Greeks of Pyatigorsk
History of the Community
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       There are many Greeks in Pyatigorsk who have their roots in Grecheskoye village, which is situated not far from our town. Grecheskoye was founded in 1897 in 10 kilometers from Nogutskoye village the first settlement of Pontian Greeks moved from the territory of Turkey. The Russian authorities placed the settlers ( who shared the same religion with peasants from the central parts of Russia) to the places that were left by previous residents Moslems who went to Turkey after Russia's victory in the Caucasian War. Below you can find some facts concerning the Greeks of Nogutskoye village. They are taken from the Official Statistic Reference Book of the Stavropol region which was written in 1897.
   Nogutskoye village
The history. The village was founded in 1868 by the Greeks who moved here from Turkey, escaping from persecution and victimization of the Turkish authorities and people. Soon after the Greeks began to settle on the banks of the Sablya river, some Russian settlers from the central parts of Russia also came to this land. Very often quarrels and fights took place between them because of the difference in characters, habits, traditions and mentality as belonging to 2 unlike nationalities. Usually they quarreled on the point of the land and other various circumstances. The Greeks represent Oriental culture and thus can be characterized by their hot temper, lively disposition and love for carrying weapons ( daggers and revolvers ) on them all the time. Very often they offended the Russians who weren't many in number. The Greeks captured the best arable land, pastures, houses, watering places etc. During their fights the Greeks often used weapons and as a result they wounded and sometimes killed the Russians. There were a lot of complaints lodged to the authorities and trials that took place till the Greeks were deprived of their weapons. The land given to Nogutskoye village by the government was of high quality and it was the reason for the village increase on the part of the new Russian settlers.
    The population. As it was said above, the population includes Russians and Greeks forming one society. There are 1400 private yards (1200 of them belong to the Russians and 200 to the Greeks) and the same quantity of houses that can be found in the village.
     Such a big village has only one small wooden church in the honour of St. Nikolay the Wonderer-worker. The building cost 40000 rubles. There are 99 d. of land near the church.
     But the Greeks have their own prayer house and a special church group consisting of the priest and the psalm-reader. The building of the prayer house is made of stone, it is spacious but badly-furnished and its architecture is very plain.
     The religion. All village residents- both Russians and Greeks- are Orthodox.
     The education. There are four vocational schools: two of them are primary schools, one is a one-year parish and the last one represents a school of reading and writing. The latter one is a Greek school, which is financed exclusively from money gathered by Greek people.

 


       Also we should mention the attitude of the Russians and the Greeks towards this school. The Greeks are outnumbered in comparison with the Russians but on the other hand the number of Greek pupils makes up half of the whole number of schoolchildren. The Greeks didn't let their children go to the parish as they thought that the level of teaching is not very high there. Also in spring when field work starts, a lot of Russian children are taken from school till next autumn but Greek children even from poor families usually go to school up to the last day. All Greek men can read and write although it's quite common for the Russian men to be illiterate. Besides children of the Greeks go to the Greek school from 2 to 3 years old before going to the Russian school. There is a surprising difference between the Russians and the Greeks. These '' half-wild beggars'' from Turkey who lived in earth-houses and mountain huts at first were called "murderers" by the local peasants. But nowadays they are very peaceful, hard-working, sober people who like to work on the land and even excel their Russian neighbours in intelligence and moral qualities. Also the Greeks outstand the Russians in piety and the example of it is a common cemetery where all Greek graves have well-done crosses and sometimes tombstones while Russian graves have only some sticks from the crosses, bad crosses, stone fragments and even nothing at all. The Greeks are very abstinent so you can't find a drunkard in the street or somewhere else. They drink only at home and on special occasions like weddings where they do not quarrel or fight. Thieves are very rare to be met among Greek people, besides they seldom go to the court. In marital life husbands and wives are very faithful to each other and husband's attitude towards his wife is very thoughtful and tender. That is why the Greeks can't think of beating their wives and laugh at the Russians doing that in order to prove their love by means of fists and lash. Nowadays the Greeks have the same houses as the Russians do, they bake bread perfectly instead of "chureks" that they had before. The Greeks breed cattle and poultry well thus having products of the best quality. Greek people get the same eggs as the Russians do, but the eggs are usually small in the Caucasus and they can't go for export. Many Greeks have buffaloes so they get nutritious milk, which is rich in fat. But one drawback of Greek people is their inability to get used to neatness and cleanliness. All Greek men and practically all Greek women speak Russian well. On acknowledging many good features of character of the Greeks, Russian women marry them with pleasure but at the same time there are no cases of weddings where the bridegroom is a Russian. Unfortunately the old Greek generation thinks that young people are becoming worse because they get bad habits from their neighbours. But it seems that the good example of Greek behaviour doesn't have any good impact on the Russians.

 
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