The Greek community of Cordoba, Argentina celebrates its 80th anniversary

Members of the Greek community in Cordoba, Argentina at the fifth annual “One City, All People” Fair. Credit: Facebook / Colectividad Helénica de Córdoba

What all members of the Greek Diaspora around the world have in common is their great love for their rich culture and ancient roots. This is precisely what the Greek community of Cordoba in Argentina has dedicated itself to over the last 80 years of its existence in the capital of the Argentine province of the same name.

Today there are various institutions that promote Greek culture in Argentina. They teach Greek language, dance and cooking classes, and hold several Greek festivals each year. The Greek community of Cordoba, founded on June 29, 1941, is currently the meeting place for Greek and Philhellene families who reside in the city.

Greek Community of Cordoba
A gathering of the Greek community in Cordoba. Courtesy of Nicolás Kontos

Greek journalist spoke with Nicolás Kontos, who is an active member of the community. He said it’s been a great year for the community, full of challenges and rethinking. Kontos’ family was part of the last wave of Greeks who immigrated to Argentina in the 1960s.

Grecian Delight supports Greece

Since then, the whole family has actively participated in the Community. His cousins, uncles and everyone else all celebrate Greek festivities. “To think about my childhood and my youth is to think about the community,” says Kontos, adding “many family gatherings have taken place directly in the community”.

80th anniversary of the Greek community of Cordoba

The 80 years of rooting in Cordoba have left a great legacy. The community is popular with Argentines: they are often invited to perform traditional Greek dances and show Greek cuisine at different venues around the city.

The anniversary celebration this year coincided with the Greek Independence Bicentenary Gala. This presented a significant challenge for the institution, which was tasked with rethinking the celebrations that traditionally take place each year in the community.

The group has also had to work around the limits of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they had the opportunity to start in March and continued the celebration by implementing social distancing and precautionary measures.

An act took place in the historic town hall of the city of Cordoba, with traditional dances and breaking plates. The authorities and the former presidents of the group participated enthusiastically.

One of the planned activities – which will be held on a new date – is the realization of a symbolic hug to the city of Cordoba (which embraced the Greek community with open arms) with a Kalamatian dance performance in one of the most important squares in the city.

When we asked Kontos what the future holds for the community, he said this is a challenging step as the pandemic has forced them out of their comfort zone. They had become accustomed to a pace of work strongly affected by the restrictions of the pandemic.

Members of the Greek community of Cordoba Argentina
End of 2017, Greek Community of Cordoba. Courtesy of: Nicolás Kontos

The group is currently planning to develop the first book on “Greek cuisine in Cordoba”. The content of the book will be drawn from the experiences of families who are members of the Greek community in Cordoba.

The role of women in supporting Greeks in the diaspora will occupy a central place in the project. The institution seeks to unite Greeks of different generations.

Long live Hellenism

The community has imposed itself to reinvent the traditional Greek festivities. Kontos said he hopes other communities in the Greek diaspora can reinvent themselves in this new context.

“I encourage all compatriots to continue working, to live Hellenism with passion. Ideas and alternatives will emerge to improve the legacy left by our grandparents, ”says Kontos.

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