Music Festival in Batumi Held in Russian

“The Children of the 21st Century” music festival was held in Georgia’s Black Sea city of Batumi on June 30. As the local newspaper “Batumelebi” reported, participants from six countries, including Latvia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Georgia, participated in the festival. However, the whole festival was held in the Russian language. 

The fact that the festival was held in Russian caused controversy in Georgia, as 20% of the country’s territories are occupied by their northern neighbor.

One of the organizers of the festival, Vakhtang Beridze, says that this is an international festival and the festival language was not officially defined.

He explained that before Georgia, the festival had been held in 27 different countries, including ones that had been victims of Russian aggression.

“The festival was held in Russian in such countries, which are more negative towards Russia than Georgia, but no one has ever objected that the main language of the music festival was Russian,” Beridze says, adding he could not prohibit festival participants from speaking in Russian.

One of the supporters of the festival is the government of Georgia’s Adjara region. Their press office says that their involvement was nominal and was only reflected in informational support.

“This is a private festival, held through self-financing. We are not involved in organizational issues. We knew that Russian-speaking countries were participating, and Russia was also among them. We have no other connection with this festival,” the statement reads.

Batumelebi reports that the Education Minister of Adjara, Inga Shamilishvili, welcomed the festival participants in Russian.

The Minister says she said only a few words in Russian, in order to avoid needing to translate her speech.

Mariam Jashi, Chair of the Parliament’s Education and Science Committee, believes that international events held in Russian are unacceptable for Georgia under the occupation regime.

“I will discuss this issue with the government of Adjara,” she stated.

“The Children of the 21st Century” festival was established in Russia. The organizer of the festival is the Russian tourist company Pyramid Tours.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Netgazeti



02 July 2018 16:26