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The symbolic meaning of Greek dancing in diaspora

journal contribution
posted on 22.01.2020, 00:00 by M-I Avgoulas, Rebecca FananyRebecca Fanany
Maintenance of cultural practices in diaspora communities is a significant element of heritage. Such practices may also contribute to health and well-being, especially if they offer an opportunity for physical activity and social interaction health and wellbeing. For the Greek community of Melbourne, Australia, the maintenance of their cultural heritage continues to be central to the experience of the community and is manifested in a number of ways, including in the form of Greek dancing which has become a popular leisure activity. This study investigates the role Greek dancing plays in cultural maintenance and heritage identity among people of Greek background in Melbourne as well as its potential contribution to health and wellbeing. The symbolic meaning of dances well as its potential to motivate participation in physical activity are discussed. These findings of this study suggest that there is an important cultural dimension of dancing as a health promoting activity. For the participants in this study, the heritage aspect of this activity was of the greatest importance, while the physical benefits remained secondary although desirable. Dancing was associated with the idea of being Greek and the happiness a Greek environment provided. This highlights the emotional benefits of an activity that is culturally consonant and that contributes to the physical and emotional aspects of wellbeing.

History

Volume

6

Issue

2

Start Page

99

End Page

112

Number of Pages

14

eISSN

2241-7737

Publisher

Athens Institute for Education and Research ATINER

Additional Rights

CC BY-NC 4.0

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

External Author Affiliations

Deakin University

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Athens Journal of Social Sciences