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The Dawn of Culture

By Ekaterine Tchelidze
Friday, January 10
In my previous article “Path to Europeanization” I have talked about recent developments and alterations I have noticed in Georgia, particularly in Tbilisi, over the course of three years. This time I would like to focus specifically on culture.

I have always thought that culture is one of the main pillars, leading to the development of a state. Even before I left Georgia, I knew that the country is rich with museums, theaters and libraries. I also knew that those places were not in favorites of young generation.

Most of young people preferred drinking beer and gossiping instead of reading in the library or enjoying a theater play. It would be such a shame if someone saw them with a book in hands! At least most of the people I knew were afraid of that. Every my attempt to suggest a visit to a theater or to an Opera House was ridiculed.

“We live in the XXI century!” my friends used to say.

They called me old-fashioned, because I had no idea “how to spend free time according to modern standards.” This experience made me think that a huge ship called cultural development started to sink.

Naturally, this belief firmly settled in me. I started to believe that nowadays nobody appreciates art. However, only recently I have realized how erroneous this belief was. My misconception started to dissipate during my current visit to Georgia.

This month I got an amazing opportunity to attend various theater plays, exhibitions and lectures, organized in the city. Such abundance of cultural events suggests that the situation is not as bad as I imagined it. I was truly surprised to witness the fullness of theater halls. Actually, a lot of parents still bring their kids to plays, trying to instill a sense of cultural development in them. Moreover, I was also amazed by the number of attendees, who visit lectures about National Heritage in Tbilisi. This fact shows that citizens still care about cultural development in the country.

It is incredibly great to notice that Georgians enjoy spending their holidays visiting museums, theater plays and even libraries. I cannot express the extent of my happiness and pride when I noticed how full the local public library was. It was not only occupied by people, enjoying reading various literatures in a peaceful atmosphere, but also by students, working on their research papers and essays. This fact became a real discovery for me, proving that people still visit libraries and care about their education. Moreover, most of them also attend theater plays, museums and various informative cultural lectures.

This clearly shows that the ship did not sink yet. Instead, Georgian culture is at its dawn.