Text Mariam Avakova
Despite the conflict situation between the Georgia and Russia, these two neighboring countries have always been close to each other through culture, their passion to tasty food, dance, a bit similar character, nature.
Despite the political conflict, Georgia and Russia have stayed friendly with regard to common culture. During our visit to Georgia, everybody could feel it in Tbilisi, because of the Soviet architecture, Griboedov Theater, and many other things.
There is a lot of interest and general love for Georgia amongst Russians, going back to the famous Russian writer and diplomat A.S. Griboyedov, who spent the best time of his life here and had his most productive literary period here when he fell in love with Georgian culture, its hospitality, people, and nature.
It was very pleasant to see that Georgians remember and honor Russian cultural and political figures. In Tbilisi, the Russian State Drama Theater was named in honor of Griboyedov and has been named so since 1961. On the bank of the Mtkvari river there is also a statue of Griboyedov. The theater’s repertoire also mainly consists of classical Russian plays. Also, you can visit the site where the great Russian writer is buried.
Elements of Georgian culture – songs and legends in particular – have had a great influence on the work of great poets such as A.S. Pushkin and M.Y. Lermontov. Some streets in Tbilisi are named in honor of these writers. The monuments dedicated to these poets in the city are treated with respect. Young people like use Pushkin Square as a place to meet up, and lots of people can be seen next to the bust of the great Russian poet, it is also a popular place where tour guides begin their tour. In addition, the monument to Lermontov was built precisely where the events in his Mtsyri poem take place, at the beginning of the Military-Georgian road, along the bank of the river Mtkvari.
Not only has literature left an impression on the Russian-Georgian relationship, cinema too has been influential. Not so often as we would like, but new Georgian films regularly appear in the programs of Russian film festivals. The reverse is also true with Russian films travelling to Georgian festivals. Georgian and Russian actors and directors periodically work together in Georgian films as well.
Hopefully, this cooperation will be strengthened, as long as the cultural figures of independent Russia and Georgia continue to have mutual interests and respect for one another.
It has to be underscored that there is no longer an active, direct Russian influence, but the traces of Soviet Union, the past, is preserved in Georgia.