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Greek Immigration

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Submitted By jcantrell100
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Culture is what makes a society; what makes the diversity and uniqueness of the world we live in.
Greece is a country of a great interests and diverse cultures. The Greeks are particularly proud of their culture and speak of their country with an intense passion, feeling that their Greek culture is a definition of their national and ethnic belonging. Traditions, religion, music, language, food and wines are the major composites of the Greek culture.
Greek culture began in Greece located in the southeastern region of the European continent, on the far southern edge of the Balkan Peninsula. The country is well known for the thousands of islands. It is surrounded by mountains and in the north by water. The mountains, which surrounded Greece, gave them the advantage of being well protected. The Ionian and the Aegean seas, together with natural islands and bays, gave the Greeks the opportunity to develop their high level of commerce and their rich culture. They relied on the Aegean Sea for trade and supplies. The Greeks were introduced to many other cultures and they were exposed to western benefits of agriculture and various techniques of metalwork. In addition, they shared their culture with other countries as well.
Western culture has learned a lot from the Greeks. Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and the cradle of Western culture as we know it. The Greeks’ have made countless contributions that have made Greek Culture a part of western society in the areas of art, literature, philosophy, drama, architecture and politics. They prided themselves of creating an environment in which individuals were free to express themselves. Again Western culture has blueprinted those same freedoms for individuals. Greek culture has been a major influence on civilization and will forever have an impact on culture, society, and people. Greeks have always looked beyond Greece and travelled abroad in search of opportunity and perhaps adventure. birthplace at the end of their life, but often spend most of their lives abroad.
During the 1800’s a series of wars in the Balkans and Asia Minor caused large populations to be displaced, and more than a million refugees to settle in Greece. This caused additional strains on the economic and food resources in a nation already devastated by two decades of war. As a result a wave of Greek immigration to the United States during this time period in search of economic opportunities that was no longer available in their homeland. Young boys were the first to arrive brought by American naval officers and humanitarians on the Turkish slave block. Other young men and boys came to escape extreme poverty or, in the Turkish-occupied territory of Greece, to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army. The vast majority planned to return to the homeland with enough money to pay off family debts and provide marriage dowries for their daughters or sisters. Forty percent of the 600,000 Greek immigrants to the United States returned to their homeland by World War II, giving them one of the highest repatriation rates of immigrants in the United States.

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