12:45, 26 March, 2013
YEREVAN, MARCH 26, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian-Greek fraternal relations have age old history. The small Greek community of Armenia occupies its unique place in the life of the national minorities in Armenia. The “Armenpress” reporter had a conversation with the Chairman of “Illios” Greek Community NGO Slavik Raphayelidis.
– Mr. Raphayelidis, how many Greeks currently live in Armenia?
– The Greek community in Armenia counts 1200 people. The Greeks mainly live in Alaverdi, Stepanavan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Yerevan, and Meymana village in Artsakh. I was there during the Constitution endorsement, where I was invited as an observer.
– I would like to about the inside life of the community. What occupations, feasts, and Memorial Day do you have?
– The Greeks have been living in Armenia for over 350 years. Their main occupation was mining, they came here for the exploitation of mines in Alaverdi. They taught the natives the peculiarities of mining. We have our national holiday, which is celebrated on March 25. On that day we grandiosely celebrate the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke. Notwithstanding the most favorite feast for the Greeks is Easter. The main dish for the Easter is roasted goatling. Each year on May 15 we mark the day of commemoration of the Pontic Greeks Genocide victims, when over 500,000 Greeks were massacred. We also pay tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims on April 24.
– Are there specialties, which are characteristic for the community members?
– There are no specialties, which are characteristic for the Greeks. There are Greek lecturers, doctors, engineers, scientists, and other Greek specialists living in Armenia. (THE FULL VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW IS AVAILABLE IN ARMENIAN)
Interview by Hakob Vardanyan