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Tbilisi Armenians at the bottom2013-01-30 20:42
The issue of the Armenian community in Tbilisi is often the subject of intense debate and bitter criticism. Range of community's problems covers such areas as education in their native language, the return of the disputed churches, migration, assimilation, and others. But despite its size (up to 80,000 people), the Armenian community in Tbilisi is highly fragmented and has little interest in the protection of their interests. As noted by the local Armenian activists, in terms of social and political activity the community is in a deep hole. As a social organism, it "cannot fall deeper".
"I cannot speak about activity of the Armenian community in a positive sense. During some activities related to various aspects of community life, only 100-150 people gather, which is very small compared to the actual number of Tbilisi Armenians. For example, on April 24 (the memory day of Genocide victims - Ed.), there gather only up to 500 people. It can be called a permanent group of activists, where we know each other, but at the same time we do not know a great number of Armenians. They live by themselves with their problems and do not want to be involved in community activities", the local Armenian activist Irena Ogandzhanova said in an interview to GTimes, showing a brand new magazine in three languages about Armenian artists in Tbilisi.
Irena considers the fear which "genetically exists in them" the reason for the passivity of the Armenians. Many just refuse to sign up the annual address to the parliament on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 by Georgia. "The same people, who always know each other well, are engaged in addressing the problems of the community. This circle is sometimes expanding, but in small amounts", she said.
In her view, the Armenians have no place "to hang out". "They want to meet and talk about great Armenians around the world and so on. Again, the same contingent is gathering every Sunday in the church yard to talk on various topics - from everyday life to politics. Church yard in recent years has become a place where Armenians are gathering to feel themselves part of the community. You do not need to be a religious man to come there. They come to the church yard to communicate, to discuss the latest news. Many may not to visit the church", she said. Irena Ogandzhanova added that in recent years there was a tendency of the fact that the Armenians become followers of the GOC. Often, people go to the Georgian Church simply because it is close, and they do not care where to pray.