Melting Pot of Georgia
23 February, 2012
Melting Pot of Georgia

 

As any other nation of today, Georgia could also be thought of as a miniature melting pot with Abkhazians, Armenians, Azeris, Byelorussians, Bulgarians, Estonians, Germans, Greeks, Jews, Moldavians, Ossetians, Poles, Russians, Turks and Ukrainians living, working and mixing together, but the question is if we are turning into a truly homogenous and harmonious society  as a result of our being stirred within the same crucible?

 

Let me fearlessly recognize that I am definitely inclined to use the privilege of entertaining certain amount of reasonable doubt here! One of the greatest reasons of this is the egregious lack of desire and sense of responsibility as well as the absence of a bluntly declared obligation to learn the Georgian language, saying nothing about the absence of commonality of the culture. I don’t of course mean sporadic overachievers who are ready to learn anything new, including the language of the country they dwell in.

Persons of various ethnic backgrounds living in Georgia carry a Georgian passport for identification and recognize themselves as Georgian citizens, but they will adamantly remain part of their own ethnic identity and culture, and ignore the necessity of learning the local state language. Moreover, when talked to in Georgian, they will fumble with a response in the still lingering Russian language. Doesn’t this sound weird? None of them will feel obligated to learn Georgian unless an occasional circumstance coerces them into doing so. You will not even hear the state language of Georgia in the regions of certain ethnic prevalence.

This does not help Georgia’s national significance and its unity, hurts national pride and is asking for a natural question – Why? This is all very serious but not the worst part of the situation. I am bothered mostly when both oral and written attempts are made to picture Georgia as a land of disintegrated multitude of ethnicities, speaking various languages and living in different cultural milieu. A couple of decades ago, the late Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov instigated – either deliberately or inadvertently – a serious indignation of the Georgian people by calling Georgia a little empire delineating this nation of multi-ethnical content in that disloyal and erroneous way for a learned man as he used to be.

Let Sakharov’s adherents, if there are any, know once and for all that Georgia is one nation under God with an extremely interesting gamut of indigenous customs, habits, arts, dialects and cuisine, speaking one language, sharing the same history, spilling the same blood for motherland when necessary, enjoying common culture, and talking to the rest of the world as a monolithic political entity, this all being nothing but the truth.

I have one quizzical comment up my long sleeve though, meant for ethnic Georgians to hear without failure – melting pot is a funny little place to be living, and there is nothing in there that can guarantee the survival and maintenance of Georgian ethnicity if this means anything at all for the future of this nation: Let us multiply exponentially! Nothing else will help. The more the better! The more we are, the bigger is a chance that other nationalities take up our language and immerse into our great culture completely. Nothing will matter if we wane away. Nothing will make sense if we are no longer around.

 

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