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This tenjere (pan) has been owned by the family of mrs. Anneta Tsoporidou since the 1920s. In 1922, her grandmother, Myrofora, with her husband Vassilis and their children, among which was also Anneta’s father, Yorgos Tsoporidis, who was still a child, moved from Turkey to Greece, with the Catastrophe of Asia Minor and the greco-turkish exchange of populations. The tenjere (pan) accompanied the family through a lengthy adventure, driven primarily by ethnic and political motives, from Ancara in Turkey to the village Straisa (present day Ida in the municipality of Pella, Greece) which was the slavic, and most well-known name of the village at the time.

In Ida, the father of mrs. Tsoporidou married Eleftheria Tsouni, who was of slavic origin. They fought together during the (greek) Civil War, on the side of the communists. Their children were sent to Czechia (then Czechoslovakia) by the Communist Party with their consent, in the context of what was called “Child concentration” or “Child saving”. When the war ended, Anneta’s parents were given refuge in Tashkent, current capital of Uzbekistan (then part of the Soviet Union).

At the same time, during the Civil War, the grandmother Myrofora together with other members of the family, among which was also Petros Bozhinis, the nephew of Eleftheria (Anneta’s grandmother) were sent to Bulkes (present-day Maglic) in Yugoslavia. The grandmother Myrofora took the pan with her, the same pan that had followed the family 27 years before, in their first refugee route from Turkey to Greece. Grandmother Myrofora moved to Czechia in the early 1950s and then to Tashkent in 1961. When she moved to Czechia, she left the pan in Bulkes, to her putative grandson, Petro Bozhinis, the son of Lena (sister of grandmother Eleftheria).

Petros Bozhinis, as a son of Slavomacedonians, didn’t stay in Bulkes, that was being governed by the Communist Party, but moved to Skopje, then part of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, in Yugoslavia, in November 1951; he took the pan with him.

Petros Bozhinis, cousin of mrs. Anneta, gave the pan to Alexandra Balandina, daughter of Anneta, knowing her passion for the family history, in Skopje in 2009, a few years before his death, in 2013. Petros, thus, even though his children didn’t appreciate the pan, secured its recognition as a family heirloom with deep historical and sentimental value.

The history of mrs. Anneta’s family: Anneta, together with her four siblings, lived in Czechia in a orphanage for 5 years, and got reunited with their parents in Tashkent on the 27th of August 1954. There, she got married to the Russian Vladimir Balandin, and had two children, Alexandra and Yorgos. In 1976 they migrated to Skopje, capital of the then Socialist Republic of Macedonia. Since Greek authorities wouldn’t accept her with a Russian husband, neither would Russian authorities let him go out of the country to move to Greece (which didn’t belong to the Warsaw Pact), Anneta decided to apply to move to Yugoslavia, since it was a country that was close to Greece, and also the country where the Slavic-speaking part of her maternal family lived, and where her parents also moved a year later. The Greek state, using different excuses, denies the entry in the country to mrs. Anneta for one decade more. In 1984, she enters Greek land for the first time, since she was given permission to attend the funeral of her father, who returned to his homeland to die and be buried there. She managed to be repatriated in Greece with her family, in 1988, where she is living until this day.


Creator of object:
Place / Country of creation:
Year / Era of creation:
Alexandra Baladina
Type / Description of object:
Object route:
Turkey (Pontos – Minor Asia) – Greece – Czechoslovakia – Novi Sad – Greece
Year / Era of movement:
1910s – 1960s
Reason of movement:
License of digital image:

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