Georgian delegation joins the celebration of Kafkas University’s 20th anniversary in Kars
Kafkas University, a public higher educational institution in Kars, Turkey, invited Georgians to visit their Annual Spring Festival from May 30 to June 1, 2012, to mark the 20th birthday of the University.
With the participation of the university, concerts, and the Georgian folk dance ensemble from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, as well as paintings and photos exhibitions were held during the event.
The schedule of the open air festival featured Georgian folk dances that included Samaia, Jeirani and Mkhedruli. Young Georgian artists Mariam Akubardia and Leila Mamedova also exhibited paintings produced on canvas, oil, as well as drawings. Famous photographer Gia Gogatishvili displayed a private collection of photos based mainly on religious themes, while Irakli Dolidze, a young self-taught photographer displayed the sights of Georgia.
The Georgian dancers’ performance was met with generous applause by the students, academic staff, and the several foreign guests who were in attendance. “The audience never bursts into applause if they don’t like the performance. So based on their cheers, I would say we met our goal and presented Georgian culture [successfully,]” dancer Lasha Chkhitunidze, told Georgia Today. The university ensemble was established in 1934 and has performed on many stages throughout the world including the United States, Germany, Italy and Japan. It has also won numerous awards for its routine.
However, the Georgian paintings garnered the greatest interest from the festival-goers. The 23 works by Mariam Akubardia, 21, a student at the Fine Art Academy of Georgia, featured associations of dramatism, beauty as well as happiness. “I always draw my spiritual conditions and what I feel from the environment,” she noted.
One of her paintings from the series “Revolution” which was displayed in the abstract expressionism style was highly-appreciated. “Currently it is my favorite, but I am still in the process of searching,” she added.
The exhibition included the paintings of Leila Mamedova, whose work was also received enthusiastically by the audience. “I wanted to express the life of the Georgian people in my paintings,” she said.
The talent images of young photographer Irakli Dolidze was also well received by the audience. There was a keen interest in how he managed to depict the sights of Georgia in such a new and unique way. “I took some of the photos which I have taken during 2011-2012 years while visiting the different parts of Georgia,” Irakli said.
According to the project organizers, the idea of putting on an evening featuring Georgian art came after taking into consideration the public’s interest in Georgian art, as well as for further expanding the political, business and cultural ties between the two countries.
Sami Ozcan, the Rector at Kafkas University, emphasized the importance of this festival. He said Georgians, Azerbaijanis, and Turkish people, as well as foreigners studying in Kafkas University alike, have been given a unique opportunity to partake, enjoy and access the diversity of each other’s culture.
Ozcan expressed gratitude towards the Georgians for their support. “I am pleased to mark our twenty- year anniversary with our neighbor country Georgia and expect that more Georgians will come and study at Kafkas University,” he told Georgia Today during the meeting with Georgian delegation members.
More than 13,000 students study at Kafkas University and seven of them are from Georgia. Kafkas is the only university in Turkey where there is the Georgian Literacy and Language faculty. Currently, 13 foreign students study the Georgian language. Among them is Turkish student Mahmed Kucuk. After graduating from high school he said that he had decided to study the Georgian language and plans to become a Georgian language teacher in the future.
“I was born in Ankara and found that Kafkas was the only university in Turkey where I could study the Georgian language,” he told Georgia Today in good Georgian, adding that “many people study the French and English language worldwide while Georgian has its own writing among the fourteen scripts in the world.”
Within the framework of the festival, Georgia’s Caucasus International University and Kafkas University signed a cooperation memorandum.
Under the memorandum, universities plan to facilitate their cooperation in terms of social and political sciences, medicine, culture and sports activities. Georgia Today was able to have a brief conversation regarding the memorandum’s importance and its main objectives with the Head of the Development Department of Caucasus International University, Alexander Rusetsky, who signed the memorandum.
He mentioned that working with Kafkas University will be useful for both of the universities, as it provides the opportunity to be involved in the teaching and training process of both Georgian and Turkish students Ozcan also expressed interest in inviting Georgian lectors to Kafkas to further develop the Georgian language study curriculum.
As of today, eight separate university campuses in the province of 6 faculties, 3 schools, 5 vocational school, 1 State Conservatory, 3 Graduate School, 6 Research Center for a total of 23 academic units, 468 faculty and has a capacity of approximately 14 thousand students. Outside the region, including the majority of the university every year about 4 thousand students enroll. Accelerated investment in infrastructure and technical equipment required by the contemporary higher education is continuing.
By Tamar Khurtsia