Tasteful and Tasty Italian Reception
06 June, 2013
I do not want to offend the diplomatic society living and working in Georgia, but I must mention that the recent celebration of Italian National Day on June 3 (factually, on June 2), was a really distinguished one. Arranged in the hub of the city, where one could see the beautifully lighted up Narikala citadel and surroundings of the Mtkvari River, it was a festivity full of Italian spirit that amounted to great generosity, high spirits, irresistible dishes, etc. The
event was exceptionally representative; it was a dream reception that wouldn’t leave anyone indifferent. On June 2, 1946, Italy held a referendum changing its form of government from monarchy to republic.
After a traditional formal greeting, Mrs. Federica Favi, Ambassador of Italy to Georgia, noted: “Your presence here, in this splendid Georgian setting, brings back to my mind key events in the recent history of my country: I can hear, for example, Arturo Toscanini conducting from the podium of La Scala – rebuilt immediately after the war – Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra” in front of 3000 spectators, and tens of thousands others in the adjoining piazza and streets, only one year after the war; I honor the wisdom of the Fathers of our Constitution, who originated from widely diverse political, social and cultural backgrounds, who drafted our solid, balanced and still incredibly modern charter. That was the year 1947; I applaud the creativity and the spirit of self-sacrifice of our families and small enterprises who led Italy to the unbelievable economic boom of the 60’s, transforming of my country to one of the world’s most industrialized nations; I feel the burden of our long struggles against the mafia and the internal terrorism in the 70’s, which we both defeated without ever surrendering our constitutional rights and guarantees; I see a country always in the forefront in the field of international humanitarian aid and in the promotion of human dignity and respect; I see a country with no enemies; I feel the pain of our two Marines still detained in India; the pain of the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan; I feel the sorrow of the 4000 Italian companies that went bankrupt only this year and the sorrow of our Italian youth, 40% of whom are left without work; I recognize my country when even in the most trying times always it finds unexpected resources to pull itself through, as a few weeks ago, for the first time in our history, the Head of State was unexpectedly re-elected to solve a difficult political crisis. The result is now a well functioning coalition government composed of two parties traditionally in strong opposition”.
At the end of her speech, she said: “I am proud that my country is a friend of Georgia, with whom we intend to have even closer relations. We share with Georgia a strong attachment to human and family ties. I thank the Georgians and their authorities for the enormous interest and enthusiasm with which they always welcome all that is Italian.”
The following words were pronounced in Italian, Georgian and English. “Allow me now to toast to this friendship and to a prosperous future of our countries,” Mrs. Favi ended her speech with a Georgian word “Gaumarjos” that stands for “Cheers”. Alex Petriashvili, Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, was the speaker on the part of Georgian side: ”First of all, I would like to congratulate our dear Italian friends. Not only in Afghanistan the Georgian and Italian soldiers are fighting side by side, but I remember very well that in the 1940s there were a lot of examples of brotherhood, support and sacrifice. In addition to that the latest contribution to the Italian people was, most probably, our outstanding football player Kakhi Kaladze. I wish all the best to Italy and Italian people.”
The speeches were followed by the national anthems of two countries. Extremely pleasant, tasteful and tasty soiree lasted until the late evening. Viva l’Italia e buona salute!