More than 10,000 people crossed the two-day Greek Paniyiri in Brisbane last weekend and as the Australian press noted, “the Greeks of the city must have been the happiest Greeks of the world.” Premier Campbell Newman, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and dozen Australian politicians attended the fascinating Paniyiri.
Greece was successfully promoted through the clever advertising of traditional products. Exhibitions, Greek dances and the well-known “glenti” completed the Paniyiri. Famous bands and artists from the Greek-Australian community, including Giorgos Houvardas from the TV series “Packed to the Rafters,” gave some glamour to the event. Houvardas is now heading to Hollywood, where he aspires to continue his career.
Greek-Australians watched traditional dances from a native Australian band and offered them their warm applause. The boycotting and efforts to ruin the Paniyiri proved vain. There were no problems and, in fact, an Aborigines delegation was invited to participate in the Paniyiri.