A trip to Oslo within a Greek-Norwegian context

As mentioned in the previous entry, Yannis and Eva would travel to Oslo, where Yannis could meet his friends and Eva meet the directors of the sister-museum of Children’s Art in Oslo. Yesterday, Alexandros also joined forces and the day was spent meeting Greeks of the Norwegian capital in order to get to know each other, but also see into the possibilities of bringing the exhibition “Descending North” from Bergen to Oslo.

Naturally, the first such meeting took place at the Greek Embassy, housed in a very interesting building on the corner between Vigelands Museum and Frognerspark!

the greek embassy in oslo

We found out that the building was bought by the Greek state in the 1980s and wondered whether the Papandreou-era had a role to play in such a ‘strategic’ investment and location…

Politics seem to have played their role in other aspects of the Greek presence in Norway, since most activities of both the Society of Greeks of Norway and the Greek Orthodox Community are directed towards the support (material, psychological, informative) of the numerous Greek immigrants to Norway, as a result of the crisis that has hit Greece the last years.

However, the Greek-Norwegian Cultural Club is active with lessons, music, talks etc. and main focus of the diaspora in Oslo is – naturally one would say – the maintenance of the Greek school in Norway.

The most impressive point, though, of Greek presence in town is the church, which although built in the end of the 19th century as a Protestant church, it houses since 1987 the cultic activities of the Greek Orthodox Community. In 1992 it was inaugurated as the Holy Church of the Annunciation, the same dedication as the Greek Orthodox Archbishopric in Khartoum! There, we met Kiriaki Papadopoulou Samuelsen, president of the society and friend with Yannis, since the journey of her husband, Ivar Papadopoulos Samuelsen, by boat from Norway to Greece was half the inspiration for the concept of “Descending North” – the other half was the trip of his uncle with a 1952 model of an Opel from Greece to Norway…

Papadopoulou-Samuelsen & Skoulas

Photographing Yannis and Kiriaki at the entrance of the church is a fine way to conclude this sequence of entries on the first part of the Norwegian adventure of “Descending North”…

Since early this morning Alexandros is back home, because the arrival of two Greeks in Bergen and a seminary given by an outstanding Sudanese scholar will occupy the days to come both in real life and in the blog…

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