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President Zourabichvili: Georgian Language is Main Door to National Reinforcement, Culture, Relationships, and Respect

To commemorate the “Day of the Georgian Language”, the President of Georgia inaugurated with the local population a wall painting celebrating the Georgian language on the Cultural House of Akhalkalaki.

President Zourabichvili emphasized the importance of thoroughly studying Georgian to equip citizens with the tools to get involved in the country’s life and participate in Georgia’s decision-making processes.
In her speech, President Zourabichvili recalled, notably, the memory of Zurab Zhvania.

“Today, we are celebrating the Day of our State Language. I would like to recall the memory of Zurab Zhvania, whose star was dedicated a few days ago in Strasbourg, Europe. Zurab Zhvania was a founder of this school that gives teaches Georgian to our citizens and helps all of us become fully-participating citizens of Georgia.
“I studied Georgian with “Deda Ena” (“Mother Tongue”) since my early childhood and the fact that this very book is coming back to our schools and that our kids will study, through it, our national language is of paramount importance.

“I understand that you have either no Georgian basics or you can only partially understand it. However, you are in Georgia, for which I want to express my gratitude as it is so important. I understand that for Georgian to truly be our state language, it is my responsibility, as the President of all Georgians, to spread, promote its learning.
“Today, we attended the documentary-showing of Iakob Gogebashvili. Why is it important that our state language be accessible for all? Because language is the main instrument for close relationships, for mutual understanding, and for mutual respect. A common language is the door to our culture, the door for our country’s reinforcement.

“This is why we fought on April 14, 1978 - to secure the national language. Without their victory, Georgia might not have restored its statehood and independence, as they are all tightly tied together and cannot coexist independently. This is why I have the great desire that you and your kids become fully-participating citizens of Georgia. This is why I am pushing to grant more people dual citizenship.
“Dual citizenship has entered into force and today, every individual has the opportunity to come back and restore their Georgian citizenship. But it remains necessary to take the initiative to learn our state language, a sign that you deserve the country’s citizenship.
“It is important to study Georgian, at least at the same level as the prerequisite level for those seeking to earn the Georgian citizenship. This is both symbolic and very important.
“I want to highlight the state’s readiness to grant you all the rights and I know you have this desire. The state is only powerful as long as all its citizens have the desire to be a fully-participating members of society and as long as they feel like true citizens of the country. Georgia will be powerful in all respects when we achieve that kind of unity.

“I would like to thank you and reiterate that our government will not spare any effort to make Georgian learning even more accessible, especially for kids. Indeed, learning a language starts in kindergarten. This is why I would like to declare with unison that it is crucial to open a Georgian-language kindergarten in the nearest future. I am confident that both you and we have this desire.

“I believe that in the coming year, when I return here, it won’t be only a desire but an already-fulfilled project,” said the President of Georgia.
The meeting between the President of Georgia and the local population was attended by the State Attorney, representatives of the local government, and His Eminence Metropolitan Nikoloz of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo and Kari.
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