Debates Surround April 9 Tragedy

April 9 is one of the most remarkable and tragic days in Georgian history, associated with the struggle for freedom and its brutal suppression. On April 9, 1989, the Soviet military forces used tanks and weapons to disperse a peaceful anti-Soviet demonstration whose participants demanded the withdrawal of Georgia from the USSR, which as a result resulted in 21 casualties, 17 females and 4 males among them, and left hundreds of Georgian citizens injured.

Famous Georgian composer Jemal Sepiashvili wrote the music on the poem of Moris Potskhishvili ‘Give Tulips to One Another’, and devoted it to the tragedy of the April 9 and its victims, which later obtained the status of an anthem of freedom.

However, in 2019, the famous song has become the matter of strong debates. It was planned to ‘give new life’ to it by allowing the representatives of the younger generation to present a new version of the song, and introduce it to the wide audience through the First Channel (Georgian Public Broadcasting) on April 9. But it turned out that only male performers were selected for the 30th anniversary of tragic date. Sepiashvili explained the decision by stating that men represent the symbol of protection of the family and the country. The words of the composer were protested by part of society who argued that the majority of the deceased on April 9, who were fighting for the freedom of their homeland, were females and it is unfair to praise only men.

The public called upon the First Channel administration and the female employees of the company to join the protest and not present the new version of ‘Give Tulips to One Another’ on April 9.


By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

Image source: Info Georgia Facebook page

08 April 2019 17:23