Greek Diaspora of America and Greek Traditional Dance: A Case Study
The aim of this paper is to study the reasons for the participation of the 3rd and 4th generation emigrants of the state of Chicago, in Greek traditional dance classes, taking as an example the cultural association “Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society”. The collection of ethnographic data was based on the ethnographic method, under the terms of an online ethnography or otherwise Netnography. Oral history was also used as a method, through which everyday memory is projected as a quest of social history. Finally, for the presentation and analysis of the data, Geertz's model of "thick description" was adopted. An important parameter in the analysis and interpretation of the data is the concept of "reflection", which also was used in this paper. From the data analysis was found that, the Greek traditional dance has a particularly important role in multicultural nations such as America. More specifically, the findings of this study indicate that cultural heritage and cultural identity remain important, even in immigrant generations who have been born and raised in America and who have moved significantly away from the behavior and action patterns of Greeks. In particular, all the survey informants stated that their participation in Greek traditional dance classes and events has to do with preserving their Greek cultural heritage. In conclusion, it can be said that the Greek traditional dance in the American state of Chicago is experienced as a manifestation of the cultural expression of the Greek heritage, but also a way of understanding ‘Greekness’ in the wider American context.
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