The short story competition: “The first Greek in my family” announced by SAE Central and South America Region is a great opportunity for the young Greek expatriates in Latin America to get in touch with their Greek soul and identity.
This is a first time ever initiative directed to young expatriates, aged 15 to 35. It aspires to encourage many of them to go back to their Greek roots and become reacquainted with their country of origin through creative writing. The goal set by the SAE Central and South America Region is to activate the younger generation into recording stories their parents and grandparents have to say about the first Greek who arrived in their country of residence in search for a better life.
“The personal story of each immigrant, the adverse conditions faced in the long and difficult trip, details about their lives, origin, profession, the reasons that led them to emigrate, adjustment to new facts and nostalgia for the homeland are always fascinating to young authors wishing to put all these stories in writing”, said Regional Coordinator Nikiforos Nikolaidis in an interview with Greek national news agency ANA-MPA in Santiago, Chile. “The research made in the process of writing the short story will be very important for today’s young people, who are the descendents of immigrants, because they will collect their relatives’ personal stories and memories of their most distant ancestor who arrived in America in search of a better future”, he added.
Nikolaidis, who is also the president of the very active Hellenic community of Santiago, pointed out that the recording of the stories told will be equally valuable to the Greek communities in general because research can lead to significant conclusions on the history of Greek organizations and their role in their host countries.
“Each narration will provide information on the first immigrants, the use of the mother tongue, the customs they brought from the old country, and the Orthodox faith as well as details on their lives working at their new country’s seaports, industry, mines and farms”, said Nikolaidis. “I believe that the information collecting process will bring the younger generation closer to their Greek identity by renewing their ties with Greece considering that themselves and their distant ancestors are all parts of the same chain that links the Greeks of Latin America with the motherland”, he added.
All contestants should submit their work by October 10, 2007 and prizes will be awarded in a special ceremony on November 4, 2007.
The first prize will be a visit to Greece that will include a visit to the birthplace of “The first Greek in the family” as well. The second prize winner will receive the sum of 600 euro while the committee of judges can award up to three commendations to an equal number of short stories it finds interesting from a literary point of view. The Greek community whose member will win the competition will also receive 500 euros.