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Travel advice to Greece (issued 15 July)

posted 15 Jul 2020, 12:22 by Nondas Pitticas

All travelers must complete their PLF until the day before entering the country, providing detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece. In case of multiple stays, they are required to provide the address for the first 24 hours at least. Just visit http://travel.gov.gr 
  • Travelers will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the PLF.
  • Travelers will receive the PLF with their unique Quick Response (QR) code on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece (at midnight) and will be notified via email (the QR code will be provided in a link in the confirmation email).
  • Travelers boarding or embarking on the previous day of the arrival will be allowed to do so upon showing the confirmation email, since they will receive their QR code during their flight or voyage.
The PLF can also be found on the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr. It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free, prior their arrival in Greece.

Attention: this form is not available for land crossings to Greece from Albania, North Macedonia or Bulgaria.

COVID-19 Assistance Fund

posted 15 Apr 2020, 04:05 by Nondas Pitticas

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon communities throughout the world a degree of loss and suffering which affects many and the Greek Community of Glasgow and its surrounding area could not be an exemption. There are sadly those in our midst who have lost their livelihood and there will be those who may tragically lose even more. This Assistance Fund will help those in need, whatever that need may be, and will be there to help families whose lives have been most affected by the consequences of the loss pf their income, where State support is not available. There are also a number of students who have been unable to repatriate and find themselves alone and feeling vulnerable, far from the security of their families.

The management of this fund has been entrusted to 3 compatriots and it is operated via a bespoke restricted budget, appropriately named COVID, which is restricted to this purpose alone and does not integrate with the running and other costs of our Church. In addition to the COVID Assistance Fund there are also other initiatives and sources of help, please read-on this unavoidably long e-mail. In line with Government guidance, the life of this fund is for 3 months in the first instance.

How can you help?

There are a number of different ways available should you wish to contribute to this worthy cause. If you have access to internet banking, you can send your remittance to the account named ‘Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Luke, sort code 83-21-37 and account number 00122025, with the reference COVID. Your donation will be credited directly to the COVID budget and if you are a tax payer, it will be considered as the donation being gift aided, allowing us to claim the 20% tax.

Alternatively, you can donate either using your debit or credit card by visiting our page on Justgiving that has been created specifically for this purpose. You can either click here or read with your phone’s camera this QR code. If these links give you a problem, just visit www.justgiving.com and search for ‘greek & Cypriot covid-19 assistance fund’.

How can you request help or make aware anyone needing assistance?

You can make an initial suggestion either to the undersigned or to Fr Markos, we will direct it to the 3 fund managers. Any such requests are made with the strictest confidence and applications to the managers are made anonymously. As our 2020 accounts will be audited in January next year by our Chartered Accountants, in order to comply with the requirements of transparency and due diligence, future scrutiny will presented with the names redacted. There are criteria set for max. amount per pay-out, number and frequency of payments per individual or family and other similar provisions. It should be noted that all payments will be made by BACS transfer, so the banking details of each recipient are essential.

Cypriot students should note that there is specific assistance established by the Cypriot Government, to the tune of a single 750€ payment. Interested parties should contact directly the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in Scotland, Dr Constantinos Hajivassiliou, by e-mailing him directly on constantinos.hajivassiliou@glasgow.ac.uk Should an award is made, it follows that such students will not have access to the COVID Assistance Fund. Initial instructions for this emergency funding can be found on http://enimerosi.moec.gov.cy/ypp10574

Furthermore, we have been contacted by a Europe-wide charity that they can organise the despatch of food parcels directly to a recipient via DHL.  Further information for such an aid is available via the undersigned, who will direct any request to the Charity in question.

Other services

In case you are not aware, you should also note that the Holy Week services are available live, all you have to do is log onto Youtube and search for ‘st luke orthodox cathedral glasgow’. The program of all services can be found on http://www.greekcommunitystluke.scot/events-calendar Furthermore, updated news are also available on our Twitter account either by following the account at the signature below or @CommGla.

In addition, our Greek School is operating fully on-line, both synchronously (commencing after the Easter break) and asynchronously (teaching staff have uploaded didactic materials for access by their pupils whenever and as many times they wish).

For any further information or clarification, please write to info@GreekCommunityStLuke.scot 

Γιατί βάφουμε κόκκινα αυγά τό Πάσχα;

posted 28 Mar 2019, 12:45 by Nondas Pitticas   [ updated 28 Mar 2019, 12:46 ]

Το βάψιμο των αυγών τη Μεγάλη Πέμπτη είναι ένα από τα πιο διαδεδομένα έθιμα του Πάσχα. Γιατί όμως βάφουμε κόκκινα τα αυγά τη Μεγάλη Πέμπτη; Η απάντηση «κρύβεται» σε διάφορες εκδοχές και οι ερμηνείες που δίνονται είναι πολλές και διαφορετικές, όπως και οι συμβολισμοί. Τα αυγά βάφονται την Μεγάλη Πέμπτη η οποία είναι η ημέρα του Μυστικού Δείπνου, όπου ο Χριστός πρόσφερε άρτο και κρασί ως συμβολισμό για το σώμα Του και το αίμα Του, έτοιμος να θυσιαστή για να ελευθερώση τον κόσμο
από τα δεσμά της αμαρτίας. Η χριστιανική παράδοση θέλει τα αυγά, σύμβολο της γονιμότητας και της έναρξης ενός νέου κύκλου ζωής, να βάφονται κόκκινα, γιατί συμβολίζουν το Αίμα του Χριστού.

Σύμφωνα με μία εκδοχή η Παναγία πήρε ένα καλάθι αυγά και τα πρόσφερε στους φρουρούς Του Υιού της, ικετεύοντάς τους να μην τον βασανίσουν. Όταν τα δάκρυά της έπεσαν πάνω στα αυγά, τότε αυτά βάφηκαν κόκκινα.  Λένε ακόμα πως το αυγό συμβολίζει τον τάφο του Χριστού που ήταν ερμητικά κλειστός, όπως το περίβλημα του αυγού, αλλά έκρυβε μέσα του τη «Ζωή», αφού από αυτόν βγήκε ο Χριστός και αναστήθηκε.  Μια άλλη εκδοχή λέει ότι, κάποια μέρα μετά την Ανάσταση του Κυρίου μας, η Μαρία η Μαγδαληνή πήγε στον Τιβέριο Καίσαρα και του ανακοίνωσε ότι αναστήθηκε ο Χριστός και όλα τα γεγονότα περί της Ανάστασής Του. Εκείνη την ώρα, κάποιος κρατούσε δίπλα από τον Καίσαρα ένα καλάθι με αυγά. Ο Τιβέριος Καίσαρας, βέβαια, έδειξε απορημένος και είπε στη Μαγδαληνή ότι, εάν αυτό που λέει, είναι αλήθεια, τότε τα αυγά, από άσπρα που είναι, να γίνουν κόκκινα. Ξαφνικά, τα αυγά έγιναν κόκκινα και ο Καίσαρας έμεινε άναυδος. Έτσι, κατά την παράδοση αυτή, τα αυγά βάφονται κόκκινα. Το γεγονός αυτό καταγράφεται στο Ρωσικό Μοναστήρι της Αγίας Μαρίας της Μαγδαληνής που βρίσκεται στα Ιεροσόλυμα. Το συγκεκριμένο μοναστήρι χτίστηκε το 1885 από τον Ρώσο αυτοκράτορα Αλέξανδρο τον Γ’
και τους αδελφούς του εις μνήμη της μητέρας του, αυτοκράτειρας Μαρίας, και βρίσκεται στη Γεθσημανή. Μέσα στον ναό του μοναστηριού και πάνω από το ιερό τέμπλο του ιερού βήματος υπάρχει μεγάλη τοιχογραφία, όπου παρουσιάζεται η Μαρία η Μαγδαληνή μπροστά στον Τιβέριο Καίσαρα και του χαρίζει ένα κόκκινο αυγό.

Μία άλλη άποψη, ωστόσο, αναφέρει ότι πρόκειται για εβραϊκό έθιμο που υιοθέτησαν και οι χριστιανοί. Η παράδοση θέλει τα αυγά που βάφονται κόκκινα τη Μ. Πέμπτη να διατηρούνται 40 ημέρες εκτός ψυγείου, χωρίς να παρουσιάσουν καμία αλλοίωση, αν δε τα «διαβάσει» ο παπάς, ο μύθος τα θέλει να διατηρούνται για έναν ολόκληρο χρόνο.

Visit by Cypriot Technical Schools

posted 13 Mar 2017, 16:23 by Nondas Pitticas

On Sunday 12th March, some 50 pupils and 5 teaching staff (pictured) from the A' Larnaca Technical School visited our community and were welcomed by, among others, our Chair Ms. Ridi Stakis Christie (pictured) and the Priest in Charge, Fr. Constantinos Papageorgiou.  The group are on a 3-week visit to Glasgow University's Mechanical Engineering Department, their visit supported by the ERASMUS+ mobility program.
The Nicholas Trust offered hospitality at the end of their visit, organised by Mr. and Mrs. Scholarios.

How many Greeks in the UK or Scotland?

posted 14 Aug 2016, 23:40 by Nondas Pitticas   [ updated 14 Aug 2016, 23:53 ]

The probability to meet someone speaking Greek walking around Glasgow, has increased in recent years.  While accurate figures are not available, the table below may serve as a good indicator of what has happened in the last few years.  It shows the number of Greek nationals that obtained a National Insurance Number; it was compiled by the Embassy of Greece in London (c) and was published at the newspaper To Vima on Sunday 14th August 2016.

 Age 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
 < 18  12         20 27 69 64 145 27
 18-24 844 1,5081,913 2,624 2,473 3,157 916 
 25-34 1,8763,124 3,835 4,839 4,655 5,388 1,727 
 35-44 343641 1,117 1,563 1,662 2,088 736 
 45-54 117220 389 569 700 929 344 
 55-59 31 4072 120 145 200 79 
 > 60 4647 66 105 102 114 54 

%age of applications







An interesting comparison can also be seen on the following table, that shows similar applications from other countries, for the years 2014 and 2015.
  2014       2015
 Romania  145,575 169,888
 Poland 107,417 111,270
 Italy 51,217 58,653
 Spain 50,260 50,028
 Bulgaria 41,785 39,189
 India 31,749 35,065
 Portugal 30,456 32,031
 France 25,420 27,618
 Hungary 22,331 22,197
 Lithuania  20,528 21,736
 Ireland 18,237 17,646
 China 12,524 13,120
 Pakistan 12,607 12,844
 Slovakia 11,497 9,575
 Greece 9,790 12,022

Kaiti Theohari

posted 18 Jun 2016, 12:46 by Nondas Pitticas

The Greek Community and Greek School of Glasgow mourn the passing away of our long standing member and foundation stone of our School, Kaiti Theohari, who passed peacefully away on Saturday 28th May 2016.  Kaiti and her older sister Georgia McCann (who passed away on 16th September 2011) had been teaching, most of the times single-handedly, at our School since the late 60s.  It was not until the late 90s that the Greek Ministry of Education recognized their efforts and started seconding teachers from the mainland for 3-year periods to help the two sisters' work.  The community is heavily indebted to Kaiti's and Georgia's work and Kaiti's jovial character will be sorely missed by the younger generations.  She is survived by her younger sister, Dimitra.

Kaiti on the right and Georgia on the left, are pictured below with two of their pupils in an event that took place on 17th April 2007.

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