Andros Island Off The Beaten Path Tips by JLBG Top 5 Page for this destination
Andros Island Off The Beaten Path: 4 reviews and 4 photos
While I was searching in depth information about Andros, I learned that in the northern part of Andros ten villages were populated by Arvanites. At the same time, I learned that Arvanites were of Albanian origin (mostly Christian orthodox) and were commissioned by the Byzantines to settle in regions that had been depopulated for various reasons. These migrations occurred during the XIVth to the 17th century. Though culturally assimilated to ethnic Greeks, they mostly kept their language, Arvanite, until very recently and all spoke the two languages. Arvanite is a distinct dialect from Tosk, the Albanian language spoken in Southern Albania. During the past 10-15 years, Arvanite language has been abandoned by the younger generation. In many areas of eastern continental Greece, Arvanites were the majority of the population and many villages were completely Arvanites.
Several Greek heroes of the war of independence were Arvanites. Among others, I will mention Botzaris, defender of Missolonghi (a metro station in Paris is named after him), the Bouboulina, a woman that lead her own troops and took Nafplion, Monemvasia and Pylos, etc… Several Prime Ministers of Greece were Arvanites.
More on Arvanites on the following link:
More on the recent evolution of the language (in French)
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