FRONTIÈRES GEOGRAPHIQUES, SOCIALES ET MEMORIELLES: CIRCULER ENTRE LA TURQUIE, LA GRÈCE ET LA BELGIQUE
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 2
Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno
Abstract: The article examines the life story of a Greek Pontic, who migrated from central Macedonia (Greece) to Belgium in 1965. The account of his life starts with his father being born and living in the Samsun province (Ottoman Empire), that is before the exchange of populations in the 1920s and his arrival to Greece as refugee. This dense and precise life history narrative not only allows us to revisit major events of Greek history, but also to follow the social and geographical transitions and trajectories that a family made during a century. Socialization processes, appropriation and loss of economic resources, political choices, transmission of stereotypes are some of the issues discussed here. The analysis of this material is inspired by cognitive anthropology: one of the aims has been to examine how « analogic thinking », through the connections and the correspondences it establishes, leads to exegetical reflections that facilitate the process of understanding and coping with novel situations. In this framework, analogies not only play a heuristic role, but also give the impression of intimately knowing not lived situations and experiences of the past. By listing similarities and differences, analogical arguments become an adaptation tool in migratory contexts as the one analyzed here.
Keywords: cognitive anthropology, Macedonia, refugees, Pontic Greeks, migration, tobacco, analogic thinking