A report from the University of Thessaloniki showed that more than 120,000 professionals have left Greece since the financial crisis began, leaving what’s called a serious “brain drain” on the country.
My friends back in Greece have mixed reactions to this news… Some call these people the “lucky ones” who are able to leave Greece, while others call them “traitors” for abandoning Greece in her time of need.
One must follow opportunity. That’s my opinion. Just like my mom (photo) emigrated in 1962 to the USA and my dad a decade before her. Today’s crisis is no different that post-war Greece when millions were destitute and desperate. All people want in life is opportunity.
And while I’m sad that Greece is losing her most talented, such waves of immigration and movement of people are part of the human cycle– especially the Greek human cycle. Greeks have been emigrating for centuries and although Greece may be losing, dozens of communities throughout the world are being rejuvenated with new arrivals of Greek speakers.
In Chicago alone, I’ve met several new arrivals– most of whom are already getting involved in the life of the community.
I remember asking my father why he left. He looked at me with resolve and pride in his eyes and answered in a split second.
“We were hungry.”