Surmena, Turkey, 2009
Nikos Michailidis playing Lyra and singing in a coffee house in the Pontic mountains of Surmena, Turkey. Throughout the year men gather in coffee houses in these Alps to socialize and listen to music native to the region known as Karadeniz (Black Sea)in Turkish. Generally sung in Turkish some singing goes on in Pontic Greek.
Astoria, New York, USA. 2006
Pontian musician Yiorgos Sofianidis of Greece, plays the Gaida (bagpipes),while others sing and dance in this Pontian club house. There are approximately 15 Pontian organizations in North America alone, all part of the PanPontian Federation of USA and Canada. This chapter, “Komninoi” in New York, takes it’s name from the Byzantine Dynastic Lineage of the emperor, Andronicus Comnenus, who took the throne of the Byzantine empire in September of 1183.
Panagia Soumela, Trabzon, Macka, Turkey, 2009
A Pontian musician plays for the crowed as Pilgrims and tourists make there way into the Monastery during the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, celebrated annually, August 15th. The monastary has been decreed a World Heritage site and attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually from all over the world.
Philadelphia, USA, 1996
‘BLACK SEA’; written by Neal Ascherson is waved high in the air by a member of the Pan Pontian Federation Conference held in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Charles Neal Ascherson (born October 5, 1932), is one of Britain’s leading scholar-journalists. Black Sea, explores the many cultures and histories around the shores of the Black Sea and has brought global attention to the Pontic people. Some 15 years later, journalists, authors, websites and historians quote his writings when referring to Pontian history and culture.
Hamsikoy, Macka, Turkey, 2009
Hamsi, meaning (anchovi or a type of fish). Koy, meaning village or small town. Just north of the historic Zigana Pass. Approximately 1 hour from the coast of the Black Sea and the city of Trabzon you will find the historic town of Hamsikoy. It has gained a national reputation for its excellent cuisine (including the best rice pudding), known as Sutlac in Turkish. The annual summer festival most commonly celebrated by other villages in the valleys is held on the main street in downtown Hamsikoy. It attracts thousands of visitors annually.
Montreal, Canada, 2006
Mouhapet. (Social musical gathering). With more than 15 organizations across North America, Pontian club houses are frequented in the evenings. Singing, dancing and social interaction in the native language continue to contribute to the preservation of culture.
Santa, Trabzon, Turkey, 2009
A cluster of 7 villages comprise the historic area known as ‘Santa’. Santa is famous for its churches (which still stand), natural beauty, and Captain Euclides Kourtidis (1885-1937) whose heroic efforts saw that no Turkish troops stepped foot into the region until it was eventually abandoned.