Inspiring Short Film Reveals the Greek Secret of Philotimo

Arianna Huffington, George Stephanopoulos, Bob Costas and Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Demetrios are among the nationally-known Greek-Americans who appear in a video titled “The Greek Secret” produced by the Washington Oxi Day Foundation. The video suggests that the secret to extraordinary Hellenic excellence — personal and as people — may spring from the uniquely Greek word philotimo.

The video features interviews with 29 leading Hellenes who each share their definition of a concept that only the Greek language has a word to describe: philotimo. Those interviewed defined philotimo as not only the “love of honor” but also as finding pleasure in sacrificing for: the good of others; doing the right thing; improving themselves and their families; and seeking to achieve respect and love from others.

“While it has not been released to the public until now, we gave a small number of Foundation supporters a sneak peek at this video over the weekend. It has already received over 10,000 views. Our prediction that this video can be transformational for our community and may help the Greek brand may be coming true,” said Oxi Day Foundation Founder and President Andrew Manatos.

The Foundation and many of those interviewed believe that “philotimo” may, in great part, explain the Greeks’ spectacular achievements throughout history, as well as their close family and community relationships. The video highlights such Hellenic achievements as: the miraculous leap forward that ancient Greeks brought to humankind’s standard of living and freedom; Greece being identified by America, Great Britain and Russia as the only other country essential to Hitler’s defeat; the Greeks’ unsurpassed response to the Holocaust; and Hellenes alone in America’s 20th century rising from universal, uneducated poverty to ranking among the top in education and income.