There are many chronicles of Greek emigration around the world, but rarely exploring the plight of a group of 40,000 Greek and Cypriot immigrants who settled in Asia at the end of the 19th century.
Professor Anastasios Tamis does just that in his latest book Greeks in the Far Orient. The book contains a historical account and 480 rare photographs, chronicling the wave of emigration to India, China, Manchuria, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Professor Tamis has previously written a number of books on the subject of Greeks who migrated to Australia and New Zealand, with the help of access to the legal constitutions of the major settlements in the Australian cities, personal archives, oral testimonies and the published word of Greek settlers.
For Greeks in the Far Orient, however, he was faced with the challenge of limited primary resources. With the support of his team of experts, it took 5 years of research and travelling to 12 countries to uncover this barely recorded piece of history. He follows their movements to Asia, and after three generations of settlement in the Far East, their expulsion and expropriation to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, Latin America, Greece and Europe. His painstaking approach involved listening to recordings of interviews and oral history, accessing Greek diplomatic archives by utilizing bilingual translators, and translating from Japanese and Chinese governmental archives.
The book is available in English, is translated in Greek and is expected to be available in Chinese. Professor Tamis will be presenting Greeks in the Far Orient in Adelaide on Friday, 4 November.