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The Greek Spirit Today

kargkeze.jpg (72196 bytes)Cargese is a Maniot village that everywhere, on Corsica, in France, in the whole world is always called Greek Cargese!

Every publication of local tourist company, of any local office and society bears a sign: "Cargese la Grecque"!

The main occupation of villagers, local Corsicans as well as Maniot descendants, is tourism. They try hard to increase not only the number of tourists, but to reach the highest possible level of tourism. They try to achieve this by a good technical support, a well organised sanitary service, politeness, hospitality and restrained but sincere smiles.

kargkeze_hotel.jpg (23401 bytes)kargkeze51.JPG (44015 bytes)The names of hotels and restaurants are characteristically Greek: Residence Ellada, Motel Ta Kladia, Residence DíItylon, Hotel-Motel Helios, Residence Maina, Hotel-Restaurant Thalassa, etc.

Just imagine, 800 people and their descendants who now live in a far away place in a hostile surrounding could manage to keep their Greek spirit and strongly impose their presence everywhere around. The present Greek tourists who visit Cargese with big excitement and pride walk along the streets that bear Greek names: Greece (Rue de Greece), Mani (Rue de Magne), Itylos (Rue de Vitylon)!

The descendants of the first colonists stick to their Maniot names: Stefanopoulos, Trimigokis, Tzanetakis, Drakakis, Volimakis, Koritis, Vlahodimakis, Koronas, Kotsifakis, Papadakis, Mavroidakis, etc.

Quite a number of Maniots try to study and speak Greek. Unfortunatelly only few old women still remember and use the Maniot idioms that they have learned from their great-grandfathers. Without close and constant contacts with Greece in general and Mani in particular gradually these idioms would be completely forgotten.

kargkeze_ekklisia2.jpg (30703 bytes)It is very remarkable that the descendants of the first Maniot colonists managed to keep their Greek spirit, to stay proud of their Greek origin and to believe that Greek blood flows in their veins.

Isnít it exciting that the services in the local cathedral of St. Spiridonas are held in Greek!! The religious holidays follow the Orthodox-Byzantine ceremonies including those of baptizing, wedding and burial.

Greek Cargese occupies a steady position and sticks to the traditions of their ancestors. It is especially important nowadays when an impersonal Western culture threatens to equalize everything and everyone in this world. We who live in Greece should strengthen our contacts with this remote Greek place for the sake of preserving our Greek consciousness and presence, and our Greek nation, in general.

Magazine "Adouloti Mani", Summer 1997, Article on the Corsican Maniots.

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