Rembetiko from Asia Minor to Greece

Rembetiko from Asia Minor to Greece

After Kemal Attaturk beat Eleftherios Venizelos Greek troups in Turkey there was an exchange of population of the two countries. All the Christians had to move to Greece all Muslims had to move in Turkey. The refugees that went back to Greece had to start all over because although they were prosperous they had to escape massacre with nothing except wat they would carry. Most of them carried liras (gold coins) a hand full of soil from their garden to plant basil at their new home and their memories.
Rembetiko was born when the style of Turkish and Greek music blended in underground (illegal) performance spaces where these political immigrants the Rembetes went to escape the harsh reality of adjusting to a new land that treated them like foreigners. Rembetika which is the blues of Greece also birthed a new form of dance that was emotional improvesational and kathartic.
Shadow theater was another underground activity that was part of the subculture of the Rembetika life; The character of Stavros is a Rembetes and a Maggas: a person that rebells against authority and the status quo.
The lyrics of Rembetika are heavy and soulfull and they are escorted with a middle eastern and Greek sound and they talk about loss, disease, respect, lost love and yearning

One Comment

  • Ryan Crowder

    Thanks for sharing this history. The historical and emotional context is pretty cool to learn about and helps me to understand Rembetiko on a whole other level. 🙂

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