skip to Main Content


This book was written by my father.

Giannis narrates that his father was a teacher and his biography is at the back of the book. He tells us that this book is his father’s attempt to record life at the mines of Euxeinos Pontos.

The mines were a community near Argyroupoli of Pontos, in the depths of Anatolia. They are known as “Mpouga Maten” («Μπουγά Ματέν»). My father refers to the life of the people there. He had found many locals of that time and his mother, my grandmother, recorded their stories. She was a very good student, but after the uprooting she stopped her classes and, once she arrived at Serres, she became a farmer. She came with my aunt through Istanbul. The village is now called Skopia of Serres.

There are stories of people like the teacher, the community leader… My father managed to record, other than the people, the life, the food, the jokes… You will see here names of all the people coming from the mines, the pontiac foods, the jokes, the philanthropy, the prejudice, the superstition, unpublished narrations in the pontiac dialect. All that, through oral narrations. He spoke the pontiac dialect. We hear about the Pontic genocide all the time, but what we forget are the customs and traditions, the culture, the language.

Giannis tells us that when he goes to his village he speaks Pontiac, especially with his grandparents. He explains that he learnt the language from his father and from spending the summers at the village.

My parents studied in the academy of Aleksandroupoli, that’s how they met. My mother was appointed in Macedonia and both of them stayed there, in Kavala. My two older sisters lived there as well. My father took part in the rebellion during the dictatorship and he was exiled. My mother was appointed in Salamina and took the children with her. Thus, they separated. I was born in ’68, the day that they allowed my father to return.

He narrates that his father started writing the book when he was retired but Giannis was the one who finished it and, after he did, it was presented in the village.

It was sold out three times. It travelled to the United States, Germany, England, to relatives, we reached the point that we would say “we don’t have any more”.

He tells us that his love for the village has passed down to his daughters.

They are now the fifth generation. I see my daughter getting up to dance. Most of the kids there are from Germany. In the ’60s there was a big migration flow to Germany. During the winter, the village is empty. In Easter we will go back, we call them and we say we’re coming.



Creator of object:
Giannis Festeridis’ father
Place / Country of creation:
Greece (Skopia of Serres)
Year / Era of creation:
Giannis Festeridis
Type / Description of object:
Book (record of oral histories of ex-residents of the Mpouga Maten mines)
Object route:
Year / Era of movement:
Reason of movement:
Pontiac genocide
License of digital image:


Participation in the process

Help us improve the information for the objects of the Outcast Europe collection by creating an account, highlighting relevant parts of the text, and commenting via the website.
  • How can I contribute quality content to the Outcast Europe website?
  • How can I use the new functionalities of the Outcast Europe website?
Back To Top
Add Comment
Viewing Highlight

Forgot password?
New to site? Create an Account

Already have an account? Login
Forgot Password