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Greeks in Kazakhstan about the history of Greek salad and why they like holidays


Greeks in Kazakhstan about the history of Greek salad and why they like holidays

Ludmila Infadopulo, 60 years old, hometown — Pavlodar, Deputy Chairman of the party Nur Otan, head of the Greek centre Elpida


About moving

I am Russian by nationality, but my husband is Greek, and I will talk about him and his family, as I have been a part of it for long. The grandfather of my husband was arrested and executed, and the story of the family resettlement is typical for the Greeks in Pavlodar region. Here lives repressed Greeks, taken from the Krasnodar region, village Severskaya, Adler. There is also one family that moved from Georgia, they also belong to the Greeks. Someone moved because of the Komsomol vouch.

About culture similarities and differences

In speaking of similarities between Kazakh and Greek both peoples love holidays, there is even the expression «Greek soul always sings».

But a lot of differences in cuisine. In the Kazakh culture, the food is fatty the meat is mostly boiled. And in Greek cuisine meat is fried with many greenery. In many Greek dishes added olive oil, different spices and sauces. Since the city is compact in scale and the population exists an atmosphere of common home unity and almost everyone is familiar with each other.

Greek cuisine has a lot of pies cooked for different holidays.

In the Kazakh cuisine, there are few sweet dishes and no biscuits at all. Greeks cook biscuits with plenty of honey and cinnamon. If you go to any pastry shop, you will immediately feel the smell of honey and cinnamon.

Also, in our family and in the families of our friends, there is a small tradition to always have olive oil at home because no Greek dish can be cooked without it.

About Kazakhstan

I was born and raised in Pavlodar. Pavlodar is a small town famous for its cleanliness and neatness. The streets are always clean, trees and flowers are well-groomed, the citizens are proud of their status as a clean city.

I like walking along Lenin Street — the historical part of the city, which used to be the centre of trade and culture, and now it is a great place for hiking. The most famous place in the city is the embankment, especially in summer. Last year there was installed a modern stage Ertis Promenade. Regular outdoor concerts attract youth.

Pavlodar locals are an open nation that will always tell the right way and help in difficult times. People in the city love concerts and events with visiting artists. Since the city is compact in scale and population exist an atmosphere of common home, unity and almost everyone is familiar with each other.

The volunteer movements are actively working in the city, what is also saying a lot about the city and its residents.

About plans

In 2019 our ethnocultural centre celebrates 20 years, and we plan to hold many events. We want to organize trips to the regions and hold concerts of Greek culture, for the villagers to understand that people living next to them are representatives of such an unusual and colourful culture.

Stepan Ishnopulo, 34 years old, hometown — Temirtau


About moving

I was born in Temirtau, Kazakhstan. My grandparents were sent to Kazakhstan during Stalin's repressions. The great-grandmother with eight children was sent to Kazakhstan. Many would not be now if locals would not help, as people were dropped off from cars in the bare steppe.

About culture similarities and differences

As a child I was uninterested in Greek culture, probably the reason was my father is Greek and my mother is Ukrainian. However, over time, I became interested, I began to go to the Greek centre of Temirtau to learn the language, dance, culture and traditions there, together with the staff of the centre participated in the city events.

Greeks have a rich history, and this is the most important difference between our cultures.

Kazakh like holidays and fun, and Greeks like dances, songs, celebrations.

From an early age I grew up surrounded by children of different nationalities, and no one said that he/she was Russian, Kazakh or Greek, for me this is the most important thing. We were all together and united this is what distinguishes our mentality and is our feature.

About Kazakhstan

I spent all my childhood in Temirtau. We have a multi-ethnic city with its flavour.

The city is small and every second can be your friend or relative. This is a plus and a minus of small provincial towns, but I like Temirtau.

At the moment I live in Russia, and only here I realized what is the mentality and its value. All of my friends here come from Kazakhstan. For us easier to communicate together, we think the same and speak the same mental language.

The only important fact should be that no matter who you are by nationality or what are the differences and similarities in culture, the main thing is that you feel like one nation, one big family.

About plans

I miss Kazakhstan, my family and friends who stayed there, so I plan to return this year and see my relatives.

Olga Pilipenko-Khacheridi, 57, hometown — Pavlodar, builder


About moving

My family moved to Pavlodar from Krasnodar region in 1942. Time was heavy, war, famine. My father's family, grandmother Varvara was evicted from the Krasnodar region with four children and was sent to settle in Kazakhstan. She stopped in Pavlodar.

My mother's family also was deported from the Krasnodar region, but since grandfather was an agronomist, he decided to settle in the village of Urlyutyub. They were allocated with a flat but after the winter they built a house and all lived in one house.

They lived at the farm Urlyutyub till 1960.

So happened that my father as a child of eight years was travelling on a ferry boat to Kazakhstan, and on the same ferry was my mother when she was only a month old. After a long time in 1960, they met again and made a family.

My father is a builder and worked a lot for the benefit of the region, and he was head of a large trust «Pavlodarselstroy», built many schools, for his services received the title as Honoured builder of Kazakhstan. He was a patriot of the country, and he shared this feeling with me.

About culture similarities and differences

Greeks like the Kazakhs are hardworking people who would not leave a person in hard times. Our people have always shown kindness and hospitality and due to the help of Kazakhstan Greeks were able to settle in Kazakhstan after the terrible persecution.

Kazakhs and Greeks are musical we love to sing we have a special attitude to the poetry and rhythm of words, our history is full of famous poets and musicians. We also love holidays fun and a sense of family unity, so the holidays in Kazakhstan unite different nationalities.

About Kazakhstan

We have a clean, multi-ethnic city with many parks a beautiful promenade and my favourite house of friendship. I am a member of the board of the Greek centre Elpida, and my mother is a member of the council of elders of the centre. We try to promote Greek culture and promote peace and harmony.

I often go to the theatre and walk in the parks but mostly spend time with my grandchildren, and I have five of them.

I had no thoughts of moving to Greece and never been there, for me Kazakhstan is my homeland, where I feel comfortable and happy, here I lived the best years of my life and here my family found peace and harmony.

About plans

As a grandmother, I want to find joy in grandchildren and prepare for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of our Greek centre Elpida.

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