Mission to Ukraine with No Terms
18 October, 2012

 

Story of eminent diplomat and wonderful poet-translator

On October 12, National Library of Georgia organized an interesting creative evening. The outstanding diplomat Raul Chilachava who was the ambassador of Georgia to Ukraine and attained such appreciation that later he was sent as ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia; he is a well-known poet and translator, which makes his personality rather colorful and sophisticated.

 

 

This is a story of a student who was sent to Ukraine for two months, but was not called back.

That is why, one of his books is called “Mission to Ukraine with No Terms”. Raul Chilachava whose only mission and commitment was to study the Ukrainian language and translate Ukrainian poets, surpassed it and by staying there and marrying an Ukrainian woman, so deeply penetrated their culture that began to translate not only Ukrainian authors into Georgian but did vice versa and even more – started to write original verses in the Ukrainian language. After years, he became so appreciated that, a journalist by profession, was sent to Ukraine as an ambassador of Georgia. Ukraine fell in love with our envoy and it even decided to send Georgian-born Chilachava to Latvia as the Ambassador of Ukraine.

Raul Chilachava was rewarded with the Order of Merit and with different state- and international awards. As his Georgian friends say, there is no Georgian living in Ukraine who is so highly appreciated and loved as Raul Chilachava, whom they frankly admire. He has never regretted carrying the “yoke of poetry”, as he has “always done it with pleasure”. Besides the fact that Raul Chilachava shares  culture and feels love to three countries – Georgia – his main love and pain, Ukraine – to whom he is linked with marriage and Latvia – which is another country of his discovery as a poet and a diplomat; however, he has succeeded to stay a Georgian author in the best sense of the word, never losing the national essence. He is desperately in love with his home-country. The critics say that it is not the author who chooses languages but the languages which choose the author, and this is the case with Raul Chilachava who feels the language so perfectly in all three cases. I can hardly think of any other Georgian diplomat who is successful as an ambassador and at the same time, was so well expressing the spiritual dispositions of his two host countries, never forgetting about his own. Yes, he is trilingual and he is a master of rhythms and even more – an innovator who enriches his poetry with three cultures, thus becoming incomparable and charismatic person. Nobody wished the evening to end and the hall was crowded with the audience.

“He is the brother of all of us and the host of all decent Georgians in Ukraine. It would have been impossible if it was linked only to his physical energy. It is thanks to the enormous spiritual energy that makes him to be so productive and create so many verses and translated texts,“ Erekle Saghliani, Georgian poet commented.

Raul Chilachava admitted that there were several reasons why he decided to host the evening: “First, because it is the 50th anniversary since my first verse was published. Second, my 100th book has been published. Third, it has been 45th anniversary since I live in Ukraine.“

Later, the evening turned into the discussion with participation of authors and critics. Many of our famous poets congratulated him on this wonderful date and publishing of his 100th book. At the end, the poet-diplomat confessed that at last, he has purchased an apartment in Tbilisi and cherished hopes that one day he will by all means return to Georgia.

 

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