Xanthi to Pomakochoria of Bulgaria


Thrace in the past has always had one single history, one single culture. Since the late 19th century the place has seen its land being divided, its christian and muslim inhabitants being separated and all cultural and social characteristics getting lost.

This journey of Maya Tsokli has the purpose to look for the old, united Thrace starting from Xanthi. Maya passes by Komotini and near Rodopi mountains she pays a visit to the Pomak villages, Kechros and Chloe. A little further to the east she encounters Roussa, a village well known for the religious customs and traditions of its inhabitants. Very near there she finds the opium den of the Kyzyl Deli, i.e. the monastery of the Bektashi muslims.

On the other side of the greek-bulgarian borders we see Ivajlovgrad, the old Ortakoy, a city with long history, founded in the late 16th of the early 17th century by approximately 150 families, all of them greek.

Walking through age-old trade streets, Maya visits the villages that were developed thanks to sericulture, such as Lititza and Dolno Lukovo, she meets greek speaking Sarakatsani and feels sad about the life our neighbours in Bulgaria lead, in a country that now tries to keep up with the pace of the contemporary free market.