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LEEM - Arvanites (Fun)
Posted 2 years ago by

Arvanites are after the Albanian speaking population of southern Greece. They came to Greece in the late Middle Ages and retained a majority position in some areas of Greece until the 20th century. They speak the dialect of the Tuscany Albanian. Arvanites are members of the Greek Orthodox Church, and that is one of the reasons why they are not considered Albanians. They always referred to themselves as the Greeks. In the 19th century, at the time when the Kingdom of Greece formed, they accounted for about 10% of the state's population.

Arvanites came from southern Albania to Greece during the late Middle Ages (13th-16th centuries), probably invited by the Emperor of Latin America to colonize the wounded areas, but also invited by the Greek rulers. Arvanites settled Epirus, southern Boiótia, southern Euboea, Atika and most of the northeastern Peloponnese (Argolida) and the islands of Ydra, Spetses and Poros.

After the abovementioned change of population, Arvanites became a minority in all areas. Many of them helenized when they left for big cities. Today they are around 140,000 in the whole of Greece, but their minority status is not recognized, they are referred to as Albanian Greeks, as they themselves feel and refuse to be compared to the Albanians. Today it is estimated that some 300,000 Greeks have an ancestor of Arvanit. Thanks to urbanization and mixing, the Arvanitans are no longer mixed, and they are especially old people in the countryside. The language is spoken by a maximum of 50,000 Greeks today, but probably much less, especially older people. They understand the young language very poorly, few of them speak fluently.

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