Peter Paparizos

Making a Move: Searching for Stability

Image 1.1 The City of Xanthi, Greece, 1960s
Courtesy of the Paparizos family © 2016

Uprooted: The Paparizos Family Leaves Greece

Peter Paparizos was born in the rural village of Nestorio in the Kastoria region of Greece on April 20, 1961. Peter can trace his family’s heritage in Nestorio back at least four generations. During his childhood, there was much political and economic turmoil in Greece, resulting in people choosing to either move within the country or migrate elsewhere in the hopes of finding economic stability.

Feeling similar pressures, Peter, his parents, sister, and grandparents moved to the emerging urban town of Xanthi in 1964 in search of work. Peter’s father and grandfather were carpenters and builders and purchased property in Xanthi, building houses for their families.  

The Paparizos’ lived in Xanthi for five years before making the decision to migrate to Canada in the hopes of finding financial security due to better employment opportunities. Canada and Australia were popular destinations at the time for Greek migrants seeking employment, as the Greek government promoted post-war migration to help solve the country’s unemployment and poverty issues.

Image 1.2 The red pin indicates Kastoria. The green pin indicates Xanthi.
Courtesy of Google Maps © 2016

Revolution

The ‘Glorious War‘ started in 1967, one year before Peter’s family decided to leave Greece. The ‘Revolution’ was a dictatorship that overthrew the government and dethroned the king. Between 1967 and 1974, the Junta wanted to purge Greek society of the “communist conspiracy” that had arisen during the Civil War. The junta created an unstable state with mass demonstrations taking place in 1973. The political instability played a role in the Paparizos family’s decision to leave Greece.

Consider:

With growing political tensions and economic instability, would you have chosen to remain in Greece or to migrate to another country?

What are some reasons for staying?

What are some reasons for leaving?  

A civil war fought between the Greek government army and the military branch of the Greek Communist Party after World War II. Although the Greek Communist Party was defeated and banned, there remained a pro- and anti-communism split within the Greek population afterwards.

The name of the dictatorship movement that overthrew the Greek government in 1967. This military oligarchy was the result of political instability within the country stemming from the Greek Civil War.

The reign of the Greek military junta, lasting from 1967 to 1974.

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 Part 5

 Part 6

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