Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spiritual peace using a mandala


Mandalas are commonly used by tantric Buddhists as an aid to meditation. More specifically, a Buddhist mandala is envisaged as a "sacred space," a "Pure Buddha Realm," and also as an abode of fully realised beings or deities. While on the one hand, the mandala is regarded as a place separated and protected from the ever-changing and impure outer world of samsara, and is thus seen as a "Buddhafield"or a place of Nirvana and peace, the view of Vajrayana Buddhism sees the greatest protection from samsara being the power to see samsaric confusion as the "shadow" of purity (which then points towards it). By visualizing "pure lands," one learns to understand experience itself as pure, and as the abode of enlightenment. The protection that we need, in this view, is from our own minds, as much as from external sources of confusion. In many tantric mandalas, this aspect of separation and protection from the outer samsaric world is depicted by "the four outer circles: the purifying fire of wisdom, the vajra circle, the circle with the eight tombs, the lotus circle." The ring of vajras forms a connected fence-like arrangement running around the perimeter of the outer mandala circle

Plakoto

Plakoto is a tables game popular in Greece. The object of Plakoto is for the player to bring all their checkers around to their own home board and then bear them off. The player who bears off all of his checkers first wins the game. This game is usually played along with two other variants, Fevga and Portes (similar to backgammon). Together these three games are called Tavli, and are played in sequence usually one after the other. They have matches of three, five or seven points. A Bulgarian version of Plakoto is known as Tapa.And also as Tsilido, in Cyprus.

Sappho

 
Sappho was an Ancient Greek femal lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. Later Greeks included her in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. Her birth was sometime between 630 and 612 BC, and it is said that she died around 570 BC. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired throughout antiquity, has been lost, but her immense reputation has endured through surviving fragments.
   Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various personages and both genders. The word lesbian derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos, while her name is also the origin of the word sapphic; both words were only applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. Whether these poems are meant to be autobiographical is not known, although elements of other parts of Sappho's life do make appearances in her work, and it would be compatible with her style to have these intimate encounters expressed poetically, as well.
Although Sappho's work endured well into Roman times, with changing interests, styles, and aesthetics her work was copied less and less, especially after the academies stopped requiring her study. Part of the reason for her disappearance from the standard canon was the predominance of Attic and Homeric Greek as the languages required to be studied. Sappho's Aeolic Greek dialect, a difficult one, and by Roman times, arcane and ancient as well, posed considerable obstacles to her continued popularity. Still, the greatest poets and thinkers of ancient Rome continued to emulate her or compare other writers to her, and it is through these comparisons and descriptions that we have received much of her extant poetry.

“If it is true that the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek is the violin of human thought”
Helen Keller quotes (American Author and Educator who was blind and deaf. 1880-1968)

"Atsinganoi"

 

Linguistic and genetic evidence indicates the Roma originated on the Indian Subcontinent[6]. The cause of the Roma diaspora is unknown. One theory suggests the Roma were originally low-caste Hindus recruited into an army of mercenaries, granted warrior caste status, and sent westwards to resist Islamic military expansion. Or perhaps the Muslim conquerors of northern India took the Roma as slaves and brought them home, where they became a distinct community; Mahmud of Ghazni reportedly took 500,000 prisoners during a Turkish/Persian invasion of Sindh and Punjab. Why the Roma did not return to India, choosing instead to travel west into Europe, is an enigma, but may relate to military service under the Muslims.

 Contemporary scholars have suggested that one of the first written references to the Roma, under the term "Atsinganoi", (Greek), dates from the Byzantine era during a time of famine in the 9th century. In the year 800 A.D., Saint Athanasia gave food to "foreigners called the Atsinganoi" near Thrace. Later, in 803 A.D., Theophanes the Confessor wrote that Emperor Nikephoros I had the help of the "Atsinganoi" to put down a riot with their "knowledge of magic".

 "Atsingani" was used to refer to itinerant fortune tellers, ventriloquists and wizards who visited the Emperor Constantine IX in the year 1054. The hagiographical text, The Life of St. George the Anchorite, mentions that the "Atsingani" were called on by Constantine to help rid his forests of the wild animals which were killing off his livestock. They are later described as sorcerers and evildoers and accused of trying to poison the Emperor's favorite hound. 
http://www.solarnavigator.net/www.arabiantents.com/gypsies.htm

Friday, January 29, 2010

Remembering Smyrna 1922

This song was composed by Evangelos Papazoglou and recorded by Smyrniote - Izmirian musician Kostas Karipis in 1930s.The first version in the video sung in 1950's by Smyrna - Izmir born Armenian singer,composer,and great lutanist Markos Melkon Alemsherian (1895-1963), was very well known in its period..The second version was recorded by an Istanbul Greek,Stelyo Berber, for the album of Muammer Ketencoğlu (the greatest acordeon player) named ''Smyrna Recollections''.Stelyo was born in Istanbul in 1974. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Athens University. From his secondary school years, he studied Byzantine music with Leonidas Asteris, the chief Cantor of the Greek Patriarchate in Fener. During his years in Athens, he set up contacts with Rebetika specialists in particular, and personally participated in studies with them.In addition,he studied with folk music specialist Domna Samiou.He's a member of ''Muammer Ketencoğlu and His Zeybek Ensemble''.In the 2nd version Baki Kemancı is on violin..




his is a purely Smyrna-İzmir song despite the claims refering to be an Egypt song.This song was composed by an Egyptian Musician ,Mısırlı İbrahim Efendi who was originally a Jew named Abraham Levi living in İzmir.Against uncertain opinions,this song firstly was composed in Turkish with very very high probability or in Arabic.And the song was loved a lot in that time's İzmir and translated to Greek language.And A Greek named Mihalis Patrinas who immigrated to the USA in 1908 took this song to the USA and made it famous there.After a long time,in 1960s,Dick Dale,an American guitarist made an instrumental version as Miserlou.As you can understand from the name,it was composed for an Egyptian girl,Mısırlı.Then later,this song was used a Generic music of a 1994 Hollywood producted Quentin Tarantino film,Pulp Fiction that Uma Thurman and John Travolta shared the main characters,in 1998 it was again a soundtrack for another Hollywood film,Taxi.Recently American Music group Black Eyed Peas sings this music as a new name after a century-Pump It!And on the other hand in Greece,this song was taken by the Turkish-Greek population Exchange to Pireaus by Greek immigrants from Smyrna in 1923.And for many years,it was sung by the Rebetiko groups in the Cafe Amans of Athens.




Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bravo Vre Xristina !!


Athens

Exactly how big is Athens? It’s a vast urban conglomerate which spreads out as far as the eye can see over the Attica plain It is an enormous city, its centre overlooks the Aegean Sea for 20 km, and it is spread out inland for another 30 km. The inhabitants of the capital are more than one third of the entire Greek population. The city offers a vast array of choices, resources and opportunities, from history to culture, sport to shows, entertainment to business, great industry to the innumerable services that daily stimulate the hectic pace of the city. It’s a great capital soon to become the main attraction pole for the entire area of the Balkans and the nearby East. *athens-today.com*

Monday, January 25, 2010

oud





The ancient Turkic peoples had a similar instrument called the kopuz. This instrument was thought to have magical powers and was brought to wars and used in military bands. This is noted in the Göktürk monument inscriptions, the military band was later used by other Turkic state's armies and later by Europeans.[5] According to musicologist Çinuçen Tanrıkorur today's oud was derived from the kopuz by Turks near Central Asia and additional strings were added by them.[6] Today's oud is totally different from the old prototypes and the Turkish oud is different from Arabic oud in playing style and shape. The Turkish is derived from modifying the Arabic oud, whose development has been attributed to Manolis Venios, a well known Greek luthier who lived Constantinople (Istanbul) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In Greece and Armenia musicians especially use the Turkish ouds and tunings.

ftou ftou ftou


The evil eye, known as ματι, as an apotropaic visual device, is known to have been a fixture in Greece dating back to at least the 6th century BC, when it commonly appeared on drinking vessels. In Greece, the evil eye is cast away through the process of xematiasma (ξεμάτιασμα), whereby the "healer" silently recites a secret prayer passed over from an older relative of the opposite sex, usually a grandparent. Such prayers are revealed only under specific circumstances, for according to superstition those who reveal them indiscriminately lose their ability to cast off the evil eye. There are several regional versions of the prayer in question, a common one being: "Holy Virgin, Our Lady, if so and so is suffering of the evil eye release him/her of it" repeated thrice. According to custom, if one is indeed afflicted with the evil eye, both victim and "healer" then start yawning profusely. The "healer" then performs the sign of the cross three times, and spits in the air three times.

Another "test" used to check if the evil eye was cast is that of the oil: under normal conditions, olive oil floats in water, as it is lighter than water. The test of the oil is performed by placing one drop of olive oil in a glass of water, typically holy water. If the drop floats, the test concludes there is no evil eye involved.

If the drop sinks, then it is asserted that the evil eye is cast indeed. An alternate form of the test is to place two drops of olive oil into a glass of water. If the drops remain separated, the test concludes there is no evil eye, but if they merge, there is. This is usually performed by an old lady,who is known for her healing, or a grandparent.

The Greek Fathers accepted the traditional belief in the evil eye but attributed it to the Devil and envy. In Greek theology the evil eye or
vaskania (βασκανία) is considered harmful for the one whose envy inflicts it on others as well as for the sufferer. The Greek Church has an ancient prayer against vaskania from the Mega Hieron Syenekdymon book of prayers (Μέγαν Ιερόν Συνέκδημον).

http://reference.findtarget.com/search/evil%20eye/

Poulopoulos Syrtaki



Poulopoulos was born on June 27, 1942, in Kardamyli, Messenia prefecture in the Peloponnese but grew up in Peristeri, Athens.

He started singing in 1963 but struggled as a singer for several years before he was established. In the meantime, he worked as a builder and a painter and also played football for local clubs.

By 1965 Poulopoulos was singing songs by Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Loizos, Stavros Kouyioumtzis and had his first big hit "Μη μου θυμώνεις μάτια μου" (Don't get angry, my love).

In the late 1960s, Poulopoulos was established as a singer and sang in musicals. In 1969 he recorded the first golden record in Greek musical history: "Ο Δρόμος" (The Path) in collaboration with lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos and composer Mimis Plessas.

In the early 1970s, Poulopoulos sang poems by Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca that had been made into songs. His songs became a success as the Greek people found in them an expression of their anti-dictatorial feelings, at a time when no other expression was permitted.

Poulopoulos has continued recording and appearing in clubs and boites. He has 11 golden hits to his credit, three of which became platinum. His music has ranged from Laika to Elafro to Neo Kyma and even Rebetiko style. *phantis.com*

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Karsilamas

Karsilamas (Turkish: karşılama, Greek:Καρσιλαμάς) is a Greek folk dance found in the region of Macedonia. The term "karsilamas" comes from the Turkish word "karsilama" meaning "face to face greeting" and is often used as a slang word designating the pickpocket's method of knocking against someone to steal his wallet. The Greek name of the dance is Antikristos Makedonikos, meaning "face to face dance from Macedonia."
The dance was popular around Constantinople (now İstanbul, Turkey) during Byzantine times. Originally a warlike dance, the Turks adopted it when they conquered the area.
Karsilamas is a couple dance that is still danced in what was the former Byzantine empire, from Persia to Serbia, and in the Macedonia and Thrace regions of Northern Greece.
Today it is a raucous, bordering on the erotic, couple dance between men and women where the dancers face one another. Hands are held in the upright position about eye level, fingers snapped to the beat of the music, hips swaying.
The meter is 9/8, and the basic move is danced in four small steps with durations 2,2,2,3 respectively. The style and mood (bouncy, smooth, lively, etc.) vary depending on the region. *Wikipedia*