1920s

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Events and trends

By far, the greatest event to mark this decade for Greece was the Asia Minor Disaster. Over one million Asia Minor Greeks fled their ancestral homeland for mainland Greece while nearly 500,000 Turks went the other way. This created a country at first heavily burdened by such a great influx but soon blessed by such a progessive element. Macedonia, which had a great ethnic admixture in the 1910s became solidly Greek. The Bulgarian-speaking Greeks of that region had to revert to Greek under the influence of their new neighbours. Further south, in Attica, entire suburbs were built to house the refugees. Crete, which had had a population that was nearly 1/3 Turkish, became solidly Greek. New villages were built carrying the names of the cities of Asia Minor that were abandoned by their former inhabitants: Nea Kios, Nea Artaki, Nea Alikarnassos, Nea Moudania, Nea Nikomedia, etc.

Culture, religion

The "roaring" 20s did not roar so much in Greece largely through the efforts of dictator Theodoros Pangalos who, through legislation, assured that women wore their skirts long. Policemen were equipped with measuring tape to make sure these laws were adhered to.

On the other hand, many sports clubs came into being during the 1920s including Olympiakos, AEK and PAOK. Others were transplanted from Asia Minor: Panionios and Apollon Athens. Sports leagues in both football and basketball had their beginnings in the latter part of the decade. A new era had begun...

Religion

The spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Patriarch Constantine VI was exiled by the Turkish government who considered him an Anatolian Greek subject to the population exchange. Despite the efforts of Greek officials, Constantine VI was not allowed to assume the throne of Saint Andrew and a new patriarch was elected eventhough the old one was accorded patriarchal honours as well.

Entertainers

The theatre continued to dominate the world of entertainment in Greece with Marika Kotopouli and Cybele Adrianou continuing to dominate the world of theatre.

The cinema, however, is starting to make its presence felt with the first grand commercial success in 1920 - "Villar in the women's baths of Faliro" (Ο Βιλλάρ στα γυναικεία λουτρά του Φαλήρου), written, directed and starred by the comedian Villar (Nikolaos Sfakianakis). 1927 was the end of the 'primitive' Greek cinema and the beginning of a serious organisation.

During 1928- 1931 the company Dag-Film saw its more productive days. Its main concern were historical movies, usually adaptions of novels. Most distinct are "Δάφνις και Χλόη" (1931 directed by Orestes Laskos) and "Έρως και κύματα" (1928 directed by D. Gaziadis). Dafnis and Chloe contained the first nude scene in the story of European cinema.

Sports figures