Throughout the ages, the Pontian Greeks maintained intact the fundamental values of their archaic Hellenic roots and identity, and preserved these even after they were expelled from their land in the early part of the 20th century.
Their language, poetry, music, dance and traditions are of archaic Greek origin and were influenced in their evolution by the introduction of Christianity, Byzantine civilization, and Ottoman rule.
Religion and education are the two factors that have helped the survival of Pontian Hellenism from antiquity to the present. In the year 35 A.D., the Apostle Saint Andrew was the first preacher of Christianity in the
The Pontian Greek dialect can be traced back to the first Hellenic colonists, the Ionians of Miletus at the beginning of the 8th century B.C. Throughout the ages the Pontian dialect was influenced by the different languages spoken by neighboring peoples, especially during the long era of Ottoman rule. The Greek origin of this dialect, however, can be traced to the ancient Ionian speech of the first Greek settlers.
Pontian music, poetry, songs and dances express the culture, customs, traditions and life of the Pontians - a people with roots in ancient Greece and the Byzantine Empire.
The songs of the Pontian people provide some of the most unique aspects of Hellenic folk tradition. These songs stir the soul and move the spirit. Even today the Pontians sing with an undeniable passion, keeping alive their ancestors' experience during the genocidal period. In the same manner, they preserve not only the memories of their past glories, but also the heart wrenching longing for their lost homeland.
The Pontian song is perceived and sung by its creator as a “tragedy” (τραγωδία). In their own dialect the Pontian people say: “So tell us a tragedy…(Για πέ μας έναν τραγωδίαν...) “ the young man tells us such beautiful tragedies " (Έμορφα τραγωδίας λέει αούτος ο παιδάς).The tragic element is present in most of the Pontian songs. In performance, the sense of agony is heightened, thus leading to a sense of cathartic salvation.
The myths and legends of ancient