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President Zourabichvili: “Our Mother Language is the Basis of our Identity”

Today, President Salome Zourabichvili opened the “State Language for Civic Integration and Human Capital Development in Georgia” conference.
At the conference, President Zourabichvili highlighted issues such as the role of the state language and its challenges, the need to maintain Georgia’s second state language, Abkhazian, and the importance of knowledge of the state language for ethnic minorities’ full civic integration.
“Defense of the state language is my constitutional obligation and is both a high responsibility and a great pride. Language is the state’s core. A unified state cannot exist without a language. Language unifies society and its second characteristic is that it carries a nation’s culture.
Culture cannot exist without language. Today’s globalization and technologies create large challenges for languages. The Georgian language is the State’s flag abroad. The Georgian alphabet is listed as intangible cultural heritage, which means itself that awareness about our language increases.
Our goal is to become part of the European cultural space as soon as possible, with our Georgian culture and literature,” stated President Zourabichvili. 
The President also discussed the importance to maintain the state language for our diaspora, noting that if the Georgian diaspora loses its language, the diaspora will also disappear.
“Active engagement by the diaspora in the development of our country is rooted in the state language. Therefore, the involvement of our diaspora in distance-learning programs is important to help them become a bridge with other countries and their societies,” said President Zourabichvili.
The President also paid attention to the importance of knowledge of the state language in the national minorities’ integration process, emphasizing that the state should create all possibilities for representatives of national minorities to maintain their traditions and native language, while ensuring that Georgian becomes their native language.
President Zourabichvili emphasized that national minorities should all have a chance to study the language. It is necessary to teach Georgian from kindergartens and later on continue in schools and universities. The main instrument for integration into social life should be knowledge of the state language.
The President also underlined that Georgia’s second language, Abkhazian, is under a huge threat today.
“The so-called Abkhazian government expressed its position following my May 26 speech that nothing is happening there and that russification is not taking place. Their reaction confirms how truthful this difficult analysis really is. We need to defend the Abkhazian language,” said President Zourabichvili. 
The “State Language for Civil Integration and Human Capital Development in Georgia” conference was jointly prepared by the Presidential Administration of Georgia, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, and the LEPL Zurab Zhvania State Administration School.

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