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The cult of Stalin in Dedoplistskaro2013-05-06 19:50
In the world there are timeless cities. They miraculously manage to survive, not to yield and get infected with the modern way of life. One of them - this is a small Georgian town of Dedoplistskaro, conveniently located 130 kilometers south-east of Tbilisi, in Kakheti. Those who are looking for solitude, silence and who are nostalgic for the communist past should come here.
Dedoplistskaro is a small and sparsely populated town. Many left it in 1990s, and many are leaving it now. The bulk of the population is Georgians, but there is a small percentage of people of other nationalities, including Armenians, Greeks, Gypsies and Azeris. Once there lived a lot of Russian, but today there is no even fully functioning Russian school. Since last year it stopped taking new generation of students. But all the rest will complete their education up to the end, down to earn a diploma. There are very few of those wishing to study in Russian school today. And, according to local gamgebeli, with such a small amount of those wishing the school is just unauthorized to take them under the Georgian law.
The town is deserted. You can listen to all the sounds of nature - birds singing, the murmur of a small drinking fountain, late cries of a cock.
Three women sit in front of a small cafe near the post office. One of them is middle aged, and two other are older. They are drinking coffee. The hostess is a stout woman in optical glasses. As it turned out, earlier she was teacher of the Georgian language in the local Russian school. But then she decided to do business and opened this cafe. Profit is small, but stable. In Dedoplistskaro the people rarely change habits, and if someone used to drink afternoon coffee here, he comes here for the rest of life.
The town has such a blissful atmosphere of peace and tranquility that the questions on political issues seem out of place. Nevertheless, the desire to find out what do the local people think about the new government does not give us rest and pushes to ask them this question.
- How do you feel about the political changes in the country?
- Favorably. Although the changes are not always for the better. We'll have to get used to something new and forget some habitual things.
- Has anything changed in your particular life?
- New Prime Minister is often accused of a veiled pro-Russian policy and hint at his links with the Kremlin. What do you think about this?
- Ivanishvili came here twice. And we met with him. A man with such a face cannot lie. He says everything he has in mind. Even at official meetings, at the diplomatic level and speaking on TV he says simple and clear things. He is not a politician, he is too unsophisticated for that. And I do not think he is a Russian agent. It is excluded.
- And what about the old government, specifically President Mikheil Saakashvili, do you think he deserves some kind of punishment?
- If he's guilty of something, then yes. That's task for all sorts of investigative commission, prosecutors and courts. Let's wait and see.
On the opposite side of the road there is a park named after Stalin. Once there was a monument to the leader. It was established by the local resident - an ardent Stalinist Amiran Bigiashvili. But today, there is a gaping void in its place.
Bigiashvili is more than 80-year-old, and although he has retained commitment to communism, now he's unable to erect monuments alone. By the way, this man is well-known in the town. Every day he is playing backgammon at the square near the city market.