The Ideal of “New Youth“ according to David Guramishvili’s Davitiani

Co-existence and civic integration of ethnic minorities represent one of the significant components of Georgia’s domestic or foreign policies. And from a historical perspective, it has obviously been of fundamental importance. Settlement of ethnic groups in Georgia is related to various factors and phenomena. Apart from non-confrontational co-existence together with the autochthonous population in a new environment, it is extremely important to maintain and preserve the distinctive character, culture and traditions of foreign ethnic groups, bring their native and Georgian cultures together or absorb local culture, and ensure state support for ethnic minority cultures amid political transformations. This so-called ethnopolitics evolved and underwent certain transformations at different times, however, tolerant attitudes of the state and the society at large as well as of its progressive part towards the actual multicultural reality in Georgia has remained essentially the same. From this perspective, several of the 19th-20th century Georgian publicistic writings are of particular interest as they clearly illustrate the very same position articulated by authors. The publications that have been selected as samples are remarkable since they identify particular challenges related to co-existence of ethnicities in Georgia of the time, and indicate a patriotic and solution-oriented state approach specified by authors. First of all, this is manifested through their profound understanding of the significance of peaceful coexistence of ethnic minorities to ensure stabile development of the country. Furthermore, the need for solidarity between the Caucasus nations is underlined in the article examined below. In addition, it will be worthwhile to consider the authors’ emphasis on the need for maintaining cultural and national identity of ethnic minorities and promoting their social as well as civic integration.

From this perspective, the article by Ilia Chavchavadze is of considerable interest since it is where he offers his observations concerning the Tatar (i.e. common term of the time) which refers to the modern-day Azeri. In his article, I. Chavchavadze shares his ideas on the so-called our Tatar [Chavchavadze, 1897: 1]. By identifying it in such a way, he unintentionally captures reality rather than merely alluding to the geographical location of the ethnic group:  due to their non-antagonistic attitudes towards the autochthonous population, those of foreign decent who had settled in a Georgia, transformed into our Tatar, a new type of Tatar as a consequence of peaceful coexistence. Nevertheless, the Tatar ethnotype, with its distinctiveness and inherent dissimilarities, having turned into a subject of inquiry, did not go unnoticed by Ilia: “...  our Tatar is more of a loner rather than a well-established settler” [Chavchavadze, 1897:1]. The author takes into consideration a historically typical nomadic life of Tatars. He also refers to a cause and effect relationship between unique features and lifestyle specificities of this ethnic group: “such loneliness, the inability to settle, as well as a practically underprivileged existence certainly undermines his ability to evolve himself into a well-established, consistent and assertive working man” [Chavchavadze, 1897:1]. According to Ilia, it is the tendency of the Tatars towards nomadization that contributes to their inconsistent performance. He also focuses on a certain self-preservation instinct in Tatars, underlining that this ethnically non-Georgian group fully embraces the concept of solidarity within their ethnic group as well as the need for mutual assistance while living in a foreign environment. Therefore, as Ilia observes, they tend to love and support one another even when committing unlawful acts [Chavchavadze, 1897: 1]. Incomplete and insufficient integration of this ethnic group into the Georgian environment was a particularly compelling issue for Ilia who apparently attempted to examine intrinsic qualities of “our Tatar”. At the same time, however, Ilia Chavchavadze with his habitual foresight (and by presenting specific individuals or events as a common problem) made generalization and identified it as unwanted reality that undermined national interests and demonstrated limited integration of this ethnic group into Georgia’s civil society. Thus, the article under consideration is not exclusively ethnological. Rather, it is largely concerned with the issue of national importance (that has similar magnitude even today) in terms of civil integration of foreign ethnic groups or, in other words, for the stability of the country.

National and state-oriented consciousness is demonstrated throughout another publicistic work by Ilia Chavchavadze in which he examines one of the tragic parts of Georgian history. As is commonly known, since the 17th century Adjara has become a target of political and religious expansion of the Ottoman Empire leading to the forced conversions of the local population to Islam. Specifically, during 1877-78, the territory of Adjara-Kobuleti and later that of Batumi were returned to Georgia as an outcome of the Russo-Turkish War in which Georgians were engaged. Despite the foregoing, the issue of integration of Adjara’s ethnic Georgian Muslims remained challenging. A unified assembly of locals as well as Muslim Georgians, held at the Estate Bank established upon Ilia Chavchavadze’s initiative on June 10, 1905, aimed at overcoming the very challenge. Ilia, as the chairman of the assembly, considered it necessary to inform the public by publishing an announcement on the assembly and its agenda [Chavchavadze, 1905:1].

It is significant that in the course of the assembly the interests of the Georgian Muslims were represented by Memed Abashidze, a Muslim with a completely and utterly strong national orientation. He was expressly appointed a deputy chairman of the assembly. It is noteworthy that the year 1905 marked revolutionary unrest in the Russian Empire contributing to the growing importance of the issue of self-determination and autonomy of the peoples of the Empire. As it turns out, the assembly covered the very issue. According to participants, the wishes and aspirations indicated in the petitions of “Georgians” and Muslims were clearly demarcated”, however, “the dissimilarity would not hinder unity and solidarity if Muslims take a stand for a national-territorial autonomous unit insisting on autonomy much like us” [Chavchavadze, 1905:1]. As is evident from the article, discussions and debates were being held on the matters above. As Ilia states, “Every Transcaucasian nation should be given the absolute right to self-determination. “Georgians” will be bound to insist that the very right be given to the Muslims as well, whereas the latter, for their part, will do the same for “Georgians”, while either of them should be given freedom to administer their own domestic affairs…” [Chavchavadze, 1905: 1]. The article demonstrates that at that point in time the representatives of the so-called Muslim Georgia, i.e. the population of Adjara had already embraced the need and aspiration for autonomy that drew upon the self-determination principle. Memed Abashidze’s assembly address, full of national spirit, shows that he, notwithstanding religious dissimilarities, emphasizes the unity and the same origin of Georgians, both Christians and forced converts from Christianity as a result of the historical reality: “Even though as Muslims connected to other believers of Islamic faith, we are still Georgians by origin, by blood as well as heart and soul; therefore, no advocacy committed to encouraging discord and promoting hostility between us and our brothers, Christian Georgians can ever permeate through our minds. … to put it another way, we are intertwined with Tatars (i.e. Turks – I.S.) and “Georgians” through the religion and nationality, respectively” [Chavchavadze, 1905: 1]. The audience responded with prolonged cheering and applause. As noted above, at that point in time, favorable conditions developed for self-determination and autonomy of the nations in the Russian Empire. On the other hand, however, the potential of attaining autonomy by Muslim Georgians became a tangible reality which, in turn, would be utterly damaging to the integrity of the state. The assembly meeting identified a tolerant platform for country’s political structure that envisaged the protection of rights and freedoms of every ethnic group living in Georgia. Within the framework of the assembly, the significance of the progressive idea of self-determination deserves special mention as, according to attendees, every ethnic group would be given an opportunity to ensure self-realization and embrace their own religious and ethnic identity. The assembly arrived at the following conclusion: “cultural development of Caucasus and the change of social order, in line with the requirements of the regenerated life, is only possible by maintaining absolute solidarity among all nations …” [Chavchavadze, 1905:3]. This quite groundbreaking and progressive idea of the integrity of Caucasus nations became a major theme of the assembly. Therefore, the assembly, initiated and held by I. Chavchavadze, Memed Abashidze and others, is of historical significance due to its concept and purpose. It specifically demonstrates a favorable strategic direction of the country for 20th century, envisaging the need for tolerant environment in order to ensure harmonious coexistence of nations and offer solutions to prevailing problems.

In one of his articles, Akaki Tsereteli highlights a seemingly minute though still distinctive and important fact for the life of Georgia’s ethnic minorities. The article refers to the stage performance of Armenians held in Tbilisi on September 14, 1879, sharing its impact experienced and specified by Akaki Tsereteli on the pages of Droeba. It is worth recalling and noting that by the date of publication, the Armenians, just as the other ethnic groups in Tbilisi, enjoyed the right and opportunity to produce and perform on stage in their own native language. This, indeed, demonstrates the possibility of maintaining their cultural identity while living peacefully together with the Georgian community. As for Akaki’s newspaper article, it describes the performance as well as the content of this historical play in a relatively detailed way.

The play depicted the life of Arshak II, the 4th century Armenian king who faced the dilemma of choosing between Roman and Persian protectorate. The play about the life of the remarkable Armenian king attracted a large audience since it nourished patriotic feelings and presented a tragic story of the king revered by every Armenian [Tsereteli, 1879: 1]. The article indicates that the performance was attended by other Georgians, apart from Akaki Tsereteli and the Armenians (the latter included the Arghutashvilis, the Bebutashvilis and others from the Armenian communities of Gori and Kartli). Akaki’s remark that follows is noteworthy and of particular interest for us. Akaki, who had hardly any knowledge of Armenian, asked those next to him for assistance: “but they found themselves in the same situation: three parts of the audience understood absolutely nothing…” [Tsereteli, 1879:1]. 

Clearly, Akaki deemed it necessary to publish information on the Armenian play in Droeba newspaper not just to lay out its content and share its impact on him but, first of all, to emphasize that the majority of the Armenian audience lacked the knowledge of their mother tongue and, what is also important, to identify the threat of language loss as well as the tendency towards full assimilation of this nation that had enjoyed great past.

Even though no thorough analysis of this particular event was provided by Akaki in his article, it follows that he, just like “Tergdaleuli” Ilia Chavchavadze, understood that general pressing issues were predominantly reflected in certain particular facts and that their generalization and assessment responded to public concerns. 

Thus, we consider the aforementioned Droeba article as an expression of Akaki Tsereteli’s progressive view.

One particular issue related to ethnic minorities attracted attention of Akaki’s senior fellow-writer, the representative of the generation of conservatives or (as more specifically referred to) the generation of fathers. Here, what I have in mind is Grigol Orbeliani’s letter sent from Kojori, dating back to August 9, 1865, which refers to the so-called nalog, i.e. tax issues [Gigashvili, Ninidze, 2018: 53-57]. The letter was addressed to Alexander II, the emperor of Russia. As is commonly known, after his military retirement, Gr. Orbeliani was transferred to Tbilisi to serve Aleksandr Baryatinsky, viceroy of the Caucasus (1856-1862), and a year later was appointed chairman of the viceroy’s council, acting as a viceroy for a short period of time. At this particular moment, as a result of tax duplication, the uprising involving guildsmen, artisans and merchants broke out in the capital city in June 1865. While protesting, the outraged citizens raided Mayor’s apartment and murdered the tax collector Melikov. The uprising was quelled with much bloodshed as government used the military force against rioters. Without taking into account this distressing fact, the content and the spirit of Grigol Orbeliani’s letter to the emperor would remain baffling. It appears that, as indicated in Orbeliani’s official letter, the tax increase “at any cost” and “without any delay” was administered in accordance with the imperial command leading to the unfortunate consequences described above. As we can see from Orbeliani’s letter, the imperial government perceived the uprising as having a political rather than social background. In an attempt to underline the incorrect interpretation, Grigol Orbeliani, counting on the emperor’s compassion, urges him to defer payment of increased taxes. Here it is especially noteworthy that due to the Armenian origin of the majority of artisans and merchants engaged in the uprising, the representatives of this ethnic group were seen in a relatively negative light. 

Therefore, irrespective of people’s ethnic origin, Grigol Orbeliani as their protector and advocate, offers an explanation to the emperor: “As witnessed in the course of the past sixty-five years, Georgian Armenians have been genuinely loyal to the government” [Gigashvili, Ninidze, 2018: 53-57]. The collocation “Georgian Armenians” is rather remarkable, similar to the one (i.e. “our Tatar”) coined by Ilia Chavchvadze, manifesting the same humane attitude on the part of both writers towards minorities in the Georgian environment. As far as the letter is concerned, it is also important to emphasize that it clearly demonstrates social activism of ethnic Armenians in the context of violation of their rights.

The letter, the memoir of Hovhannes Ter-Grigoryant is of special interest in terms of the relationship between Georgian and Armenian public figures. It was originally published in Mshak (The Toiler) to mark the 25th anniversary of its founder’s - Gregory Artzruni’s death (on December 28, 1917). Akaki Shanidze translated the article from Armenian and later published it in 1918. 

The author mentions that prominent Armenians formed close ties with Georgian writers and public figures. As is commonly known, founding of the Armenian community in Georgia dates back centuries. Their integration into the civic domain and, at the same time, their aspiration and intention to maintain national and cultural identity became especially predominant in the 19th century. Engaging in the cultural, and specifically, publishing domain, which from that time onward became possible in the country, served as one of the tools to demonstrate the said intention. The point applies not just to the Armenian ethnic group, however, this time we will recall one instance of the Georgian-Armenian relations involving the assistance on the part of the Georgian community to enable the Armenians to publish the Armenian-language newspaper in Tbilisi. 

Grigoryants, as a participant of this process stated that the agenda of Mshak, the Armenian-language newspaper intended to be published from January 1872, had been prepared as a result of consultations with the editor himself as well as newspaper employees of Georgian ethnicity, in the environment of the hospitable family of Sergei Meskhi, the editor of the Georgian-language newspaper Droeba [Ter-Grigoryants, 1918: 2]. There, gatherings and discussions involved Sergei Meskhi, K. Lortkipanidze, Giorgi Tsereteli, Stepane Melikishvili, (the housewife’s brother), Grigor Artsruni, Gabriel Sundukian, St. Palasanian, G. Chimishkyan, M. Amerikian, Poghos Izmailian (later, the mayor of Tbilisi) and many others. 

Grigoryants emphasizes that “when the agenda has been already prepared, Sergei Meskhi gave an intense and remarkable speech concerning solidarity among Caucasians that was followed by equally poignant speeches on the part of G. Artsruni and P. Izmailov. Thus, here in this warmly welcoming family of intellectuals, the Mshak agenda has been elaborated, and, for the first time, a foundation has been laid for solidarity among Caucasus peoples” [Ter-Grigoryants, 1918: 3]. 

As is commonly known and as this lengthy excerpt demonstrates, the attitudes of the members of Georgian and Armenian intelligentsia was always based on mutual respect and cooperation which also becomes clearly evident from the title of Ter-Grigoryants’ letter – Mshak and Georgian-Armenian relations.

Mshak, the Armenian literary-political newspaper (1872-1920), whose editor until his death in 1892 was Grigor Artsruni, its founder and an outstanding Armenian public figure, played a remarkable role in cultivating the self-identification and national consciousness of Tbilisi-based Armenian readers and the sense of solidarity between the peoples of Caucasus.

However, the Georgian-Armenian relations have involved unfortunate encounters as well. In his letter-memoir Ter-Grigoryants was recalling one of the instances that happened in 1875 when “disagreements and disputes occurred between Armenians and Georgians, and fierce debates were leaked to both Armenian and Georgian press” [Ter-Grigoryants, 1918:5]. It was about tax collection among workers and employees practiced unfairly by an Armenian leaseholder. Unfortunately (as he believed), Georgians made generalizations about this particular case and their letters (including those by Akaki Tsereteli) were perceived as an insult against the Armenian people.

Grigoryants noted that as a response to this campaign, Grigor Artsruni, a highly regarded figure of the Armenian community and Mshak founder and editor, published one and only remark in the Armenian newspaper (Issue #8, January 16, 1875): “the seventh issue of the Georgian newspaper Droeba features the article which is harsh beyond measure against the entire Armenian people. Does the respected newspaper take an unexpected turn after the format change and following the publication of its third issue? Where in the world is our friendship and concerted efforts? Just because injustice has been committed by the Armenian leaseholder while collecting tax from workers (we have been complaining about it over and over again; and if Akaki does not understand Armenian, he should have at least asked), – claiming that the entire people and literature are held responsible… and that Armenians are destroying Tbilisi just like Agha Mohammad Khan…” [Ter-Grigoryants, 1918:8].

This exhaustive quote illustrates how strained the relationship between yesterday’s friends and companions has become which certainly was both tragic and dangerous for these two nations. For that very reason, Niko Nikoladze, a respected and highly regarded man took the initiative to end the confrontation. According to Ter-Grigoryants, Nikoladze returned to Georgia in the summer of 1875. He was rather horrified to witness the use of indecent language across Georgian magazines and newspapers that displayed the Georgian-Armenian relationships as not that exciting. 

N. Nikoladze was interested in creating a tolerant and friendly environment that would promote coexistence, so he decided to reconcile them because, as Grigoryants concludes, “as an educated and intellectual person, and a diplomat, he would anticipate the effects of Georgian-Armenian attitudes” [Ter-Grigoryants, 1918:10]. For that reason, he decided to hold a feast outdoors, in a familiar setting for Caucasians, and invite prominent figures of both peoples in order to end the dispute. The feast was attended by Akaki Tsereteli, one of the participants in the debate, and Niko Nikoladze himself, Anton Lortkipanidze - Kutaisi Mayor, Sergei Meskhi, Giorgi Tsereteli, Stepane Melikov, Anton Purtseladze, Konstantin Bebutov – the editor of the newspaper Tifliskij Vestnik [Tbilisi Newspaper],  G. Chimishkyan, Grigor Artsruni, and Ter-Grigoryants, the author of this memoir. 

Niko Nikoladze succeeded in eliminating the confrontation between Georgians and Armenians thanks to the feast as well as the overall environment, thus reinforcing the principle implying that friendship and cooperation between the two nations in the Caucasus region is fundamental and is of state and national importance.

The contribution of the Armenian community in Georgia to the civic and cultural life of Tbilisi has always been remarkable. In the year of declaration of independence of Georgia, ten individuals of Armenian ethnicity were among elected members of Parliament. The very fact was dealt with by Georgian poet Leli Japaridze of Tsisperi Qantsebi (The Blue Horns). In the transitional period, from the moment of declaration of independence until Georgia’s Constituent Assembly held its first session (opened on March 12, 2019), the legislative power was vested in the National Council of Georgia, i.e. the so-called Parliament of Georgia. That was the Council with the ten Armenian members mentioned by L. Japaridze. 

The letter indicates that the left-wing sector of the Parliament of Georgia was expanded by ten Armenian members whose initial declaration was rather noteworthy. Here, it certainly refers to the following patriotic statement by the Armenian members: “…they are here to manifest their dedication, to defend freedom of Georgia, the breathtaking little motherland, on the battlefield as well as inside [Japaridze, 1918: 1].  

A large number of the Armenian parliament members and their expressed commitment to Georgia declared from country’s foremost platform was proportionate to a political act which, once again, demonstrated the engagement of ethnic minorities in the political life of Georgia.

Another article that addresses the need for participation of ethnic minorities in Georgia’s Civic life is authored by Ivane Gomarteli. He believes that during the most important period of the history of the Georgian nation, at point of emergence of an independent and democratic state, the differentiation between the concept of motherland and the place of residence on the part of the representatives of ethnic minorities in Georgia is unacceptable, having in mind the history of Georgia that witnessed harmonious coexistence of numerous ethnic groups over the course of several centuries. From this perspective, „... our Georgia will become similar to Switzerland. Here other peoples such as Armenians, Tatars, Ossetians, etc. live together with us in the same territory. Much like Switzerland, the Georgian people have attained the same level of spiritual development extending their brotherly hand to every citizen, saying: we have the same motherland” [Gomarteli, 1920: 1].

Sadly, as the author remarks, “some of our Ossetians and our Armenians still cannot tolerate the idea that Georgia is their motherland and that they, along with the Georgian people, should protect our common homeland against all the enemies” [Gomarteli, 1920:1].

It is uncertain, which specific actions performed by those ethnic groups are considered unacceptable by Iv. Gomarteli in his letter, however, one thing is clear: it is written by a patriot with a state-oriented vision who is concerned about the threat to the state integrity, that is the way ethnic groups consciously dissociate themselves from problems of the state of Georgia, their common motherland.

For the author, Georgia is a historically multiethnic and multicultural country. And for him, ashik 

Sayat-Nova, the confluence of Armenian and Georgian cultures, is of course a classic example of such multicultural coexistence. That is why it is no coincidence that his letter is entitled Grishashvili’s Sayat-Nova. 

In his book The Literary Bohemia of Old Tbilisi, I. Grishashvili ultimately regards Sayat-Nova as the combination, symbol and ideal of cultures of the Caucasus.

Iv. Gomarteli associates the coexistence of ethnic minorities in Georgia with the implementation of national goals of a progressive European state which is considered to be identical with Grishashvili’s integral, old-Tbilisi-type, multi-traditional and, in a way, essential setting.

Much like I. Grishashvili’s The Literary Bohemia of Old Tbilisi, another publication entitled Unusual Stories of Old Tbilisi by Karapet Grigoryants is a type of non-fiction work which depicts various multicultural features of multiethnic Tbilisi and portrays more than a few colorful characters representing the very culture. It includes Tbilisi-related stories on a wide range of topics. While recounting them, the author revives the multiethnic culture of Tbilisi and Georgia in a striking way, the culture which is full of humanistic beliefs in equality and which, according to the author, is created by remarkable artists of this city. It is therefore not surprising that the narrative is preceded by a summary of the life and work of Karapet Grigoryants, the famous Armenian artist and author who lived in Georgia.

Everyone is well aware of the careers of Georgia-based Armenian artists and their highly professional works of art. Their traditional connection to the Georgian art and their creative and friendly relationships with the Georgian artists as well as public figures are especially noteworthy. Among other ones, Karapet Grigoryants (1866-1943), a self-taught artist and a contemporary of Niko Pirosmani, was born in Ganja province, moving to Tbilisi thereafter. He even painted murals for then famous Tbilisi dukhan “Sympathy” [Grigoryants, 2011:1]. 

It is rather noteworthy that the Georgian State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts houses his paintings dating back to 1936-38 [Kipshidze, 2018: 248]. Apart from painting, he was passionate about literature and, as noted in his book, he had authored as well as translated numerous literary works in Georgian and Armenian languages (for instance, the Armenian translation of The Knight in Panther’s Skin and its further adaptation as a play). 

It turns out that K. Grigoryants had a wide range of interests. This time, however, it is notable how typically Georgian and nationalistic was his attitude toward the Georgian language, despite the fact that he, as an ethnic Armenian, was born in Ganja province, though his upbringing and identity construction proceeded in a Georgian environment. He considered the mandatory teaching of the Russian language to be inappropriate, and the way he was concerned about corrupted and impoverished Georgian language is striking: “This practice of chasing Russian has led to a complete loss of old Georgian and, subsequently, to a corrupt language. Today, the Georgian language is a mixture of Arabic, Persian, Armenian and European borrowings…. Back in the old days, Georgians enjoyed their own pure language. In ancient times, there were Armenian poets in Georgia who spoke pure and uncorrupted Georgian language” [Grigoryants, 2011: 1].  

Unless one knows that the above-quoted words have been written by an ethnic Armenian, nothing raises doubts as to the Georgian origin of the excerpt’s author who as a patriot is saddened by ongoing processes that threaten everything Georgian.

This certainly is an example of conscious engagement in Georgia’s multiethnic and humane cultural setting on the part of a representative of another ethnic group, and an actual expression of patriotism towards a new motherland (indeed, by maintaining the integrity of one’s own national identity). 

K. Grigoryants also recalls the endeavors of Gr. Artsruni, one of the important figures of the Georgian culture and civic and public life, and his close friendship with Iv. Machabeli, G. Tsereteli, Akaki, Ilia, and N. Nikoladze.

He deems it necessary to treat Gr. Artsruni’s funeral as a memorable and extraordinary event in Tbilisi, integrating the narrative about it in his book [Grigoryants, 2011:2]. K. Grigoryants, as a Georgian by residence and consciousness, though Armenian by ethnicity, considers it noteworthy that “with much effort and by blocking the way, Georgian patriots made it possible for it (the funeral procession – I. S.) to pass through Rustaveli avenue in front of the palace; they knew in advance, that access was prohibited in front of the palace but they made it happen anyway” [Grigoryants, 2011:2].

As depicted in the publication, this man became an object of regard not only for Georgians and Armenians, “but also priests, mullahs, sayyids, ayatollahs, Jewish Hakhams and Rabbis, carrying guild flags, walked together through the post street from where they joined the procession in front of the government [building], further heading to The Khojivank pantheon in Avlabari” [Grigoryants, 2011:2]. Consequently, Tbilisi multiethnic community paid tribute to the great patriot whose contribution to the literary as well artistic life in the country and to the development of relations between ethnic groups had been immense.

Thus, only several examples of Georgian publicistic works have been dealt with in the proposed article. An actual unity of themes related to the coexistence of ethnic groups appear to have led to the choice of the said publicistic works, however, it does not mean that they are the only examples of publicism that reflect the subject under discussion. Particular facts or events discussed in these publicistic articles have been generalized, and the participation of various ethnic groups in the social, cultural and political life of the country, while maintaining their cultural and national identity, has been considered by the authors of these publications to be a guarantor of stability for the state of Georgia.

The chronological order of these articles (1879-1928) is also noteworthy. In fact, this occurred at the turn of the century when the entire world was facing social, political, technological, economic and cultural upheavals. Among others, Georgia was also affected by this global process. Therefore, despite a certain reexamination of values, the publicistic works written during this time period enable us to claim that the principle of tolerant and conflict-free coexistence of ethnic groups is still common to Georgian thought and typical to Georgian mentality and, at the same time, historically represents one of the fundamental principles of stability of the Georgian state. The same could explain the continuity and persistence of the Georgian multiethnic culture.


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