Vakhtang Kikabidze: I do not know what tomorrow brings to my country ...07.05.2013 | 18:13
"The Georgians have always been famous for their hospitality. Most likely, that's the source of all the ills of Georgia ... Basically, people come here knowing that here they can find good and gracious hosts, welcoming and open. The land of plenty with excellent nature and climatic conditions, sea, mountains is full of sincere and kind people, smiles and a songs. Attractive, is not it? That was, I think, the main feature, as they now say, of their arrival in Georgia," Vakhtang Kikabidze tells about the homeland.
Everyone is aware of the close link between the Georgian and Russian cultures in the Soviet period. We ask Vakhtang Kikabidze, the witness and active participant in the cultural events of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, about the interactions, misunderstandings and backgrounds of the changes in the relationship between the friendly peoples of Georgia and Russia.
- What was the real relationship between the Russians and Georgians in the Soviet time, still you grew up in this period?
- Those who remember the Soviet Union know that there always was a big brother and the younger brothers.
- Tell us about the Georgian brand in the Soviet culture. And why did the Russian intelligentsia always strive after Soviet Georgia? Was that a kind of search of freedom? No wonder that the artists and poets came here and then created their beautiful works. So, there was something in Georgia that attracted creative people?
- Each nation has its own way of life. The Georgians - perhaps this can be attributed both to a shortage, as well as to the pluses of the Georgian way of life - has always been famous for their hospitality. Most likely, that's the source of all the ills of Georgia. This is my personal opinion. Basically, people come here knowing that here they can find good and gracious hosts, welcoming and open. In Georgia, the guest - this is not just a stranger man. Guest is a very important factor for every Georgian. This rule evolved for centuries. Our ancestors always showed us an example of hospitality and thus have implanted in our minds the fact that the guest - this is sacred thing. There are a lot of Georgian classical works depicting that, even if a guest makes any unlawful or improper acts while in the house of the host, no one could touch or punish him. They came here so many, and why would not you come? The land of plenty with excellent nature and climatic conditions, sea, mountains is full of sincere and kind people, smiles and a songs. Attractive, is not it? That was, I think, the main feature, as they now say, of their arrival in Georgia.
- What is your vision of the meaning of life?
- First of all, everyone wants to leave most kind and pleasant memories about his name and family, about his deeds and actions. For me, at the moment the most unpleasant thing is that I do not know what tomorrow can bring to my country. Most likely, the meaning of life is the creation of peace in the soul and on the earth.
- Tell us about the most complicated day that has left a heavy sediment and sadness in your heart.
- The most amazing day for me, the meaning and reality of which I still cannot understand, is when I was traveling in 2008 to my relatives in Batumi and approaching Gori I got a call from the daughter who told that the city was being bombed by the Russian military and I was to go back.
- How would you explain to the younger generation what are the roots of modern confrontation between Russia and Georgia? After all, they do not know many things, and it's hard to judge objectively.
- Confrontation is a very bad word. And how can I explain the younger generation all that has happened? I am quite old and, to put it mildly, I've seen a lot of things in my life. The fact is that there is nothing new. It's always happening. There is a big country and there are small ones. The big one, unfortunately, is always imposing its own rules, the concept of life. At the moment young people know one thing - in 2008, small Georgia was deprived of 20% of the territory. And they certainly do not like it. And, you see, no one will like. Let me cite an example. Russian capital today is a home to a huge number of Muslims. I am international personality, and I have nothing against any kind of ethnic or linguistic group. And if the Muslim population of Moscow on one day rises up and says - we are half a million people, and we're living here for several years, so this is our land, give us "our" land. This is a nonsense. The Russians even cannot imagine such a situation. So the same thing happened in Georgia. But it was accepted by many as if in order.
- How do you understand being free?
- Freedom is quite voluminous concept. I think that a free man looks at things in his own way, he must believe that he is right, then he is free for real. Many believe that if they come to work not at 9 am but at 2 pm, they are free. But this is wrong. Free man is the one who is responsible for himself and all his acts.
- Such eminent and illustrious pedigree could not fail to leave a mark on your biography and personality. Is that right? Do you feel the impact of this factor?