Georgians missing Russia24.11.2010 | 20:27
If complicating the visa issuance procedure for Georgians was aimed at stirring their longing for Russia, then, Russian government has achieved its purpose. The Iverians - a Generation for Georgia's Future who have just come from Georgia are ready to improve their Russian and read our classics so as to come to an understanding with Russians. They tried to avoid politics and spoke only about culture at a round-table meeting held at Moscow House of Nationalities. Executive Director of the Union of Georgians in Russia Nugzar Jimsheleishvili characterized the "ironing out difficulties" as the best way to set up a dialogue.
Georgians are missing Russia. It was obvious from the attitude of the Iverians - a Generation for Georgia's Future youth movement delegation that came to Moscow and recently took part in a round-table talk "Russians in Georgia - Georgians in Russia" held at Moscow House of Nationalities. The organization is headed by Anna Rekhviashvili, a student of Diplomatic Academy at MFA of Russia (see photo). Everyone except her had difficulties when speaking Russian; they made mistakes and confused the stresses, trying to keep to the pre-written text. But how else could it be when the language that once united the territory of socialistic countries is gradually taken out of everyday speech?
Former ballet dancer Natia Loria, 34, whose age drew a line under her vocation, said that Alexander Griboyedov is highly revered in Georgia, just like other Russian classical writers. She wished that "the melody of the Russian-language speech" never ceased in Tbilisi streets.
Translators Tamar Lezhava and Roman Rizhamadze took up the topic. Tamar reminded of the Georgian-Russian poet festivals, Russian cinema festivals, a theatre festival held in September where Oleg Basilashvili took part playing in a Russian-language performance.
Roman dwelled on the life of the Russian expatriate community in Georgia, which, according to the records of 2002, was the fourth largest among national minorities. He said the relationship between Russians and Georgians living in one country are "very amicable". However, the level of knowledge of Russian among the Georgian youth has sharply lowered in 1991-2004 "in the absence of training programs and materials and due to the reduced amount of time dedicated to Russian in the educational institutions". According to Rizhamadze, the interest to this subject has grown again only in recent years. Strange as it may seem, he tried to chronologically tie this fact to the rule of the present president, though his name was never mentioned during the round-table talk.
Rizhamadze also added that Georgia has started changing for the better in many aspects: the infrastructure is renewed, resorts and other towns are being restored and the monuments are renovated. By the way, each time some of the Russian participants of the round table talk reminded of the blown-up memorial in Kutaisi, a new monument being currently erected in Moscow by the Union of Georgians in Russia, Georgian guests started whispering, evidently considering the removal of the monument to be no crime.
Rizhamadze finished his speech with an invitation to come to Georgia and assured that Russian people have always been welcome and are still loved there, which fact was confirmed by the impression of Head of the Youth Department of Moscow House of Nationalities Kristina Volkova received during her last-year trip to Georgia and the speech of Press Secretary of the Russian Club in Tbilisi Alena Denyaga.
Alena underlined that their organization was established in 2003 by Nikolay Sventitsky, Director of the Caucasian oldest dramatic Russian-language theatre named after Griboyedov in Tbilisi and is never persecuted or punished in Georgia. "Georgian pop-singers and poets take part in our events and concerts", - she underlined.
The Club issues a periodical bearing the same title and annually holds a Russian-Georgian poet festival uniting translators from various world countries. The single purpose is to restore the translators' school without politics, the press secretary assured.
"The audience's reaction was very much warm and adequate at the meeting with the Russian poetical "assault force" held this year in Rustavi, - Alena Denyaga told. - It was the same way in Tbilisi and West Georgia. A man in Poti even told us that he was ready to hang a Russian flag from his balcony in order to meet with Russians. It was so very touching!"
Alena stressed the fact twice that Russian Club is not the fifth column but a cultural-enlightenment association trying to maintain Georgia's positive image.
"There are certain stereotypes but one cannot let human relations to be distorted", - she remarked.