Pontian Greek refugees from Ukraine continue their traditions in Greece

Pontian greek refugees from Ukraine

Refugees from Ukraine who arrived in Greece only days ago were welcomed by the Mayor of Argyroupolis-Ellinikon Giannis Konstantantos at the municipal headquarters on Tuesday.

The municipality has been hosting the war-fleeing families, which include children with hearing impairments.

The children with hearing impairments were enrolled in the municipality's special learning school last Friday.

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In a statement, Konstantatos said that the municipality "was created by people who fled a war," and that they "restarted life, culture and their traditions right here."

This was in reference to the fact that many of the refugees from Ukraine are Pontic Greeks.

It is recalled that many of the inhabitants of Argyroupolis-Ellinikon are Pontic Greeks from Asia Minor.

The mayor also thanked Lamda Development CEO Odysseas Athanasiou for the company's financial support in hosting the families.

Meanwhile, three Ukrainian women from Kharkiv and Nikolaev with their children have been welcomed at the village of Tsaki, in the municipality of Almopia, in the Pella region of northern Greece.

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Children from the local primary school welcomed eight Ukrainian refugee schoolchildren with Pontic songs, while a third-grader, on his own initiative, played the traditional Pontic lyra (kemenche).

The initiative to host them in the village came from the local priest and his wife, who is of Ukrainian origin, aided by the Pella educational directorate for grade schools, represented by its director Nikos Angelidis.

He told AMNA that "teachers welcomed children with love and (regional) families opened their homes for them."

READ MORE: Who is the Pontian Greek fighting in Mariupol against the Azov Battalion? 

The majority of Ukrainian Greeks live in Donetsk Oblast and are particularly concentrated around the city of Mariupol and its surrounding villages like Sartana.

They are number about 120,000 individuals and are a mix of Ancient Greek settlers to Crimea, later Eastern Roman (Byzantine) settlers and Pontian Greek migrants escaping persecution and genocide in Asia Minor in the late Ottoman period.

READ MORE: Why do so many cities in Ukraine and Crimea have Greek sounding names?