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Old 11-07-2008, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Pontians, Who are they ?

In 1923, the Metropolitan of Trebizond, Chrysanthos, lead 164,000 Pontians to Greece.

Neal Ascherson writes that it was "a country alien to them physically, climatically, politically and linguistically". p.186

The identity of Pontians:

"For the first time, intellectuals set out to give the Pontians an ethnic national consciousness. That required "origins" and "roots". Anythony Bryer relates how 'Triantaphyllides, a Chaldian school master ... christened his son Pericles and sent him to Athens, whence he returned after 1842 to teach Xenophon and classical Greek at the Trebizond Phrontisterion ... By 1846, schoolmasters had renamed [the Pontian town] Gumushane to a fancy 'Argyropolis'. In a typical example of cultural nation invention, the teachers proceeded to graft the Pontos people onto the stock not just of Byzantium but of Periclean Athens itself. All around the black sea the same process was going on." p.186

Greek attitudes toward Pontians (what they don't tell you in the history books):

Greeks resent the Pontians, because the Pontians insist they are different. The Pontians still dream about their "dead Romania" in folk songs and proclaim that "Romania is taken". They insist on the Catholic tradition of walking the Madonna every August down the procession ...etc.

Greeks hate them, but they hate the Macedonians more.
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