LIFE STORIES

Misti variety

I WAS BORN IN CAPPADOCIA

Description: When she was one month old, the parents of Stavroula Karavelidou fled with her from their Cappadocian homeland Misti (now Konaklı, Niğde district) and took them to Greece, even before the Greek-Turkish population exchange (Lausanne Convention 1923). They settled there not far from Salonica in Agioneri (Varlandža), more precisely in Neo Agioneri (Kilkis district). Our centenarian interviewee is talking to a young Cappadocian woman who speaks even more uninhibited Misti Cappadocian (mistiótika / dial. miʃótika). In their variety of Cappadocian Greek they talk about the poor life in the refugee community. They use to live in clay huts, grazed cows, threshed wheat and cooked typical Cappadocian dishes such as aryalu fai (wheat groats with yoghurt), pindüz (cream), pleur (pliguri, bulgur) and manti (dumplings).

Cite as: Oɣó s Kapatʰok'ía ʝeníχa – I was born in Cappadocia; performers: Stavroula Karavelidou, Sofia Ouzounidou; camera/ interview/ transcription/ translation: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Ani Antonova; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: capp1239GRV0003a.

Farasa variety

THE BALD WOMAN

Description: This small narrative in the Farasa variety of Greek Cappadocian is based on a true story. In Cappadocia, boys were married very young, and usually they did not see their future wives before the wedding. The groom is horrified when he sees that he has married a bald woman. Fortunately, you learn that their marriage nevertheless turned out to be a happy love for life.

Cite as: Ι kʰáli néka – The bald woman; performer: Eirini Potouriadou Platania; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Ani Antonova; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: capp1239VGR0002a.


ARSENIOS THE CAPPADOCIAN

Description: Theodora Lioufi, one of the last fluent speakers of Farasa Cappadocian, tells of the miracles that Arsenios the Cappadocian (Ὅσιος Ἀρσένιος ὁ Καππαδόκης, 1840-1924) performed. He was born in the region of Farasa or Pharasa in Cappadocia. Since he had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, upon his return to Farasa, the villagers called him Hatziefentis (Hadji Effendi). He was the respected spiritual guide of the villagers and healed sick people who came to him, Christians and Muslims. According to this interview, Muslim women asked him for his blessing when they couldn't have children. Arsenios arrived on the island of Corfu in October 1924 as a refugee as a consequence of the Greek-Turkish population exchange. He was recognised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Orthodox Saint in 1986. The languages of the speaker show slight influences of modern Greek only. The year in which Saint Paisios went to Corfu was 1958 (not 1968 as in the interview).

Cite as:  O Áʝios Arsénios – Arsenios the Cappadocian; performer: Theodora Lioufi, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl; transcription/ translation: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Ani Antonova, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: capp1239GRV0004a


THE FRENCH-STYLE CHICKEN

Description: The narrator of this short story, Varvara Konstantinidou, was a little girl when she attached herself to a chicken. Because it had no feathers on its neck, it was called the “French-style chicken”. Instead of ending up in the pot, the chicken was cured with oil and raki through folk medicine. The same healing method was later applied to the narrator when she stepped in a nail, also with success. The narrative is told in the endangered Cappadocian Greek variety of Farasa (Pharasa), which is no longer spoken in Cappadocia since the Greek-Turkish population exchange (Lausanne Convention, 1923) and has only a few speakers.

Cite as: A rníθi alafránka – The French-style chicken, performer: Varvara Konstantinidou, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis, editor: Ani Antonova, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: capp1230GRV0006a.


HOW OUR PEOPLE ARRIVED IN VATHYLAKKOS

Description: In this interview, Theodoros Kostantinidis discusses the foundation of his village of Vathylakkos in the prefecture of Kozani and the difficulties the Cappadocian Greeks faced when they settled in Greece. The Greek inhabitants of Tsohuri, present day Çukuryurt in Turkey, had to leave their fatherland as a result of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. They made a long journey on small ships with many difficulties. Many of them died and their corpses were thrown into the sea. On arrival in Greece, they first settled on the Veria plain. However, due to the large number of casualties from malaria resulting from the huge swamps which then existed, they left and went to Myrsini in Grevena which was a better place. Finally, they chose to settle where they now live as the landscape was similar to their previous homeland. Tsohuri was in a deep valley and so the new village was called Vathylakkos; it has the same meaning in Greek.

Cite as: Tus ta métra írθan so Vaθílako – How our people arrived in Vathylakkos, performer: Theodoros Konstantinidis, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, transcription/ translation: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis, editor: Ani Antonova, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: capp1230GRV0007a.