well as environmental friendly projects to develop the local economy and tourism, the idea came up to organize an “Ikarian Panigiri” in Brussels for fund-raising and to distribute the income to social projects on the island. Once discussed, the idea became larger, because a Panigiri is not only a good opportunity to “export” the sunny summer feeling of Ikaria, but equally a good platform to promote Ikaria as a unique tourist destination - and this combines well with the promotion of local Ikarian products and its typical recipies.
From the idea to realization has been a difficult path, combined with a lot of interesting experiences. Even though the idea seemed a bit crazy, some Ikarians supported the project from the very beginning - for a variety of reasons - to contribute to the social aspect of the project and to do something for the Ikarians, but also to help the promotion of the island and to facilitate access for local producers to the European market. Brussels is a perfect place for this: apart from being the European capital, it is the multi-cultural center of Europe, with its large Greek community and also many other inhabitants, who are interested in Greece.
Furthermore many of these people sympathize with the difficult social situation in Greece due to years of austerity policy and are open to support face-to-face-projects in Greece, meaning that the donation is not given to an anonymous organization, but it is invested in real materials, to be given to the projects in need.
On this background three projects were developed with several partners from Ikaria and Brussels. All together they are running under the title “Ikarian Days in Brussels”.
It will all start on 4 and 5 November 2015 at 20.00 h with the “Savouring of Ikarian food”, which will be prepared by Eleni Karimalis from Pigi, Ikaria. At the Greek restaurant “Philema” in Brussels she will compose a menu based on Ikarian recepies, also bringing ingredients cultivated by herself on Ikaria.
The excellent Ikarian bio wine “Pramnian Odysssey”, produced by her husband Yorgos Karimalis, will be served with the menu.
On Friday, 06 November 2015, 20.00 h, there will be a “full-package” presentation of Ikaria, that will take place at the well known Brussels concert center Art Base. Owner Frans de Clercq is not only known among the Brussels community for offering a broad variety of high quality music events from all over the world, but he also has a strong relationship with Greece. He has been a fan of Ikaria for a long time. When approached with the idea to be part of the “organization of Ikarian-Days” he immediately jumped on board and became an important partner. So on 6/11 Art Base will turn into an Ikarian gathering, where the guests will learn about the island and eat, drink, enjoy music and dance if they want.
The film “Pure island”, directed by Adonis Glaros in 2014, will introduce the landscape of Ikaria to the Brussels public. Nikos Plakas and his musicians - Kostas Kalogridis and Charis Karapetis -, who are performing under the name “O Ollandos kai i parea tou“ from Ikaria, will join us and create a unique Ikarian atmosphere. A buffet will be provided, based on Ikarian recepies, and of course there will be Ikarian wine, sent over by Yorgos Karimalis.
“A Discovering Network asbl” President, Mrs. Thisvi Ekmetzoglou, will present elements of the Mediterranean diet linking it with Ikarian products and recepies. We are looking forward to welcoming about 80 people to this event.
Please see the recipes here :
On Saturday, 07 November 2015, 18.00 h, the main event of "Ikarian Days" is taking place. At Place Ste. Catherine, in the very heart of Brussels, here the “Ikarian Panigyri” will be held. We expect more than 300 people from different European countries to attend. The group “O Ollandos kai i parea tou” - Nikos Plakas, Kostas Kalogridis and Charis Karapetis - will energize the proceedings and bring us into a Dionysiac Ikarian spirit. Volunteers will prepare the food and there will be Ikarian wine, produced by Yorgos Karimalis.
Frans De Clercq from Art Base and Fanis Trikilis, director of a Dance School in Brussels, are in charge of this event. It is an adventure, never done before, and we are sure we will all have an amazing evening. The event is already being followed by many with high curiosity.
This event will also be used as a platform to promote Ikaria as a tourist destination.
Please note the following:
- A part of the income of the “Ikarian Days” will be used to fund various social and economic projects on Ikaria. This is the “Brussels” contribution to the development on Ikaria. The names of the supported projects will be published very soon. Please note that the projects will not receive “cash”-money, but that the donations will be used to buy the materials needed to help with the daily work.
- The events in Brussels receive a substantial support by the network “A Discovering Network of Greek Products” - a network founded by Greeks in Belgium to promote Greek products (www.adiscoveringnetwork.eu). Apart from offering substantial support in promoting the “Ikarian Days”, they will publish Ikarian products and recipies on their web-site. Information on recipies are going to provided in situ. Dora Kodona and Stella Dadamogia are behind this effort.
- The events are initiated and coordinated by a private group of people, who want to support Ikaria – above all the financing of social projects and the marketing of local products. Those involved are: Birgit Urban (a frequent visitor of Ikaria), Yannis Loizidis and Anastasia Zisakis (both with roots on Ikaria), and Sakkouliz Caibo (fan of Ikaria).
- Valued volunteers, helping with the meals, are friends and family members of the coordinators.
You can subscribe to the above mentioned events as follows:
- 04 and 05 November 2015 20h: PHILEMA “Savoring Ikarian recepies”: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 06 November 2015: ART BASE ‘Meet Ikaria’: email@example.com
- 07 November 2015: PANYGURI-FETE DE VILLAGE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ikarian Winery and cooking: Yorgos and Eleni Karimalis: http://www.ikarianwine.gr/
Art Base: www.art-base.be;
“A Discovering Network asbl” Belgium: T. Ekmektzoglou, S. Dadamogia, D.Kodona, A.Ntantinaki, S.Pavlis, A. Kyriakakis, K. Tsichlaki
Travel information:If you want to book a cheap flight from Athens for this event call KOSTAS KIZAS TRAVEL AGENT, Tel. 69 77 06 74 62. Prices are still low! Or: Ryanair flights - www.ryanair.com (landing outside of Brussels, bus ticket to Brussels : 14 EUR) If necessary, we can help to find accommodation. We hope that this information will give a sufficient overview of the background of the « Ikarian –Days » in Brussels. In case of further requests, please do not hesitate to contact Birgit Urban (see contacts above).
Birgit Urban (coordinator of the projects)
The A Discovering Network team is participating on the Ikarian Days Event in Brussels between 4 and 7 November 2015 to support the Iraria products introduced in Belgium. To find out more please read the press release and schedule a visit to see our actions to support Greek products