The results of the «Global Survey on Hellenism and Research in Five Continents” conducted by Greek research agency Kapa Research in collaboration with the Hellenic Center of Harvard University were presented at an event Thursday in Washington DC last Thursday.
The survey results have been met with the criticism of diaspora media in US, that were neither invited to the event nor consulted in any away during and after the survey.
“From the identity of the sample we have serious doubts if it represents the demographics of the Greek American Community,” writes Washington-based media greeknewsonline.com, saying that “the data cannot represent the Greek American Community that includes 5th generation of immigrants.”
According to the Survey, 37% of the sample is from the United States, 12% from Australia, 9% from Germany, 9% from Canada, 7% UK and the rest from 40 countries.
55% of these people was born in Greece and 45% in other countries.
The Survey was taken in two stages, the first in the Summer of 2016 and the second from March 2017 – March 2018.
The sample included 4,000 people in Greece (1st stage = 2,164 – 2nd stage = 1,826) and 8,000 in the Greek Diaspora (1st stage = 897 – 2nd stage = 7,103).
The 65% of the sample holds Greek citizenship; 61% live for more than 10 years in the country of residence and the rest for less than 10. From the latter, 57% have immigrated in the 80s or later.
32% in the sample of the people born in Greece have immigrated between 2010 and 2017.
“This definitely doesn’t represent the United States, were we had the smaller flows due to the strict immigration,” notes the Washington-based GNO.
The Survey seeks answers on questions like:
Who are the Greeks of Diaspora?
What unites Greeks around the world?
Which ‘words’ define Hellenism today?
According to the key findings of the Survey, the Greeks of the Diaspora are:
- Economically active middle and upper class, well off, and technologically literate
- Mostly satisfied with life and very optimistic about the future
- Religious and fairly close to the Church
- Pro-West, free-market centrists and socially liberal
- Lawful and respectful of institutions in their country of residence
- Cultural heritage, History, and Natural beauty
- Greek pride & deep sense of belonging to Hellenism
- Language – frequent use of the Greek language
- Family – maintaining the Greek language, history, and culture over time
- Orthodox faith
- Communication and technological revolutions
- Greek cuisine
- Crisis in Greece – feeling concerned and responsible to help
- Gods, heroes, philosophers, poets, places, sounds, concepts and values, that go beyond national borders, time periods, political, social and economic systems.
The data challenges some generally accepted perceptions, such as:
1.“Hellenism is weakened by the financial crisis”
- Data indicate that Greece is one of the most enduring brand names in the world, standing above crises of economic and political systems
- There seems to be an enduring myth that binds Greeks around the world: The Parthenon, the sea, Odysseus, religion, family, heroes and philosophy compose an invincible ‘capsule’ travelling through time.
- “The last wave of migration (2010-2017) is a national catastrophe”
- The term brain-drain implies an unbearable trauma;
- Underestimates the fact that Greek history has been shaped by the diaspora phenomenon. An inherent need of the nation to survive, both individually and collectively, has sparked several waves of migration.
- Even those who left recently are still proud to be Greek, optimistic, adaptive, competitive, respectful, open – all while maintaining their unique national identity
- Would the current structures and institutions of the Greek state be able to accommodate their skills and aspirations?
- “Globalization erodes national identity”
- Technological advances, communications and transportation revolution – all outcomes of globalized economies – seem to act as means of maintaining national identities beyond nation-state borders
69% get informed about current events in Greece almost every day
52% visit Greece at least once a year – only 14% of those without Greek citizenship have never visited
79% feel close to Greece today
65% feel disappointment and concern about the current situation in Greece
Full survey results in greeknewsonline.com
PS I suppose doubts are also with regards to the Greek communities in Australia and Canada countries to where thousands of Greeks migrated in the first half of the 20th century and where o there is also a “5th generation of migrants.”
At the same time, I dare say that Greeks who migrated to Germany, for example, in the 1960’s have been maintaining closer relations to their homeland due to the geographical closeness.
I suggest, here must be a distinction between Diaspora Greeks and the New Diaspora Greeks.