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Friday, May 25, 2007

A Soviet Parade

Here we have Georgia, looking west in such a way that anything Russian is rejected (and the feeling is mutual, at the moment). The young ones learn English instead of Russian, the politics is not far from Reaganism, and EU flags are outside every government building. So what do they do on the national day (tomorrow)?

They will have A Big Parade of Soldiers, Tanks, Lorries, Jeeps, down the main street, with tribunes outside the Parliament on both sides of the road for the VIPs to stand or sit and watch. How do I know this? The tribunes were going up yesterday, and this morning the whole main street was blocked, and full of soldiers, tanks, jeeps etc rehearsing for the parade. The roads of the rest of Tbilisi were in chaos! Now, which country, and which period of history do big military parades remind you of??? Quite.

Sometimes it is hard to understand countries, but perhaps you need to consider that the big nasty bear to the north has lots of potential for mischief (though he sure ain't got the kind of hardware that the Georgians have, provided by the generous US of A). So no doubt one feels the need to arm oneself to the teeth. And folk in the Caucasus, having been through fairly harrowing periods in the very recent past, still have a more war-like mentality:

  • at a concert in a children's home in Armenia a friend was started to hear the young residents sing a song which began with 'we love our director' and, three verses later, ended with 'we are happy to die for our country'.
  • an Armenian deputy minister said proudly, on passing the nuclear power station in Armenia (built on an earthquake fault line) - we can build a nuclear bomb, no problem.
  • The same guy commented, on hearing of the Georgian orange revolution 'we can invade Georgia in an hour'. Thankfully he was not a minister for defence....
  • Georgian songs can be extremely war like, as in Lashkrad Ts'asvla: 'Happy is he who goes to war with a good horse. And happy is he who comes home to a good wife. The patron of a beautiful wife should have a careful dog to guard her. Either a careful dog, or her mother-in-law.' or 'Tushi guys sent the warning message to Leki guys demanding 'Hurry up or we are tired of waiting for battle. ... You have to know that we, Tushian guys, have swords and won't fire guns. We aren't afraid of enemies and shall fight till death.'
  • Currently there are bits of fighting around South Ossetia which both Russia and Georgia claim, villages are cut off by one set of supporters etc....
But it's better than in the 5 or 10 years ago when people were being kidnapped right, left and centre....

1 comments:

Armenian Radio said...

You're right: things get better, slowly better...