Greece is known for having a rich and vibrant culture, as the Greeks made great contributions to philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy.
Being Greek means being very proud of your cultural heritage and celebrating it with great passion. United by their traditions, Greek people in Canada celebrate their culture annually.
It happens in downtown Ottawa, and we warn you: the video will prompt you to dance.
The Ottawa Greek Community is dedicated to organizing special events that attract Greek people all across Canada to celebrate their culture. Known for amazing food, wines, health products, religion, language, and music, Greek culture clearly has a lot to offer—and this video shows that any bystander is more than welcome to join.
So, what is it all about?
The video shows a Greek dance flashmob that aimed to promote the 2011 Ottawa Greek Festival. It happens in the middle of the ByWard Market, which is Ottawa’s main tourist attraction in downtown Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.
If you happen to visit Canada, and you’re in seek of shopping, dining, arts, or entertainment–go to ByWard Market.
Greeks know that very well, and that’s why they decided that it’s a perfect place to surprise citizens, regardless of their culture, and offer them a piece of Greece. The festival is held every August, and it lasts a couple of days. Find out more at the official website.
First, you’ll see a band in the middle of the street.
They are about to play a song, but the man approaches them and asks for Zorba. So, what is it? Zorba is the main protagonist of the 1964 movie Zorba the Greek. Zorba, who was played by Anthony Quinn, is a Greek musician who popularized the dance called Sirtaki.
It’s also known as Zorba’s Dance and is a mixture of slow and fast rhythms of the traditional hasapiko dance.
The name sirtaki translates to “drag” or “lead” in dance. In case you haven’t seen anyone dance sirtaki yet, the “dragging dance” style will be much clearer to you after you see the video. It begins with a couple of people dancing in the street, but before long, we were amazed by the phenomenal atmosphere they created.
It’s raining a bit, but nobody seems bothered at all.
Soon everyone joins in, and you have a huge crowd of smiling faces dancing around. This might be the best flashmob we’ve seen in a while!
People are dancing around and having a great time—children join in and then you see a man running out of a restaurant with a whole mountain of plates in his arms.
Why? Those white plates are about to be broken, and the man who ordered sirtaki breaks the first one.
It’s a well-known tradition that serves to fool the evil spirits.
Greeks believe that bad spirits won’t come anywhere near happy people when they hear the noise, hence the smashing of those plates. If you make a ruckus, nasty creatures will think you’re angry or upset when in fact, you’re celebrating.
What an interesting custom!
Since this clip was posted, it has earned more than 14 million YouTube views.
When everyone in the crowd said “Opa!” out loud at the same time, we almost felt as if we were there sharing the same joy.
This is such a great way to celebrate a culture! The universal treasure of mankind is the ability to share love, friendship and kindness, regardless of age, color, religion, or nationality.
We’re happy to think about that lesson every day, especially if it’s in such a jolly manner!
Check out the full performance below:
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