2014 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
DISCOVERING GREECE, GREEK DIET AND GREEK PRODUCTS IN BELGIUM
A press conference was held at the Greek embassy Brussels, on the 30th January 2014, to introduce the 2014 educational programme “Discovering Greece through Greek Diet and Greek products”. A Discovering Network asbl that designed the campaign DISCOVERING GREEK PRODUCTS IN BELGIUM implements this programme jointly with the Greek Embassy- Bureau of Coordinator of Education.
Teachers, representatives of the parents associations (of the participating schools) and other representatives of Greek society in Belgium graced us with their presence. The traditional Vassilopita was given to the guests as well as a glass of wine.
“It is a great pleasure to introduce this educational programme for the first time in Belgium. We hope to connect the balanced Mediterranean Diet with local Greek products through education” said the organisers. In 2010 UNESCO hailed the Mediterranean diet, here seen through Greek and Cypriot products , as an example of living well through daily practices and traditions. Our aim is to mobilise and educate children, youngsters, adults and parents about the advantages of the Greek Diet, to present local traditional products including herbs (phase 1) and to pinpoint and catalogue where Greek products can be found in Belgium. This will be done through the ‘little explorers’ programme (phase 2). In addition, traditional Greek recipes will be collected and cooking activities will be held to highlight the culinary differences of some geographical areas of Greece. This can ignite an interesting discussion between parents, children and the organisers on the variations seen in culture/customs through local culinary practices.
The programme is being implemented in institutes/schools where the Modern Greek language is taught, throughout Belgium; thereby providing a wide audience and moreover one that is not necessarily of Greek origin the chance to discover Greek tastes and the beneficial qualities of Greek products. The Greek diet and more specifically the Cretan diet, is perceived around the world as the ideal, balanced diet. Therefore, it is perfect to combat obesity, especially child obesity which is on a constant rise. We need to take action to help our children, and this is one way to do so.
Moreover, it would be interesting to truly comprehend the way Greek culinary culture, ties in and influences history, geography, financial dealings, family life, art, religion and customs. Keeping this in mind, a discovering Network would like to implement this programme in other countries as well thereby reaching other ethnic populations.
We believe that in this day and age of the ongoing financial crisis, the Greek diet can give us the opportunity we are looking for to showcase the uniqueness of our products, especially outside the Greek borders. A Discovering Network works closely with a dietician, gardener/herb expert and chefs. The Greek bureau of Education (Brussels office) is supporting this programme in an attempt to give a modern twist to the teaching of the Greek language, looking at it through a communicative spectrum, where Greek culture can be taught and understood in a useful and efficient way.
We would like to thank also the two experts that are visiting the educational centres: the visit of the nutritionist. Mrs. Vicky Zafiropoulou and the visit of the gardener. Mr. Panos Kossiavelos.