The Cyprus Food and Wine Festival strengthened its proud reputation as a staple of the cultural calendar of Sydney’s Inner West with another successful edition that gathered roughly 4,000 guests.
The Festival, organised by the Cyprus Community of NSW, held last Sunday, November 19, in the Inner West suburb of Stanmore and featured over 40 different stalls ranging from a variety of traditional Cypriot foods and wine.
These included bbq sheftalia, loukanika, halloumi, souvlakia and marinated octopus as well as Cypriot sweets like xerotiana (loukmades) and the rose water scented mahalepe.
Wine tasting naturally took place throughout the day including the popular sweet wine of Cyprus Commandaria.
In addition to the stalls, guests were entertained by numerous traditional dance groups that were accompanied by live music throughout the day.
These included the Cyprus Community of NSW Dance Group, the Kalymnian Association Dance Group, the Pontoxenitean Dance Group, Syzmos Dance Group and the Sydney Greek Dance School.
President of the Cyprus Community, Mr Andrew Costa, thanked everyone for their attendance in support of an initiative that stretches back now over 50 years.
He stressed the significance of maintaining a connection to their Cypriot roots through its food and wine, particularly the latter as wine production is traced as far back as 5000 years ago.
“Today is not only about indulging our love of Cypriot Food and Wine it is much more than that. It is about Community…the coming together of the Cypriot diaspora that over the generations has dispersed all over Sydney and NSW,” Mr Costa said in his speech.
“As Australians it is an opportunity to recognise our Cypriot heritage passed on from our parents and grandparents…to celebrate all things Greek/Cypriot from music and dance, to language, art and history.”
Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Ioannis Mallikourtis and the Deputy Head of Mission – Republic of Cyprus, Mr Stavros Nicolaou, also addressed the crowd and offered greetings and congratulations while letters were read out from the NSW Governor, Margaret Beazley, and the NSW Opposition Leader, Mark Speakman.
The initiative was officially launched two days earlier on November 17 at the Cyprus Community Club, with special guests including the above speakers as well as his Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia and past presidents of the Community, Mr Alkis Kadis and Michael Christodoulou.