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 Córdoba in Argentina has dedicated itself to for the past 80 years of their existence in the capital city of the Argentinian province that shares the same name.
Today there are various institutions that promote Greek culture in Argentina. They teach courses in Greek language, dance, and cuisine, as well as holding multiple Greek festivals each year. The Greek Community of Córdoba, which was founded on June 29, 1941 is currently the meeting place for Greek and Philhellene families who reside in the city.
Greek Reporter spoke with Nicolás Kontos, who is an active part of the community. He said that it has been a great year for the community, full of challenges and rethinking. Kontos’ family was part of the last migratory wave of Greeks who immigrated to Argentina in the ’60s.
Since then the whole family has been active participants in the Community. His cousins, uncles, and everyone else all celebrate Greek festivities. “Thinking about my childhood and youth is thinking about the community,” says Kontos, who adds “many of the family encounters took place directly in the community.”
80th anniversary of the Greek Community of Córdoba
The 80 years of establishing roots in Córdoba have left a great legacy. The community is beloved by the Argentinians: they are often invited to perform traditional Greek dances and show off Greek food at different venues across town.
The anniversary celebration coincided this year with the gala for the Bicentennial of Greek independence. This represented a steep challenge for the institution, which was tasked with rethinking the celebrations that traditionally take place annually in the community.
The group also had to work around the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic. However they had the opportunity to begin in March, and continued with the celebration by implementing social distancing and precautionary measures.
An act was held in the historic City Hall of the city of Córdoba, with dances and traditional plate smashing. Authorities and former presidents of the group participated enthusiastically.
One of the planned activities — which is to be held on a new date — is the realization of a symbolic hug to the city of Córdoba (that has embraced the Greek community with open arms) with a Kalamatian dance show in one of the most significant squares in the city.
When we asked Kontos what the future holds for the community, he said that it is a stage full of challenges, as the pandemic has forced them to leave their comfort zone. They had become accustomed to a work rhythm that was greatly affected by the pandemic’s restrictions.
The group is currently planning to develop the first book on “Greek Cuisine in Córdoba”. The contents of the book will be drawn from the experiences of the families who are members of the Greek Community of Córdoba.
The role of women in supporting Greeks of the diaspora will take center stage in the project. The institution seeks to unite Greeks across different generations.
The community has established itself for reinventing traditional Greek festivities. Kontos said that he hopes other communities of the Greek diaspora can reinvent themselves in this new context.
“I encourage all countrymen to continue working, to live Hellenism with passion. Ideas and alternatives will emerge to enhance the legacy left by our grandparents,” says Kontos.