A sizeable proportion of Russia's Greeks are believed to be Pontic Greeks. They are sometimes referred to as Russo-Pontians. During the 3 Russo-Turkish wars of the 19th century it's believed approximately 350,000 Greeks immigrated from Pontus. Many of these Greeks were to find their way to Southern Russia which gladly accepted their coreligionist neighbours.

 

Large scale immigration also occurred during the first world war. In March of 1918, 60,000 Greeks from the region of Kars migrated to Georgia and the north Caucasus. Around the time of the Russian Revolution (1917) there were approximately 250,000 Greeks living throughout many regions of Southern Russia. Large communities existed in Abkhazia, the north Caucasus, Crimea, Georgia, Batumi, Mariupol and Rostov.

The following passage of prose was written by a Russo-Pontian and published here as it was written. One of the problems faced by the Greeks of Russia following the revolution of 1917 was with the greek language. Only a small number of Greeks could read and write in Greek during that period. In many communities, the Russo-Pontians spoke only the Pontic dialect. One of the notable spelling differences was the use of the letter -υ- instead of -ου-. Also notable is the use of -ς- instead of -σ-. 

 

Ι νιχτα τι πριγατας

    Ο ιλεν εςυμοσεν ναπιδιαβεν. Εκοκιντςεν ο οριζοντας αςιν Λιςιν μερεαν. Ερχινεςεν να ςκοτινεβ. Ενταμαν με ιναν ςιντροφον εςεβαμε ςον δρομον κε παμε ςο χοριον. Ο δροςερον αερας πολα εφκολιν το πορπατεμανεμυν. Ολον τον δρομον με μεγαλον ενδιαφερον ςινομιλυμε για τιν δυλιαν το κολχοζι. Πολα κερος εν ατυ κεμνε κε τα πλιροφοριας τι ςιντροφιμ εφτανεμε τρανον εφχαριςτιςιν.
    Καπυ, καπυ απςιλα ςον υρανον εφανθανε τα χριςολαμπρα αςτρα. Αςιν Ανατολιν μερεαν εκσεβεν ο φενκον. Κοκινον κε μεγαλον το ςχιμανατ. Οςον το ςκυτε απςιλα κε αλατοςον μικρεν κε περιςεβ το φοςνατ. Ολοςτρονκιλος εν ατορα κε βαςτα αςον βραδον υς τον πυρνον.

Διμος Ακυραστος.

 

Source: Apostolos Karpozilos, Les livres grecs en dialecte du Pont en Russie du sud aux annees 1930.
Αρχειον Ποντου, τομος τριακοστος ογδοος. Αθηναι 1984.

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