COMMENT

January 21, 1959

Selection: Michalis Katsigeras

GREEKS IN THE CONGO: The approximately 5,000 Greeks who comprise our community in the Belgian Congo are increasingly concerned about the situation in that part of Africa, accustomed as they are to harsh conditions and adventures. After all, the first appearance by Greeks there in 1900 was an adventure in itself. Three Greeks were sent by a major Greek merchant in the Sudan, by the name of Kapatos, to find ivory. They were caught by natives in the region. Although they faced many hardships before they were released, they did not leave the Congo but stayed there to found what was to become a Greek community that settled in its most far-flung corners, prospering from initially being game hunters to growers of quinine and coffee on large plantations. Now their lives have changed with the growth of five major centers with schools and churches and a Greek-language magazine. One can only wonder at the determination of Greek migrants. Usually single-handedly, with the help of just a few trustworthy natives, they have worked hard and confronted the hardships of a world that is still very primitive. The «African Awakening» movement that has appeared in Leopoldville under the name «Abako» does not yet appear to be making the position of Hellenism difficult in the Belgian Congo.

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