Introduction: Ethnography of Transnational Migrants at Home
This chapter focuses on the forms and meanings of the production of Pontic Greek cultural boundaries in post-Soviet southern Russia and the conditions affecting it. The Pontic Greek identity is a product of their transnational circuit. Being imported from abroad, the cultural representation of Pontic identity becomes part of that broader cultural process which is an exchange of meanings between members of society. The phenomenon of the Greeks Turkophonism becomes a core issue for Pontic cultural identity in southern Russia. Thus, Pontic cultural identity in southern Russia is contested by the linguistic differences between Turkish- and Greek-speaking Pontic Greeks, which is further complicated by the post-Soviet migration policy and cultural politics in the region. The linguistic heterogeneity and diversity of the Pontic Greek communities in the Caucasus and southern Russia challenges the essentialist perception of Pontic culture as having boundaries fixed in space and time.