Tbilisi bites Russian tongue21.07.2011 | 16:16
Georgian authorities methodically destroy everything that connects the country with Russia. The rulers want to eradicate all signs of common past not limiting themselves to demolition of Soviet monuments. From this time on the target of Georgia's propaganda is the Russian language. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed what this discriminating policy can lead to with Arno Hidirbegishvili, a well-known social commentator in Georgia.
Not long ago Georgia's culture minister Nikoloz Rurua stated that his population "has no need to remember and learn the Russian language". According to the official, citizens of the countries once part of the Soviet Union are ready to consciously reject it. "I must confess I'm displeased at the fact that we are expected to speak Russian here in Georgia or anywhere in the post-Soviet space. This imperative is annoying for we all know that the Russian language that I certainly love, adore, value as a wonderful language, has been a weapon of russification, of the Empire policies since the 17th century, I guess", - Rurua stated. Official Tbilisi's position is well-known - not only toward the Russian language. As we know, teaching dialects of national minorities
was stopped in Georgia's educational institutions quite a long time ago. In parallel, the English language is introduced in all schools - sometimes in prejudice of the Georgian language.
Remarkably, the head of the Georgian culture ministry revealed his ideas in good Russian in his interview with PIK, a Russian-language TV channel. It would be logical if Mr. Rurua had switched over to the Georgian language or simply cut the interview - if Russian is so annoying. The paradox only emphasizes ambiguity of official Tbilisi's policies. On one hand, leaders of the state speak ill of their northern neighbor reiterating the country's readiness to enter the Western world. Yet, the same people willingly sell state properties to Russian businessmen. And English is not the language of talks on the subject.
Arno Hidirbegishvili, a well-known Georgian journalist stated commenting on Rurua's words that actions of local authorities are connected with the desire of Saakashvili's regime to reconfirm its pro-Western vector. "The country leaders hold the USA as their priority. Those who seek a different cultural and linguistic space - act on their own. In this case the generation bond is cut. For instance, our children will have opportunistic and tendentious textbooks with the idea that Russia is an occupant", - he said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.
Hidirbegishvili is sure that Georgia is facing huge deficit of Russian language specialists - translators, correctors, etc. And, as the journalist continues, Russian language studies must be accompanied with studying the Russian culture which is not possible with the current regime. "It is not enough just to speak the Russian language. There has to be sincere love for Russia, knowledge of its nation's soul, art and literature. It's wrong to use it only as a weapon of diplomacy. Today's situation is really sad", - our interlocutor says with regret.
According to the expert, Georgia's leadership is not antagonistic toward Russian. They realize importance of this language. "I can state responsible that all political elite of Georgia makes their children learn Russian. We have strong traditions and clan relations. We are Asia, not Europe - no matter what one would say after all. And the country leaders want to transfer their authority to successors who need the Russian language to be successful. Let me note that Mikheil Saakashvili and his family speak Russian very well. If he did not know the Russian language, he would not have become president! Do you think negotiations with leaders of other countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Baltic states and Central Asia are held in English? Of course, not!" - Arno Hidirbegishvili is sure.