MARCH 25, 2021: THE DAY THE WORLD TURNED GREEK
Greece was a part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years, since 1453, when Turks invaded the capital of Byzantium, Constantinople (Istanbul nowadays). After their revolt, the Greeks managed to establish an independent state in 1832, with the intervention of Britain, France, and Russia.
Lighting up their most emblematic landmark buildings and bridges in the blue of the Greek flag for one night, American cities from East to West honored the nation of Greece as well as the many millions of Greek-Americans who are part of the fabric of the country.
Built upon the principles of democracy, freedom, and justice established in ancient Greece, countries across Europe projected images of the Greek flag on their official buildings, or illuminated monuments with blue and white lights to express their respect for Greece and her history. The same evening a spectacular scene unfolded this at Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House as the white «sails» of the building were enveloped in a gigantic banner representing the Greek Flag on the day of the Greek bicentennial.
The Mediterranean country of Lebanon, home to a thriving Greek community, honored the bicentennial by projecting a massive image of the Greek flag on the Sursock Museum façade, while the vibrant Greek community of South Africa commemorated the 200 years since the start of the Greek War of Independence, with a series of traditional Greek songs, dances, and celebrations. Despite its distance from Greece, Latin America also celebrated the bicentennial even though the coronavirus made everything more challenging and difficult.