We are more than a Greek School!

We are more than a Greek School!

Our beloved actress, Rika Dialina reconnects with her friend Freda Holevas Mindlin after 20 years thanks to Greek Lessons OnLine 

Freda has been a Greek Lessons OnLine student for over two years now. She has shared many stories about her life with me not only because she takes a Greek Conversation course, but also because she has become a close friend. She has travelled a lot and experienced a life-style that many of us would love to have.

When we announced our school’s trip to Greece, Freda was the first to book a place. She has been to Greece many times, as her parents were Greek, but this time her trip had a different purpose: she wanted to reconnect with old friends and her family. She wanted to visit Volos, her dad’s birthplace and she also asked me if I could help her track a very beloved friend of hers whom she hasn’t talked to or seen for over 20 years.

I was aware that Freda worked in theatre and that her husband’s professional and social life included actors, directors and film-producers but I would never expect that I would be about to start looking for one of them. When I asked Freda who this beloved friend was, she said, “I don’t know if you know her but her name is Rika Dialina”. I couldn’t believe my ears! I have watched so many movies with Rika! Watching movies of the Greek Cinema Golden Age on the weekends has been a ritual for my family and for many greek families over the years. My nieces and nephews have taken my place on the sofa next to my mother, but the ritual goes on. Dialina, Papagiannopoulos, Voutsas, Karezi, Vlachopoulou and so many others, are an integral part of the Greek cinema culture.

Every time I had a lesson with Freda, we devoted at least 20 minutes gathering information about Rika’s life. We watched and read her most recent interviews, went on Facebook, and visited several websites referring to her name. Believe me, we were acting like professional sleuths! We wanted to find her email, a telephone number or an address to contact her, but it wasn’t easy. I thought one can find everything on the Internet but I was mistaken… Being a failed investigator would not harm my career but would definitely disappoint Freda and this was the last thing I wanted.

Thanks to my close friends, Dimitris Papadopoulos and Mia Kollia, who are both journalists, we managed to find Rika’s number. Freda could not believe it! She called Rika the next day and they were on the phone for over an hour talking about the past and making plans for the summer. After our school’s tour, Freda headed to Porto Hydra to meet Rika and her family. They spent 4 days together and Freda told me “I felt like the last time I had seen her was just yesterday”. This happens only with very good friends! “It feels to me like I am dreaming” Rika said. Now we can say with pride that Greek Lessons OnLine is more than a greek school. As for me, I consider myself extremely lucky to have met those two amazing ladies and experienced this story from so close. Visit lifo.gr to read Rika’s interview about her reconnection with Freda!

Stella Bompotsiari 

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