A “Plant your roots” event was held at the reserve forest “Tanais” on March 22 in view of the Greek Independence Day anniversary. Representatives of SAE former Soviet Union countries Region, Federation of Greek Associations in Russia, “Agrokom Group” employees, local personalities and mass media gathered for the first time to participate in the “Ancient Garden” environmental programme.
“The programme focuses on the return of the ancient Greek city of Tanais, an internationally important monument, to its Greek roots,” stressed SAE Regional Coordinator, Russian State Duma MP and President of the Federation of the Greek Associations in Russia, Ivan Savvidis, who conceived the idea of the garden’s rebirth.
Roughly 300 young representatives of the Greek Diaspora in Russia, Georgia and Ukraine took part in the “Plant your roots” event held within the standards set by the SAE sponsored “Plant your Roots in Greece” initiative aimed at restoring the burned forests in the country.
“The intention is to keep the programme going for at least 10 years to create a bloomy garden around Tanais with flowers coming from different parts of the world,” Savvidis stated. “The goal is not just to restore the ecological balance but to rekindle interest in the historical roots,” he added.
Cliff roses and rosebushes are among the 70 species of plants sent to the “Ancient Garden” by Greeks worldwide. Savvidis planted sycamore trees with his two sons, Nikos and Giorgos, and cedars with Alexandra Protsenko-Pitsatzi and Kyriakos Jordanov, presidents of the Federation of Greek Associations in Ukraine and Federation of Greek Communities in Georgia respectively. Young expatriates from Rostov danced traditional dances to celebrate the event that was blessed by Father Vadim. Those attending were treated with sweets in accordance with the old Greek custom.
The next tree plantings will take place in areas suggested by archaeologists while agriculturists and gardeners will care for the “Ancient Garden”.