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Why an Armenian is better than a Georgian2012-08-22 18:50
Parliamentary election campaign in Georgia has entered its final stage. The standoff between the government and the opposition is extremely tough. They are using every slogan, including the nationalist. May the nationalist hysteria of the last century repeat in Georgia?
"Our daughters and wives are working in hotels, full of the Armenians. I am not against the Armenians, but it is insulting and offensive! We have two options - either to send our children and wives to clean Greek and Turkish asses, or to do the washing and serve to the Armenians, Turks, Azeris ... ". We took this quote from the Georgian blog, the author of which quoted a guide from Batumi, the indigenous resident of this city.
If we base on this emotional narrative by a Batumi resident, we can say that nothing has changed in Georgia over the past twenty years. The nationalist hysteria has left the streets remaining in the minds of people. But now, it seems to have returned to the streets and to the public space.
Famous Georgian director Keti Dolidze has angrily criticized the concert of Charles Aznavour in Akhaltsikhe. A campaign against the mosque restoration is ongoing in Batumi not the first month. The main argument of those discontented: "we do not want to see the Turks, who have bought up our coast".
Intensification of nationalist slogans during election campaigns is a natural thing, not only in Georgia. Perhaps, society of any country in our part of the world includes a large mass of people for whom the chauvinism - this is the feed for the intellect. But the situation in Georgia is complicated by the fact that this country has got a very sad experience, when nationalist hysteria four times reduced the country population.
Now nationalist slogans are more active among the followers of the opposition of "Georgian Dream". But it unlikely means that there are no nationalists among the supporters of the authorities. The energy of the "nationalists" aims to generate more hatred of Russia and former autonomies, while the "old intelligentsia" still prefers to hate those who are closest - the Armenians, and now the Turks.
"Georgia - for the Georgians". This slogan of Zviad Gamsakhurdia began the history of independent Georgia. In those years, the chauvinism was mostly feeded by the hatred of Russian, Abkhazians and Ossetians. The problems created in those years have not disappeared. But today, a new vector of hatred against Armenians, but most importantly - against the Turks, is uniquely visible.
Adjara is the arena of confrontation. Turkish companies are leading in terms of private investment in the region; and the proximity of the border is making Turkish language in Batumi quite usual. This creates the problems, typical for any developing region getting foreign investment, as well as the problems connected with the special Georgian mentality. In the same narration, we have cited in the beginning of the article, the Batumi guide has voiced another interesting phrase: "In the 80s we had the money for the restaurants, gifts, welcoming friends and guests. And now? What can be more humiliating than the situation when you live in debt and everything is owned by the aliens?" This quote is the answer to all the questions.