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Knight in the tiger’s skin in the Chuvash language22.12.2009 | 16:06
Russian-Georgian relations have been rather complicated for the last decade with August 2008 as the peak of confrontation. Though neither checkpoints nor last year's events can set nations apart. These are not mere words for the beauty of saying. As a confirmation a regional office of the Union of Georgians in Russia started its work in Cheboksary, the capital of the Chuvash republic last weekend. GeorgiaTimes correspondent had a talk with the participants of the event.
Cheboksary, the heart of the Volga district, made use of the best hospitality traditions to greet Moscow guests since the HQ of the Union of Georgians in Russia is located in Moscow.
The guests were surprised to be taken to Rustaveli street. Yes, don't be surprised: a street in Cheboksary is really named after this great Georgian poet. And the poem "The Knight in the Tiger's Skin" is translated in the Chuvash language. At the presentation of the Union of Georgians subsidiary the authors of the translation - Mikhail Nikolayevich Yukhma, a writer and Lyussy Gennadyevna Cheges, a poetess, greeted the Georgian diaspora reading out extracts of the poem in Georgian, Russian and Chuvash.
Doesn't that prove that it's simply impossible to divide Russia and Georgia? All kinds of ties - spiritual and cultural first of all - between our multinational peoples are too strong.
Mikhail Khubutia, president of the Union of Georgians in Russia was there to greet the attendees explaining why the organization's subsidiary is now "registered" in Chuvashia.
"There are nearly one thousand Georgians living in the republic. I even heard somebody say - so few? I would like to say that even if there were only a few persons we would do our best to unite them", - Khubutia remarked. Real force is in the regions".
According to Khubutia in the near future another subsidiary of the Union of Georgians will be opened in Petersburg, where a large Georgian diaspora resides. Presentation of Tbilisi branch is also planned. It will take care of the program for development of cultural ties. A special emphasis will be put on popularization of the Russian language in Georgia.
Since one of the Union's major tasks is to help compatriots preserve the language and traditions of their ancestors and conduct our paradigm: Russians and Georgians must live in peace. We must search for what unites us and forget bad feeling and mistakes.
Representatives of Chuvash administration were there to greet the attendees. Vladimir Kuznetsov, chairman of the council for strategic planning with the president of Chuvashia remarked in his speech that Chuvashia is building a modern political culture based on tolerance and intercultural connections. He expressed hope the Georgian diaspora would make contribution to this strategy.
Deputy Culture minister of Chuvashia Mikhail Krasnov noted that cultural life in the republic will be more varied from now on. Georgia is a country with 1700 years of Orthodox history and ancient culture. It is the cultural projects that the regional Union of Georgia in Chuvashia will take up first.
Lasha Kiria, head of the Chuvash office remarked in his speech that the subsidiary would focus on cooperation in culture and education, development of business contacts and economic interaction.
In an interview with GeorgiaTimes Lasha Kiria told he had been living in Chuvashia for already 20 years. He came there as a student and decided to stay. "When relations between Georgia and Russia started to grow worse I thought about ways to restore past understanding and friendship. That is why I took the offer of the president of the Union to take charge of the regional office", - he said.
In conclusion Lasha Kiria said: "We are small people and the problems we are discussing are global. To solve them we must join hands and do something. Our children will grow up and ask what we have done to change the situation, why we have passed the problems on their shoulders? We want to look openly in the eyes of our children and say we have done all we could and now it's your turn to keep traditions of friendship and good-neighborhood going".
One little addition: the hall was full of very young people and children that were born in Russia and really had two motherlands. Medea Davitashvili, 3, spoke Russian and switched over to Georgian from time to time. "In summertime she stays with her grandparents in Georgia", - her mother explained.
The future of Russian-Georgian relations is up to these children. That is why the Union is trying hard for the problems of today not to ruin Georgian-Russian relations in future.
Regional departments will grow more numerous. Merab Berishvili representing the Georgian diaspora in the republic of Mari El invited the attendees to Yoshkar-Ola.
The presentation finished with a bright concert. Hot mountaineers dances, enchanting songs in Russian and Georgia. The audience exulted.