Greektown Cultural Identity

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-Abdulmajid Fayed During a period of heightened immigration into the United States, ethnic enclaves began to form all over the country. People of the same culture tended to stay together upon their arrival into this new world, leading to whole cities and towns dominated by single ethnicities. Greektown became the festive heart and soul of the Greek community of Detroit. What was once a flourishing ethnic enclave and home to thousands of Greeks has now been turned into a commercialized district, but not without a trace of what the area once used to be. Greektown demonstrates both the effect of a culture on a city and the effect of a city on a culture it houses. Despite its history of depopulation, commercialization, and loss of ethnic identity,…show more content…
Many of the more assimilated younger generations of immigrants no longer wanted a part in upholding the Greek culture of their parent’s generation. They did not want to take over some of the family restaurants and businesses that have been standing on Monroe Street since the beginning. There were also several Greeks that saw more opportunity in non-Greek business. They sidestepped all current standing Greek businesses to promote their own interests, but by doing so, forfeiting some of the cultural identity of Greektown. The decline of Greek flavor can be traced back to some of these residents that sought their individual interest instead of the common…show more content…
Greektown provided them with more than a home, it allowed them to live immersed in their ethnic identity, but they could see that they were at risk of losing that completely. After the first Greek Orthodox Cathedral was torn down, the citizens knew they had to take immediate action. They worked with the mayor’s office and the city to help restore the neighborhood to its previous grandiose. New lighting was installed, the streets were cleaned up, and building exteriors were improved with colorful awnings and fresh paint, all through the efforts of the Greek community to restore their home. They decided to host a Greek Festival in 1965, and due to its success it became the first of many. It ran for four years until it grew too large to accommodate everyone, but by then Greektown was re-established to its former glory. Were it not for the actions of the citizens and their efforts in maintaining their heritage through their city, Greektown may not have been alive to this

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