Πέμπτη 19 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Linguistic Maintenance and Cultural Idiosyncrasies in Greece’s Arvanitic Speaking Communities-Mesimi i Arvanishtes ne Greqine e fundit te shekullit te 19-te dhe fillimt te shekullit te 20-te; Ruajtja e gjuhes dhe vecorite kulturore te komuniteteve Arvanishtfolese ne Greqi.

Learning Arvanitic in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Greece: Linguistic Maintenance and Cultural Idiosyncrasies in Greece’s Arvanitic Speaking Communities


Theodore G. Zervas (Chicago)



Historical Origins

Most historians agree that the  Arvanites  first settled central  and southern Greece in the thirteenth century. A succession of migrations into  Greece  continued  until  the early nineteenth century. The Arvanites are thought to have originated from parts of present day Albania. Their identity has been linked  to their  Arvanitic (Arvanitika) or Tosk Albanian language and their practice of Greek Orthodox Christianity.

One of the earliest accounts to mention the Arvanites is from Anna Comnema (1083–1153 ACE) in the twelfth century, where she briefly  describes  a  town  and people from Durrës in present day Albania called Arbanus (Sewter 2009). It is here, that contemporary historians believe the name  Arvanite  or  Αρβανíτες  originated. Later Byzantine accounts describe them as Christians who settled in  parts of  present day southern Albania and northwestern Greece. It is also said that they were encour- aged by Byzantine officials to  migrate south in undeveloped and under-populated ar- eas of Central Greece and the Peloponnese where many of these communities still live today.

Historians and anthropologists continue to debate the Arvanites geographic and ethnic origins. Some have characterized them as a “hybrid” Greek/Albanian  culture since they speak both Greek and Albanian while others mostly nationalists in both Greece and Albanian have claimed them to be purely Greek or purely Albanian.

For nearly 900 years Arvanite towns were scattered around  Athens  in  Attica, Central Greece,  Southern  Euboea,  Corinth,  the  Argolis,  western  Laconia  and  many of the Soronic and Cycladic Islands in the Aegean. For some time the Arvanites was Greece’s biggest public secret in that the Greek state had always been aware of them, but reluctant to acknowledge that the language they spoke was not Greek (Mag- liveras 2009).

After the creation of the modern Greek state in 1827 the Arvanites identified as being almost  exclusively  Greek  or  Greek  Orthodox  Christians,  but  preferred  to speak Arvanitic instead of Greek. The Greek state  had  also  seen  them  this  way, mainly because they had participated the Greek Revolution and had been active in the political and cultural life of Greece.

At the same time, the Arvanites remained mysterious and many Greeks assumed that the Arvanitic language was ancient northern Greek dialect. But when Albanian immigrants began flooding into Greece in the 1990s (after the collapse of communism in Albania) it became apparent that Arvanitic was not Greek at all, but an “old” Tosk Albanian dialect. Arvanite communities nonetheless clung to their Greek national identity. They found it offensive to be called Albanians and were quick to point out differences between themselves and the Albanian immigrants.

While Greek and Albanian are distinct languages within the Indo-European clas- sification of languages, they share many similarities in syntax and grammar. There are even ancient Greek words in the Arvanitic that are not used in Modern Greek. The word for mouse, μι in Arvanitic, is the ancient Greek word for mouse μις. Νουκ for the contraction “not” in Arvanitic is suspected to derive from the ancient Greek of ουκ. The Arvanitic word for house, στεπή is also thought to derive from the ancient Greek word σκεπή. Similarly, hades is often used when referring to the underworld or afterlife. There are about 30 ancient Greek loan words in Arvanitic, but many lin- guists suspect that there are likely more. At the same time, colloquial Greek has adopted many Albanian words.  George Babiniotis attributes  about 50–75  words used in Modern Greek that derive from Tosk Albanian (Babiniotis 1998). Some examples include: γκομáρι for donkey, γουβα for ditch, λουλουδι for flower, μπέσα for the intransitive verb “come”, καλικουτσα to carry on ones back, λουτσα to be soaked, σβέρκος for neck, and σíγουρα, for the adverb “clearly” or “certainly”.

The Arvanite case is complex and language (in this  case)  is  not  the only  factor when determining the Arvanites’s ethnic identity. Many scholars have suggested  that the Arvanites spoke only Albanian and that it was only in the last one hundred  years that they learned Greek. However, in most Arvanite communities in the Peloponnese (where the language has survived until the present), older generations of Arvanitic speakers recall that they and their families had always spoken Greek in addition to Arvanitic or as they call it Αρβανíτικα.

Older generation remember their great grandparents and great, great grandpar- ents speaking Greek. Greek revolutionary heroes such as Andreas Miaoulis, Markos Botsaris, Antonios Kriezis, Georgios Kountouriotis, and Laskarina Bouboulina who were of Arvanite descent were also known to speak both Greek and Arvanitic. Thus, it is likely that the Arvanite communities in Greece spoke both Greek and Arvanitic for more than one hundred years. It is also likely that many Arvanite communities had known Greek since late Byzantine times. As Orthodox Christians they were un- der the authority of the Byzantine Empire and would have known Greek to engage in the political, economic, religious, and social affairs of the state.

Moreover, while historians  and  anthropologists have declared  them  as primarily an agriculturally based people who rarely left their towns and communities, many historical accounts mention them as mercenaries, hired by the Ottomans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Habsburgs to defend their empires.  At the  same time, historical rec- ords show that the Arvanites were also merchant traders who traded goods through- out the Mediterranean (Biris 1960).

Their identity also centered on their families or clans (φáρα), towns, and Church (Dede 1998). Moreover, because a Greek education was valued  in  the  Balkans  for much of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, wealthy  Arvanite merchants sent their children to Greek schools, where they were expected  to learn Greek  and drop their Arvanitic/Albanian language. Moreover, when  Arvanites  began  immigrating  to the United States, Australia, and Canada in the late nineteenth century, many of them identified as being Greek. In  cities  like  New  York,  Chicago,  Sydney,  and  Toronto, most Arvanites settled alongside other Greek immigrants and participated in  the cultural and social life of that community.

Within Arvanite communities in Greece, both  Greek  and  Arvanitic were  spoken and depending on the occasion one language dominated the other. Funeral dirges and wedding songs for example were almost always sung in Arvanitic.  Business contracts and other agreements between community members were almost always in Greek. Church services were exclusively in Greek, and families typically communicated in Arvanitic within their homes and towns.

Photograph 1:  Members of an Arvanite community in the Argolis region of the Peloponnese. Circa 1950.


If a fellow Arvanitic speaker entered an Arvanitic town, locals would have preferred to communicate with the visitor in Arvanitic. If a non-Arvanitic speaker entered the community, members of the community spoke to visitors in Greek. At the same time Arvanitic speakers never felt threatened if discovered that  they  spoke  a  language other than  Greek. The Arvanites saw themselves as being Greek, and their neighbors saw them this way as well. Differences between Greek speakers and  Albanian  speak- ers were seen as minor.

While early Greek school textbooks make no mention of the Arvanites, many late nineteenth century textbooks suggest that the Albanian people had a  common  cul- tural and historical connection  to the ancient  Greeks (Philippidou 1900). Often they are described as the descendants of the pre-classical Pelasgians and Dorians who set- tled the Greek peninsula between 1000 and 800 BCE (Philippidou 1900: 38). Differ- ences between the two nations are not made apparent (or embellished) until the early twentieth century during Albania’s national awakening and Greece’s territorial ex- pansion in the Balkans.

Attempts to promote cultural links between Albanians and Greeks were also en- couraged by Markos Botsaris, Panayiotis Kupitoris and Anastas Kullurioti. It is  im- portant to say a few words about Botsaris, Kupitoris and  Kullurioti  since  they  all viewed an Arvanite ethnic identity differently.  All  three also promoted  the teaching and learning of the Arvanitic language in Greece.


Botsaris, Kupitoris, and Kullurioti

Markos Botsaris’s (1788–1823) was part of the Greek-Albanian speaking Souliot clan of Epirus. He is most remembered for his heroism during the Greek War of Inde- pendence (1821–1827). His  Greek-Arvanitic  (Albanian) Dictionary (Λεξικóν της Ρωμαϊκοις και Αρβανητηκής Απλής) provides a glimpse of the  Arvanitic  language just prior to the Greek Revolution  (Botsaris 1809).  It  is also  the first  known  attempt  to link the Greek and Arvanitic languages. Botsaris’s dictionary was completed in 1809 at the request of Francois Pouqueville the French general consul at the court of Ali Pasha. It is believed that Botsaris wrote the dictionary while his father and  uncle dictated the words to him.

Botsaris’s original dictionary includes about 1700 Greek  entries  and  1494  Ar- vanitic entries. The Greek words are in the left  hand  columns  while  the  Albanian words are on the right.

Photograph 2: Botsaris’s original Dictionary


The words are in no particular order.  The Greek  re-print  of  the dictionary  is  nearly 500 pages in length. It begins with Greek  words used  in  Arvanitic.  There  are  about 500 words that are borrowed from the Greek. For example,  αδικíα – αδιηική, ελευ- θερíα ελφτέρη, ευχαριστ   ευχαριστíσoυρε,  φως    φως,  θαυμáζω    θαμáξεμ. There are also about 150 Turkish and 30 Italian loan words. There are no Latin words listed even though there are over  400  Latin  loan  words  found  in  Tosk  Albanian today.

Many of the Arvantic  words  listed  in  Botsaris’s  dictionary  are  merely  Greek words with an Arvantic and  Albanian  pronunciation.  Almost  all  of  these  deal  with the religious practices of the Greek Orthodox Church.



ZfB, 50 (2014) 2


Table 1: Sample of Greek Religious Words Used in Arvanitic Agapis αγαπ                                                         foton φ των

aghatho αγαθóς                          kallogjer καλóγερος

aksi αξíα                                       kandile κανδúλη

amarti αμαρτíα                            kolas   κóλαση amartolo αμαρτωλóς                                                         konismë – εικóνισμα engjëll áγγελος   ksemollojis εξομολóγο

apostoll απóστολος                    liturji λειτουργíα

athanat αθáνατος                       livadh λιβáδι

dhemon δαíμων                 stavrosurë σταυρ νω dhoksasurë δοξáζω                                                         thamasmë θαúμασμα 

eklisiasurë εκκλησιáζω                                                         thavsmë θαúμα evjeni ευγενíα      vllojisure εúλογο

fanero – φανερóς                           zoi ζωή

Panayiotis Kupitoris (1821–1881) was born on the island of Hydra in 1821. The is- land is thought to bee settled almost exclusively by Arvanites. Like many of the lo- cals of Hydra, Kupitoris grew up speaking both Greek and Arvanitic. After studying at the University of Athens, Kupitoris was appointed principal at several Greek sec- ondary schools. He also opened an independent night school in Athens that taught students the Arvanitic/Albanian language. After purchasing a printing press with his close friend Anastas Kullurioti (who I discuss later in this section) in 1879, Kupitoris and Kullurioti began publishing the Greek and Albanian language newspaper The Voice of Albania (Η Φωνή της Αλβανíας/Zëri i Shqipërisë). The newspaper found a small readership and was discontinued after publishing only 40 issues.

The newspaper was seen as fervently nationalistic since it promoted the develop- ment of an Albanian national party in Greece and the liberation of Albania from the Ottoman Empire. In 1873, Kupitoris published his Dictionary of Greek and Latin Words (Λεξικóν Λατινοελληνικ ν), which he hoped students in the upper Greek high  schools  would  use (Kupitoris 1873).  In  1879 he published  his  Albanian  Studies: A Historical and Literary Essay About the Albanian Nation and its Language (Αλβα- νικαí Μελέται Πραγματεíα ιστορική και φιλολογική περí της γλ σσης και του έθνους των Αλβαν ν) and his Study on Albanian Pronouns in the Third Person: In the Albanian Dialect in Greece and Particularly Hydra (Διατριβή περí της παρ' Αλ- βανοíς αντωνυμíας του τρíτου προσ που: Κατá την διáλεκτον των εν Ελλáδι Αλ- βαν ν μáλιστα την των Υδραíων). In all three of these works Kupitoris argued that modern day Albanian was derived from ancient Illyrian, which was merely a lost northern ancient Greek dialect (Kupitoris 1879a). He also tried to find similarities between the two languages, arguing that the Albanian  language  was  mostly  Greek with some Latin words and a few Germanic and Celtic words.

Like Kupitoris, Anastas Kullurioti (1822–1887) was also interested in the histori- cal and linguistic relationship between Greek and Arvanitic. Kullurioti was born on the island of Salamis in 1822. Like Kupitoris he grew up speaking both Greek and Arvanitic/Albanian. He briefly immigrated to the United States, where he made a small fortune. Later he returned to Greece and settled in the Plaka district in Athens. Kullurioti attempted to preserve the Arvanite culture in Greece through the publication of his Albanian Primer or spelling book in 1882 (Αλβανικ ν Αλφαβηταρíων in Greek and Albanian) and in the same year his children’s book Milk for Babies (Klumësht për foshnja in Greek and Albanian).  Kullurioti’s primer included  Greek and Albanian folk tales, poetry, and proverbs. He later looked to document the oral literature of the Arvanites in a 196-page notebook, which was never published (Cor- nis-Pope and Neubauer 2006: 290). Kullurioti was also interested in  establishing  Albanian  language schools through- out Greece. On June 4, 1883 he found the organization Albanian Brotherhood, whose mission was to strengthen cultural ties between Greeks and Albanians.  It  members were composed of Arvanite intellectuals, professionals, and veterans of the Greek Revolution. In the early 1880’s Kullurioti travelled to southern Albania to encourage Albanian  nationalists  to  rise  up  against  the  Ottoman  Empire  (Elsie 2012:  264).  This brought him into conflict with both Greece and Turkey. He was imprisoned when he returned to Greece where he died under mysterious circumstances.

Most of his Kullurioti’s work was intended for Arvanite communities in Greece. Kullurioti found the Arvanitic  language  to  be  no  different  than  southern  Albanian. He is considered a national hero  in  Albania today  for his  early  attempts to  preserve an Albanian national identity in Greece. He is also the only known writer of late nineteenth century Greece who made an effort (although minimal) to document what Arvanitic speaking children learned in their communities.


Contemporary Linguistic and Cultural Landscapes

An 1879 Greek census found that in the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Euboea and the island of Andros there were nearly 225.000 Albanian/Arvanitic speakers. This number did not include Hydra and Spetses, which were traditionally Arvanitic speaking. The entire population of Greece at the time was about 1.6 million people. Today, the Arvanitic language has survived in several towns of the Argolis. Anastasia Karakasidou’s study on Slavic speaking groups in northern Greece found that many Slavic groups felt pressure to change their last names into Greek sounding names (Karakaksidou 1997). Today many Arvanite’s bear Greek and Albanian derived last names. Some last names that are believed to be Albanian in origin include: Πλáκας, Λιáπης, Κóλιας, Λιáκος, Βιρής, Μανεσσής. None of the locals remember having to change their names. At the same time, in some Arvanitic speaking villages the nick- name (παρατσοúκλι) of older generations are Albanian in origin. Some examples in- clude: Κóκκας, Μποúτος, Σκυρτεση, and Διλλιλής.

Natural landmarks in many of the  towns bear  both  Greek  and Arvanitic names. One finds this in the Arvanite town  of  Prosymni.  The  town’s  official  name  is Prosymni, but locals still refer to it by its Arvanitic name of Berbati. For much of the twentieth century the Greek state took steps to officially change the names of towns that were not Greek. For example, Charvati became Mykinai (1916), Priftani – Mo- nastiraki, (1928), Gkermpesi – Medea (1928), Dousia – Metochi (1927), Mermpakas – Agia Tria (1950), Pasas   Inachos  (1975)  (National  Hellenic  Research  Foundation 2014).

Ancient landmarks in  Prosymni  typically  have  Greek  names.  Masto  (Ancient Greek for breast) is named for a hill located on the town’s plain (κáμπος). Glisoura (narrow or closed) is named for the ravine or valley that leads into the town. There is also a local dish in Prosymni that is thought to be Albanian in origin. The dish giosa (γιóσα) or mutton, which is thought to have originated in  Albania,  is  still  made  al- most daily in several of Prosymni’s taverns.

The question however remains how the Arvanitic language survived in towns like Prosymni for so long? Arvanite men were more likely to speak both Greek  and Ar- vanitic because they typically ventured outside their towns and interacted with Greek speakers. Arvanite women rarely left their towns and had no real practical need to learn Greek. One early traveler from 1892 noted that,

The process of Hellenization is still going on, and the Albanian [Arvanitic] language is doomed in Greece; at present it is kept alive by the women, who, speaking no other, teach it to their children, and will continue to do so until the system of primary education for women is more widely extended in the Hellenic Kingdom (Renell 1892: 19).

There are many cases in the later part of the last century of Arvanite women knowing no Greek at all, while their husbands  and  children  knew both  Greek  and  Arvanitic. Like most communities in Greece from the late nineteenth  to early twentieth  centu- ries women’s roles revolved around their home, local town, family and the rearing of thier children. Since women were expected to raise their children they often commu- nicated with their children in Arvanitic. It was through this  process that the language was passed on to future generation.

The Arvanitic language was also the spoken language of the community. It was a language that community members felt most comfortable communicating in, and it was the language of everyday expression. Members of many Arvanite communities remember their mothers and grandmothers singing to them in Arvanitic. Common expressions included zemër mou (my heart), vajzë mou (my girl) djalë mou (my boy), chaidiari mou (my dear). Many also remember the following childhood rhyme:

τáνα του τáνα του                        Come on, come on

νιáλη βíνγα μáνα του                   the child is rushing home from grandma’s

Μáνα του σε ντοúονου                 But grandma did not welcome him

που με γκιοúρ εγνιοúνου              she warded him off with rocks

One of the best-known folk songs, sung in many of the Arvanite communities in the Peloponnese is Καμπáνα ε Παπαντíς (The Chimes of our Lady Papandi):

The chimes have pealed from our Lady Papandi; rise up dear soul and go to Church. The chimes have rung twice or thrice; Rise up dear soul and adorn yourself with your most elegant kerchief. Come  this  very  instant,  now  that your mother’s away at the dance. Come let me seize a kiss from you, now that I have drunk some wine (Moraitis 2010 and Hemetek et al. 2004).

The Chimes of our Lady Papandi is a romantic song that centers around the town, community, and Church and about how two lovers who  find the opportunity to meet while their families are away (Moraitis 2010).

Another romantic song dealt with a young man’s obsession with a young maiden

'Απε τσέ γιέ κουμπισοúρε            There you are leaning

Σí σενγκέ ε ζογραφíσουρε            Like a painted portrait

Ρουσοú πóστε τέ τέ φλás            Come down so I could sing to you

Μós νομís σι óτι τέ γκás              And don’t worry I will not fondle you Other songs or ballads dealt with the Greek revolution and its Arvanite heroes:

Κιó γκλιοúχα Αρμπερíστε            The Arvanitic language

íστε γκλιοúχ τρερíστε εíναι          language of the brave

É φλíτ ναυαρχοí Μιαοúλη           Spoken by the seaman Miaoulis

Μπóτσαρη έδε γκíθ Σοúλι           Botsaris and all of Souli (Vambas 1879).

Children learned songs like these in their communities by their mothers, grandmoth- ers and great-grandmothers.



Why were not the Arvanites assimilated like other multilingual speaking groups in Greece, and why has the Arvanitic language survived in some parts of Greece until today? Most of the towns that still speak Arvanitic are located in the Argolis region of the Peloponnese. Older generations of people (between the ages of 60–100+) from these towns continue to speak Arvanitic as well as Greek. Many of the younger gen- erations have working knowledge of the language. The towns of Prosymni and Lim- nes seem to have the greatest number of speakers today. The towns neighbor one an- other, but  are still about 4  kilometers apart. Limnes is on  higher elevation  at  about 520 meters above sea level where Prosymni is closer to lower ground. The nearest metropolitan cities are Argos and Nafplion. But the locals in Limnes  still prefer  to go into Corinth instead of Argos or Nafplion. Today modern roads have made it easier to access the towns, but for some time both Prosymni and Limnes had been mostly isolated. Several other towns in the area such as, Manesi, Dendra, Mykines, Inachos, Ira, Monastiraki, Neo Iraio, at one time are also thought  to  have  also  spoken  Ar- vanitic at one time.

There is no question however, that  Arvanitic  is  dying  and  will  likely  disappear with the next generation. The locals in the towns in  Prosymni  and  Limnes  likely learned Greek when systems of communications and commerce were extended to the neighboring commercial towns of  Argos  and  Nafplion.  Greek  had  historically  been the language of trade in the region. We know that the residents had schools of some form or another from Ottoman times onward, and that some years after Greek inde- pendence a national Greek school had appeared in the region. Arvanite was partly preserved because the Arvanitic speaking communities in  the area  were  not in  the area of expansion sought by the Greek state for most of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (they had become part of the Greek kingdom after the  Revolu- tion).

The Megali Idea or Greece’s nineteenth century policy to reclaim lands that were thought to be Greek (and usually at the expense of other nation), looked to recreate ancient and Byzantine Greece  based  along  geographic  and  cultural  lines.  Thessaly was  incorporated  in  1881,  most  of  Macedonia  and  Epirus  in  1913,  and  Western Thrace in 1919. Non-Greek speakers from these areas felt the most pressure to drop their local languages and adopt Greek. Moreover, the Greek state diverted thier edu- cational resources in these areas. Schools were opened to teach Greek and locals eventually dropped their native tongues.

This type of pressure never occurred in most  of  the  Arvanitic speaking  towns  in the Peloponnese, since they were already part of the Greek state. It was also  essen- tially the women; the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who helped preserve the language in these towns. The language was learned by children in infor- mal learning settings, in a space and around people that they were most comfortable around. It was a language that community members  associated  with their past, and with those that cared and nurtured them.


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Mesimi i Arvanishtes ne Greqine e fundit te shekullit te 19-te dhe fillimt te shekullit te 20-te; Ruajtja e gjuhes dhe vecorite kulturore te komuniteteve Arvanishtfolese ne Greqi. 

Ky material eshte shqiperimi i nje shkrimi te studiuesit Theodore G. Zervas me titull: 
Learning Arvanitic in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Greece: Linguistic Maintenance and Cultural Idiosyncrasies in Greece’s Arvanitic Speaking Communities

Ky artikull u botua per here te pare ne faqen shkencore: "Zeitschrift für Balkanologie". 

Per me shume ju mund te vizitoni: http://www.zeitschrift-fuer-balkanologie.de/index.php/zfb/article/view/390


Disa fjale rreth artikullit - Nga autori


Disa studime te koheve te fundit rreth Greqise moderne kane trajtuar temen e minoriteteve jo-Greqisht folese apo grupeve qe flasin disa gjuhe, si pershembull Arvanitasit, Vlleherit dhe Sllavet. Shume nga keto grupe, prej disa shekujsh, i kane shpetuar Helenizimit te plote. Ka shume arsye pse keto grupe mbajten disa nga karakteristikat e tyre gjuhesore dhe kulturore, dhe ne te njejten kohe vazhduan te identifikoheshin si Greke. Padyshim, Arvanitasit kane mbajtur gjuhen e tyre me mire se shume grupe te tjera minoritetesh ne Greqi (Clogg 2002). Gjuha Arvanitase ju ishte mesuar antareve te komuniteteve perkatese ne nje menyre te thjeshte, brenda hapesirave familjare, qe kuptohet ishin miqesore dhe personale. Shkrimi im fillon duke pare origjinen historike te Arvanitasve ne Greqi, me pas permend perpjekjet e Marko Bocarit, Panajot Kupitorit dhe Anastas Kulluriotit per dokumentimin dhe mesimin e gjuhes Arvanitase ne Greqi. Artikulli vazhdon duke analizuar disa vjersha dhe kenge famijesh qe keta te fundit i mesonin ne komunitetet e tyre. Shkrimin e mbyll me diskutimin se si ka arritur gjuha Arvanitase te mbijeteoje ne Greqi deri ne ditet tona.  


Rreth origjines historike

Shumica e historianeve bien dakort qe Arvanitasit filluan te vendoseshin ne pjesen qendrore dhe jugore te Greqise gjate shekullit te 13-te. Migrimet e tyre te njepasnjeshme vazhduan deri ne fillimet e shekullit te 19-te. Mendohet se Arvanitasit e kane origjinen nga disa zona te Shqiperise se sotme. Identiteti i tyre eshte lidhur me gjuhen Arvanitase ose Toskerishte dhe praktikimin e Krishterimit Orthodhoks Grek. 
Nje nga permendjet me te hereshme te Arvanitasve vjen nga Anna Comnena (1083-1153 E.K.) ne shekullin e 12-te, kur ajo jep nje pershkrim te shkurter te qytezes se Durresit dhe njerezve te saj. Durresi ndodhet ne Shqiperine e sotme. Kete zone ajo e quan Arbanus (Sewter 2009). Eshte pikerisht kjo zone ku historianet bashkekohore mendojne se emri Arvanit 
(Αρβανίτ) ka zanafillen e tij. Burimet e mevoneshme Bizantine i pershkruajne ata si te Krishtere te cilet u vendosen ne jug te Shqiperise se sotme dhe veri-perendim te Greqise. Eshte thene gjithashtu qe ata ishin inkurajuar nga zyrtaret Bizantine te migronin ne jug, drejt zonave te pazhvilluara dhe me popullate te paket te Greqise qendrore dhe Peloponezit, ku shume nga keto komunitete vazhdojne te jetojne dhe sot e kesaj dite. 
Historianet dhe anthropologet vazhdojne te debatojne rreth origjines gjeografike dhe etnike te Arvanitasve. Disa i kane karakterizuar ata si nje perzierie kulturore Greko-Shqiptare ngaqe ata flasin te dy gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Shqip. Ndersa disa te tjere, kryesisht nacionalistet ne te dy anet respektive, i pershkruajne ata si "puro" Greke, ose "puro" Shqiptare. 
Per pothuajse 900 vjet, qytezat/venbanimet Arvanitase ishin shperndare rreth Athines ne Atike, Greqine qendrore, Eubean jugore, Korinth, Argolis, Lakonine perendimore dhe shume ishuj te Cikladeve dhe detit Egje. Per nje periudhe kohore, Arvanitasit ishin "sekreti" me i madh Grek; por nje sekret qe e dinin te gjithe. Kjo ne kendveshtrimin qe shteti Grek ishte i ndergjegjshem per egzistencen e tyre por hezitonte te pranonte qe gjuha qe ata flisnin nuk kishte te bente ne Greqishten (Magliveras 2009).
Pas themelimit te shtetit modern Grek ne vitin 1827 Arvanitasit u identifikuan ne menyre pothuajse unanime si Greke ose Kristiane Orthodokse Greke, por qe preferuan te flisnin Arvanitika ne vend te Greqishtes. Po ashtu, shteti Grek i kishte pare ata ne te njejten forme dhe kjo kryesisht sepse Arvanitasit kishin marre pjese ne Revolucionin Greek dhe kishin qene aktive ne jeten politike dhe kulturore te Greqise.
Ne te njejten kohe, Arvanitasit mbeten misterioze dhe shume Greke menduan se gjuha Arvanitase ishte nje dialekt antik i Greqise veriore. Por, kur emigrantet Shqiptare filluan te vershonin ne Greqi gjate viteve 1990, (pas shembjes te komunizmit ne Shqiperi), u be e qarte qe Arvanishtja nuk kishte fare te bente me Greqishten, por ishte nje dialekt i vjeter i Toskerishtes. Sido qe te ishte, komunitetet Arvanitase ishin misheruar me identitetin nacional Grek. Ata e konsideronin ofendim ne se quheshin Shqiptare dhe shume shpejt do te nenvizonin diferencat qe egzistonin midis tyre dhe emigranteve Shqiptare. 
Ndersa Greqishtja dhe Shqipja jane gjuhe te ndryshme qe bejne pjese ne grupin e gjuheve Indo-Evropiane ato ndajne shume ngjashmeri ne sintakse dhe gramatike. Bile ne Arvanishte ka fjale te Greqishtes se vjeter qe nuk perdoren ne gjuhen moderne Greke. Fjala "mi" ne Arvanishte vjen nga Greqishtja e vjeter, 
"μις". "Nuk" ne Arvanitishte mendohet te kete erdhur nga fjala "ουκ" e Greqishtes se vjeter. Fjala Arvanitase per "shtepi" gjithashtu mendohet te kete rrjedhur nga fjala e Greqishtes se vjeter, "σκεπή". Po ashtu, fjala "hades" ne Arvanisht perdoret per te pershkruar boten e nendheshme dhe jeten e pas-vdekjes. Dihen rreth 30 fjale te Arvanishtes qe jane huazuar nga Greqishtja e vjeter, por shume gjuhetare mendojne se mund te kete dhe me shume. Ne te njejten kohe, gjuha popullore Greke ka adoptuar shume fjale Arvanitase. Jorgo Babiniotis arrin ne perfundimin se rreth 50 - 75 fjale qe perdoren ne Greqishten moderne e kane origjinen e tyre ne Toskerishtja (Babiniotis 1998). Disa shembuj jane fjalet: γκομάρι (gomari), γουβα (guva), λουλουδι (luludhi), μπέσα (besa), καλικουτσα (kalakic), λουτσα (lluce), σβέρκος (zverk), σίγουρα (sigurisht).
Ceshtja Arvanitase eshte nje ceshtje komplekse dhe ne kete rast gjuha nuk eshte i vetmi faktor percaktues i identitetit etnik te Arvanitasve. Shume studiues kane sugjeruar qe Arvanitasit flisnin vetem Arvanisht dhe filluan te mesonin Greqisht vetem gjate ketyre njeqind viteve te fundit. Nga ana tjeter, ne shumicen e komuniteteve Arvanitase ne Peleponez (zona ku gjuha ka mbijetuar deri ne kohet tona) brezi i vjeter i Arvanitasve kujtojne qe familjet e tyre gjithmone kane folur Greqish, dhe po ashtu dhe Arvanitika 
(Αρβανίτικα), sic e quajne ata kete gjuhe.
Te moshuarit kujtojne qe stergjysherit dhe gjysherit e stergjysherve te tyre flisnin Greqisht. Eshte e ditur qe heronjte e Revolucionit Grek si Andrea Miaulis, Marko Bocari, Andon Kryeziu, Jorgo Kunduriotis, dhe Laskarina Bubulina, qe kishin origjine Arvanitase, i flisnin te dyja gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Arvanisht. Keshtu qe ka shume mundesi qe komunitetet arvanitase ne Greqi flisnin Greqisht dhe Arvanisht per me shume se njeqind vjet. Gjithashtu eshte e njohur qe shume komunitete Arvanitase kishin ditur Greqisht qe ne kohen e Bizantit te vone. Duke qene te Krishtere Orthodokse ata ishin nen varesine e Perandorise Bizantine dhe keshtu qe te ingranoheshin ne jeten politike, ekonomike, fetare dhe sociale te shtetit ata duhet te dinin Greqisht. 
Ndersa historianet dhe anthropologjistet i pershkruajne ata kryesisht si njerez te lidhur me bujqesine, qe rralle largoheshin nga qytezat dhe komunitetet e tyre, shume dokumenta historike i permendin Arvanitasit si mercenare, te marre ne pune per mbrojtjen e perandorive Otomane, Bizantine, Venedikase dhe Habsburge. Ne te njejten kohe, rekorded historike tregojne qe Arvanitasit ishin tregetare qe shisnin/blinin mallra ane e mbane detit Mesdhe (Biris 1960).
Gjithashtu, identiteti i tyre lidhej me familje, klane
 (φάρα), qyteza dhe kisha te ndryshme (Dede). Meqenese ne Ballkan, gjate shekujve te 17-te dhe 19-te, sistemi i edukimit Grek ishte i vleresuar, tregetaret e pasur Arvanitas i dergonin femijet e tyre ne shkolla Greke ku kuptohet qe ata mesonin Greqisht dhe jo Arvanitika, apo Shqip.
Permeteper, kur nga fundi i shekullit te 19-te Arvanitasit filluan te emigrojne ne Shtetet e Bashkuara te Amerikes, Australi dhe Kanada, shume nga ata e identifikuan veten si Greke. Ne qytetet si New York, Chicago/Cikago, Sydney/Sidnei dhe Toronto shume Arvanitas u vendosen midis emigranteve Greke dhe u ingranuan ne jeten kulturore dhe sociale te ketyre komuniteteve. 
​Brenda komuniteteve Arvanitase ne Greqi fliteshin te dyja gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Arvanisht, dhe ne varesi te momentit njera gjuhe dominonte tjetren. Pershembull, vajtimet mortore dhe kenget e dasmave gjithmone kendoheshin ne Arvanisht. Kontratat e bizneseve dhe marveshjet midis antareve te komunitetit beheshin gjithmone ne Greqisht. Sherbimet kishtare beheshin vetem ne Greqisht. Familjet dhe individed kryesisht komunikonin ne Arvanisht ne shtepite dhe ne ambjentet e qytezave te tyre. 


Ne se nje Arvanisht foles do te hynte ne nje qytet Arvanitas, vendasit do te preferonin te komunikonin me vizitorin ne gjuhen Arvanitase. Ne se nje foles i nje gjuhe tjeter hynte ne komunitet, antaret e komunitetit do ti flisnin atij ne gjuhen Greke. Ne te njejten kohe, Arvanisht folesit asnjehere nuk ndjeheshin te kercenuar ne se dikush zbulonte se ata flisnin nje gjuhe tjeter dhe jo Greqisht. Arvanitasit e shihnin veten e tyre si Greke dhe fqinjet e tyre i shihnin ata po ashtu. Diferencat midis Gerqisht folesve dhe Arvanisht folesve konsideroheshin te parendesishme.
Ndersa tekstet e hershme te shkollave Greke nuk i permendin Arvanitasit, shume libra te fund-shekullit te 19-te sugjeronin qe Arvanitasit/Shqiptaret kishin nje kulture te perbashket dhe lidhje historike me Greket e lashte (Philippidou 1900). Shpesh here ata ishin pershkruar si pasardhes te Pellazgeve dhe Dorianeve te cilet u vendosen ne gadishullin Grek midis vitit 1000 dhe 800 perpara Heres Kristiane (Philippidou 1900, Faqe 38). Ndryshimet midis dy nacionaliteteve nuk ishin bere te qarta (ose ishin zbukuruar) deri ne fillimet e shekullit te 20-te kur filloi levizja e rizgjimit te nacionalizmit Shqiptar dhe zgjerimi territorial i Greqise ne Ballkan. 
Perpjekjet per krijimin e lidhjeve kulturore midis Arvanitasve dhe Grekerve ishin inkurajuar nga Marko Bocari, Panajot Kupitori dhe Anastas Kullurioti. Eshte e rendesishme te thuhen disa fjale rreth Bocarit, Kupitorit dhe Kulluriotit sepse ata e shihnin etnicitetin Arvanitas nga kendveshtrime te ndryshme. Te tre keta persona promovuan mesimdhenien dhe mesimin e gjuhes Arvanitase ne Greqi. 


Bocari, Kupitori dhe Kullurioti

Marko Bocari (1788-1823) ishte antar i klanit Greko-Arvanit foles te Sulit ne Epir. Me se shumti ai kujtohet per heroizmin e tij gjate luftes Greke per pavaresi (1821-1827). Fjalori i tij Greko-Arvanitas, (Λεξικόν της Ρωμαϊκοις και Αρβανητηκής Απλής), jep nje pamje te pergjitheshme te gjuhes Arvanitase perpara Revolucionit Grek. Ky punim njihet si perpjekja e pare per te lidhur gjuhet Greke dhe Arvanitase. Fjalori i Bocarit u krijua ne vitin 1808-te me kerkesen e gjeneralit Francois Pouqueville, i cili ishte konsulli Francez ne oborin e Ali Pash Tepelenes. Mendohet se Bocari e beri kete fjalor duke shkrojtur fjalet qe i diktonin i jati dhe xhaxhai i tij. 
Fjalori original i Bocarit permblidhte rreth 1,700 shprehje/fjale Greke dhe 1,494 shprehje/fjale Arvanitase.


Fjalori nuk eshte i organizuar ne ndonje lloj forme. Ri-printimi Grek eshte rreth 500 faqe. Fillon me fjale Greke te perdorura ne Arvanitishte. Ka rreth 500 fjale te “mara borxh” nga Greqishtja. Per shembull; αδικία - adhiiki, ελευθερία - elfteri, ευχαριστώ - fharistisure, φως - fos, θαυμάζω - thavmazem. Gjithashtu, ka te “mara borxh” 150 fjale Turke dhe 30 fjale Italaiane. Ne fjalor nuk ka fjale Latine megjithese ka me shume se 400 fjale te tilla ne dialektin e sotem Tosk te gjuhes Shqipe. Shume nga fjalet Arvanitase te listuara ne fjalorin e Bocarit jane afersisht Greke por me nje shqiperim Arvanitas/Shqipetar. Pothuajse te gjitha keto fjale kane te bejne me praktikat fetare te Kishes Orthodokse Greke. Me poshte eshte nje tabele me shembuj te fjaleve kishtare Greke te perdorura ne Arvanitisht.

Panajoti Kupitori (1821-1881) kishte lindur ne ishullin e Hidres. Mendohet se ne ate kohe ky ishull ishte i populluar, pothuajse i gjithi, nga Arvanitas. Si shume banore te tjere, Kupitori u rit duke folur te dy gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Arvanisht. Pas mbarimit te studimeve ne universitetin e Athines, Kupitori ishte emeruar drejtor i disa shkollave te mesme Greke. Ai hapi nje shkolle nate te pavarur ku ju mesonte studenteve gjuhen Arvanitase/Shqiptare. Ne vitin 1,879 pasi blene nje makine shtypshkrimi se bashku me shokun e tij te ngushte Anastas Kulluriotin, (te cilin une do ta permend me poshte), ata filluan publikimin e nje gazete ne Greqisht dhe Shqip te cilen e titulluan “Zeri i Shqiperise” (Η Φωνή της Αλβανίας). Gazeta pati nje rreth te vogel lexuesish dhe u mbyll pas dyzet botimesh. 
Gazeta u pa si nje botim pasionant nacionalistik nga qe nxiste krijimin e nje partie nacionale Shqiptare ne Greqi dhe clirimin e Shqiperise nga Perandoria Otomane. Ne vitin 1873, Kupitori publikoi nje fjalor Latino-Grek 
(Λεξικόν Λατινοελληνικών). Ai shpresonte qe fjalori i tij do te perdorej nga studentet e shkollave te mesme Greke (Kupitoris 1873). Ne vitin 1879 ai publikoi studimet e tij Shqiptare me titull: "Nje studim rreth historise dhe literatures te popullit Shqiptar dhe gjuhes se tij" / "Αλβανικαί Μελέται ‐ Πραγματεία ιστορική και φιλολογική περί της γλώσσης και του έθνους των Αλβανών". Ai gjithashtu publikoi studimin e tij rreth peremrave te vetes se trete te dialekteve te gjuhes Shqipe ne Greqi dhe kryesisht dialektin e ishullit te Hydras (Διατριβή περί της παρ' Αλβανοίς αντωνυμίας του τρίτου προσώπου: Κατά την διάλεκτον των εν Ελλάδι Αλβανών μάλιστα την των Υδραίων). Ne te tre keto punime Kupitori pretendonte se Shqipja moderne rridhte nga Ilirishtja antike e cila sipas tij ishte nje dialekt i humbur i Greqishtes se lashte qe flitej ne kufijte veriore (Kupitoris 1879). Ai u perpoq te gjente ngjashmeri midis ketyre dy gjuheve dhe insistonte qe gjuha Shqipe ishte me se shumti Greqisht, me disa fjale Latine dhe nje pakice fjalesh Gjermanike dhe Celtike.


Anastas Kullurioti. Ashtu si Kupitori dhe Anastas Kullurioti (1822-1887) ishte i interesuar ne lidhjet historike dhe linguistike midis Greqishtes dhe Arvanishtes. Kullurioti kishte lindur ne ishullin e Salamis ne vitin 1,822. Njesoj si Kupitori ai u rit duke folur te dy gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Arvanisht. Per nje kohe te shkurter ai emigroi ne Amerike ku dhe beri nje pasuri te vogel. Me vone ai u rikthye ne Greqi dhe u vendos ne zona e Plakes ne Athine. Kullurioti u perpoq te mbronte kulturen Arvanitase ne Greqi nepermjet publikimeve te ndryshme si psh "Abetaren Shqiptare", ose libri i germave (Αλβανικών Αλφαβηταρίων - Ne Greqisht dhe Shqip), nje botim ky i vitit 1,882. Po ne te njejtin vit ai publikoi librin e tij per femije, "Qumesht per foshnja" (Ne Greqisht dhe Shqip). Abetaria e Kulluriotit perfshinte perralla Greke dhe Arvanitase/Shqiptare, poema dhe proverba. Me vone ai u perpoq te dokumentonte materialin gojor te Arvanitasve ne nje liber me 196 faqe, te cilin nuk e botoi kurre (Cornis-Pope and Neubauer 2006, p. 290). 
Gjithashtu, Kullurioti ishte interesuar te krijonte shkolla Shqipe ne te gjithe Greqine. Ne kater Qershor te vitit 1883 ai themeloi organizaten "Vllazeria Shqiptare", misioni i te ciles ishte te forconte lidhjet midis Grekeve dhe Shqiptareve. Antaret e saj ishin intelektuale, profesionaliste dhe veterane te Revolucionit Grek.

Ne fillim te vitit 1.880 Kullurioti vizitoi Shqiperine jugore te inkurajonte nacionalistet Shqiptare te ngriheshin kunder Perandorise Otomane (Elsie 2012, Faqe 264). Kjo veprimtari e solli ate ne konflikt me Greqine dhe Turqine. Kur u kthye ne Greqi ai perfundoi ne burg ku dhe vdiq ne rrethana misterioze. 
Pjesa me e madhe e punimeve te Kulluriotit i drejtoheshin komuniteteve Arvanitase ne Greqi. Kullurioti nuk shihte ndonje diference midis Arvanishtes dhe Toskerishtes (Dialektit te Shqipes jugore). Sot, ne Shqiperi, ai konsiderohet nje hero kombetar per perpjekjet e tij ne mbrojtejen e identitetit Shqiptar ne Greqi. Gjithashtu ai eshte i vetmi shkrimtar i periudhes se vone te shekullit te 19-te ne Greqi qe u perpoq, (qofte dhe minimalisht), te dokumentonte cfare mesonin femijet Arvanisht foles ne komunitetet e tyre. 


Linguistika dhe traditat kulturore

Nje census Grek i vitit 1,879 tregon se ne Peloponez, Greqine qendrore, Eubea dhe ishillin e Andros jetonin perafersisht 225,000 Arvanisht foles. Ishujt e Hidras dhe Speces, qe tradicionalisht kishin popullate Arvanisht folese, nuk perfshiheshin ne kete numur. E gjithe popullata e Greqise se asaj kohe ishte rreth 1,600,000. Sot, gjuha Arvanitase ka mbijetuar ne disa qyteza te provinces Argolis. Nje studim i Anastasia Karakasidou rreth grupeve Sllavik folese ne Greqine veriore gjeti qe shume grupe Sllave ndjene presion per ndrimin e mbiemrave te tyre ne nje forme qe te tingellonin me Greke (Karakaksidou 1997). Ne kohen tone, shume Arvanitas mbajne mbiemra te natyres Greke dhe Shqiptare. Disa nga mbiemrat qe mendohet te kene origjine Arvanitase/Shqiptare jane:  Plaka, Liapis, Kolias, Liakos, Biris, Maneshi, (Πλάκας, Λιάπης, Κόλιας, Λιάκος, Βιρής, Μανεσσής). Vendasit mendojne se keto mbiemra kane qene gjithmone keshu dhe nuk kane ndryshuar. Po ashtu, ne disa fshatra Arvanisht folese llagapet (παρατσούκλι) e brezave te vjeter kane origjine Arvanitase. Disa shembuj jane: Koka, Buttos, Skurteshi, Dillili, (Κόκκας, Μπούτος, Σκυρτεση, Διλλιλής).
Emerimet e objekteve natyrale ne shume qyteza mbajne emra Greke dhe Arvanitas. Kemi rastin e qytezes Arvanitase te Prosymni. Emri zyrtar i qytezes eshte Prosymni por vendasit i referohen atij me emrin Berbati. Gjate pjeses me te madhe te shekullit te 19-te, shteti Grek mori hapa per ndryshimin e emrave te qytezave qe nuk ishin Greke. Per shembull; Carvati u be Mykinai (1916), Priftani u be Monastiraki (1928), Gerbesi u be Medea (1928), Dusia u be Metochi (1927), Mermpakas u be Agia Tria (1950), Pasas u be Inachos (1975), (National Hellenic Research Foundation 2014).
Emertimet e vendeve ne Prosymni pergjithesisht jane Greke. Emri Masto (ne Greqishten e vjeter do te thote gjoks) dhe i eshte vene nje kodre qe ndodhet ne fushat
 (κάμπος) e qytezes. Glisoura (fjale per dicka te ngushte apo te mbyllur) eshte emri i nje gryke apo lugines qe te con ne qyteze. Ne Prosymni perdoret nje emer specifik per nje gatim qe mendohet te kete origjine Shqiptare. Gjella quhet “giosa” (γιόσα), pregatitet me mish shqere dhe thuhet te kete ardhur nga Shqiperia. Kjo gjelle gatuhet pothuajse perdite ne tavernat e Prosymnit.


Pyetja qe ngrihet eshte: Si mbijetoi gjuha Arvanitase, ne qyteza si Prosymni, per nje kohe kaq te gjate? Meshkujt Arvanitas ishin ne gjendje te flisnin te dy gjuhet, Greqisht dhe Arvanisht, sepse ne pergjthesi ata leviznin jashte qytezes dhe jepnin e merrnin me Greqishtfoles. Femrat Arvanitase shume rralle dilnin nga qytezat e tyre dhe nuk kishin ndonje nevoje reale te mesonin Greqisht. Nje udhetar i hershem, aty nga viti 1,892, ve re se: Procesi i Helenizimit vazhdon dhe gjuha Arvanitase nuk ka te ardhme ne Greqi. Per momentin mbahet ne jete nga grate te cilat flasin me njera tjetren, ja u mesojne ate femijeve dhe do te vazhdojne ta bejne kete gje derisa sistemi i edukimit fillestar ne Mbreterine Helenike do te zgjerohet me shume (Renell 1892, Faqe19).
Gjate fundit te shekullit te kaluar, ka patur shume raste te grave Arvanitase nuk dinin fare Greqisht ndersa burrat dhe femijet e tyre i dinin te dyja gjuhet; Greqisht dhe Arvanisht. Si ne shumicen e komuniteteve ne Greqi, gjate fundit te shekullit te 19-te dhe fillimit te shekullit te 20-te, roli i gruas ishte i kufizuar ne shtepi, qytezen lokale, familje dhe kujdesin e femijeve. Ndersa grate risnin femijet ato komunikonin me ta ne gjuhen Arvanitase. Ishte pikerisht ky proces qe beri te mundur mbajtjen e gjuhes nga brezi ne brez. 
Gjuha Arvanitase ishte gjuha e folur ne komunitet. Ishte gjuha qe i bente antaret e komunitetit ta ndjenin veten me te clirshem. Ata e perdornin kete gjuhe si mjet komunikimi per problemet e tyre te perditeshme. Shume anetare te komuniteteve Arvanitase kujtojne gjyshet e tyre t'ju kendonin atyre ne Arvanishte. Disa nga shprehjet e zakoneshme ishin; zemër mu, vajzë mu, djalë mu, etj. Shume te tjere kujtojne vargje nga femijeria, si per shembull:

τάνα του τάνα του
νιάλη βίνγα μάνα του
μάνα του σε ντούονου
που με γκιούρ ε γνιούνου

t'anë tu, t'anë tu

djali vjen nga mana tu

mana tu se dunun-o

dhe me gur e gjunun-o

Nje nga kenget me te njohura popullore, e kenduar ne komunitetet Arvanitase ne Peloponez, eshte ajo me titull “Ra kembana e Papandis”. Ka disa variante te kesaj kenge. Disa nga vargjet me popullore, (te cilat paraqiten me poshte te pershtatura ne gjuhen Shqipe), jane:

ra këmbana e Papandisë
ngrihu vajzo të vesh ne kishë
ra këmbana dy-tre herë
ngrehu vajzo të vësh xheberë
eja tani kato mani
qe eshte mema nga bostani
eja të të puth një herë 
tani që kam pirë verë
eja puthmë sa të duash
po kakur të mos e thuash
thuajmë të drejtën-ë
që ke shoqe veten-ë
po të drejtën o të thom
po që nëna më qorton

Kembanat e Zonjes Sone Papandi eshte nje kenge romantike qe flet per qytezen, komunitetin, kishen dhe nje cift te dashuruarish qe gjejne mundesine te takohen ndersa familjet e tyre jane larg shtepise. (Moraitis 2010).

Nje tjeter kenge romantike qe ben fjale per nje djalosh qe eshte i dhene pas nje vajze te re, thote:

απε τσέ γιέ κουμπισούρε
σί σενγκέ ε ζογραφίσουρε
ρουσού πόστε τέ τέ φλάs
μόs νομίs σι ότι τέ γκάs


a'bre c’je kumbisurë

si shegë e zografisurë

rusu poshtë të të flas

mos nomis se do të ngas


Nje kenge qe ben flet rreth revolucionit Grek dhe heronjve Arvanitas paraqitet me poshte: 

κιό γκλιούχα Αρβανίστε
ίστε γκλιούχ τρεμερίστε
ε φλίτ ναυαρχοί Μιαούλη
Μπότσαρη έδε γκίθ Σούλι


kjo gjuha Arvanishte

ishte gjuhë trimërishte

e fliste navarhi Miauli

Bocari dhe gjithë Suli

Femijet mesonin te tilla kenge ne komunitetet Arvanitase, nga nenat, gjyshet dhe ster-gjyshet e tyre. 


Perse Arvanitasit nuk ishin asimiluar ashtu sic ndodhi me disa grupe te tjera disa gjuheshe qe jetonin ne Greqi ? Perse gjuha Arvanitase ka mbijetuar ne disa zona te Greqise deri ne kohet tona?
Shumica e qytezave qe vazhdojne te flasin Arvanisht jane lokalizuar ne Argolis, rajon ky i Peloponezit. Brezat e moshuar, (moshat 60 vjet e siper), nga keto qyteza vazhdojne te flasin Arvanisht, po ashtu edhe Greqisht. Gjithashtu, shume njerez nga brezat e rinj e njohin kete gjuhe. Qytezat e Prosymni dhe Limnes duket se kane numurin me te madh te folesve te kesaj gjuhe. Keto qyteza jane afer njera tjetres dhe i ndan nje distance perafersisht kater kilometra. Limnes eshte vendosur ne nje lartesi rreth 520 metra mbi nivelin i detit, ndersa Prosymni ndodhet ne nje lartesi me te ulet. Qytetet me te medha ne kete zone jane Argos dhe Nafplion. Por, vendasit e Limnes preferojne dhe vazhdojne te shkojne me shume ne Korinth sesa ne Argos ose Nafplion. Ne kohen tone rruget moderne kane bere te mundur udhetimin per ne keto qyteza, por per shume kohe te dyja keto qyteza, Prosymni dhe Limnes, kane qene pothuajse te izoluara. Mendohet se disa qyteza te tjera te kesaj zone si psh: Manesi, Dendra, Mykines, Inachos, Ira, Monastiraki, Neo Iraio dikur ne te kaluaren, te kene folur Arvanisht.
Pa dyshim qe Arvanishtja eshte duke vdekur dhe do te zhduket ne brezat e ardhshem. Vendasit, ne qytezat e Prosymni dhe Limnes, mesuan Greqisht kur filluan te komunikonin dhe benin tregeti me qytetet me te zhvilluara aty afer, Argos dhe Nafplion. Historikisht, gjuha Greke ka qene gjuha e biznesit ne kete zone. Ne dime se banoret e ketyre vendeve kishin nje lloj shkollimi qe nga koha e Otomaneve. Disa vite pas indipendences se Greqise, nje shkolle Greke u hap ne kete zone.

Nje arsye e pjeseshme qe gjuha Arvanitase mbijetoi ishte qe zonat e permendura Arvanisht-folese nuk hynin ne hapesirat qe shteti Grek, (gjate fundit te shekullit te 19-te dhe fillimit te shekullit te 20-te), kerkonte te merrte nen kontroll sepse Arvanitasit kishin qene me kohe pjese e Mbreterise Greke duke filluar qe pas revolucionit te vitit 1821.
"Ideja e Madhe" (Megali Idea) apo politika e Greqise se shekullit te 19-te per rimarjen e tokave qe mendoheshin te ishin Greke, (ne pergjithesi ne kuriz te nacionaliteteve te tjera), kishte si tentative ri-krijimin e Greqise Bizantine bazuar ne kufijte gjeografike dhe kulturore te dikurshem. Thesalia u bashkua me Greqine ne vitin 1881, pjesa me e madhe e Maqedonise dhe Epirit ne vitin 1913 dhe Thraka perendimore ne vitin 1919. Jo-Greqisht folesit e ketyre zonave ishin ata qe ndjene presionin me te madh per zevendesimin e gjuheve lokale me ate Greke. Permeteper, shteti Grek investoi per edukimin ne keto zona. Shkolla Greke u hapen ne keto hapasira dhe si rezultat vendasit i braktisen gjuhet e tyre te meparshme. 
Ky lloj presioni nuk u ushtrua kurre mbi qytezat Arvanisht folese te Peloponezit nga qe ato prej kohesh ishin pjese e shtetit Grek. Gjithashtu, nje rol te madh luajten nenat, gjyshet dhe ster-gjyshet qe ndihmuan ne mbajtjen gjalle te gjuhes ne keto qyteza. Femijet e mesonin gjuhen Arvanitase ne mes te njerezve qe ata donin dhe respektonin. Pjestaret e komuniteteve te permendura me siper e shihnin gjuhen Arvanitase si nje ure lidhese me te kaluaren; si nje trashegimi te para-ardhesve qe sollen ne jete brezat e mevonshem dhe u kujdesen per mbarevajtjen e tyre.





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