My Congress Experience by Costa Kyriacou.
Congress seems like a lot of fun and it is. Congress seems like a massive party and it is. Congress seems like it attracts a lot of youth from around the country and it does.
All of the above are tangible to every person that experiences this incredible getaway, possibly even evident. However, like many things in life, it is often the intangible, more soulful aspects that stick with us the most and are the most important.
The arrival on the first day, feeling a bit nervous but at the same time excited not knowing what to expect or who you may meet. Not knowing if you’re ‘cool’ enough to be on this trip or likable enough to make new friends. Then within a few hours of getting on the bus, meeting all your fellow Congress attendees, sharing a drink and listening to incredible music – all of those thoughts you once had, almost miraculously vanish and you realize that you can just be yourself and the next few days are going to be one of the most memorable of your life!
Coming from different backgrounds, different cities, having different interests – you are effortlessly yet powerfully bound by your common Hellenic identity when that first Greek song comes on or when you hear “re” for the first time. Before you can think again you’re on your knees clapping for that same guy or girl you were so afraid to meet, blurting out the words while they dance a zembekiko. Your eyes tear up, you smile at each other and everyone around you and that’s when you realize you belong.
Youth without Hellenic origin are always warmly welcomed and fit in effortlessly. By the end of this incredible journey you become inseparable and saying goodbye is awfully painful. In hindsight though, you have touched the hearts of many special people around you and they have touched yours. It is not long until you see each other again – especially with the amount of incredible NAHYSOSA events that take place around the country.
Congress helped me get out of my comfort zone, it taught me to love my culture and my roots even more and it taught me to cherish those around me.
Words are tangible to me and no matter how I try explain it, the emotions one feels on this journey can only be truly experienced by attending Congress.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes and click APPLY!!!
Past Pretoria Hellenic Youth Committee (PHYC)