Festival “Diversity is our Wealth”


<p>On October 17, the Festival "Diversity is our Wealth” launched in Akhalkalaki. The Festival is devoted to presentation and promotion of cultural diversity of ethnic minorities living in Georgia. Different cultural, educational and sporting events gave the broad public opportunity to learn more about culture and history of ethnic minorities living in Georgia, which have significantly contributed to the establishment of cultural diversity of Georgia.</p> <p>The Festival is organized under the patronage of Administration of President of Georgia and Ombudsman's Office and with the assistance of several non-governmental organizations. Festival will last a whole month until November 16 and will encompass different regions of Georgia. In frames of the festival population of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Kakheti, Gori, Rustavi and Tbilisi will have the opportunity to attend exhibitions, concerts, film showing, lectures, sporting and many other events. Guests of the Festival will be able to see diverse performances and meet interesting people.</p> <p>Festival events in Akhalkalaki lasted three days. On October 17 guests of the Festival were offered to attend concert of folk ansambles of Akhalkalaki schools, and in the evening they were able to attend the concert held by performers from Tbilisi. Cultural part of subsequent days were devoted to children performances, demonstrative sporting events, film showings and to the final concert that were held on October 19. After that the Festival will move to the other regions of Georgia.</p> <p>The main goal of the Festival is to contribute to the strengthening of tolerant environment in Georgia through promotion of cultural diversity as the wealth of Georgia and better presentation of different cultures to broad public. Therefore, organizers will offer guests cultural as well as educational events – parallel to performances of folk ansambles and regional theaters experts and public figures will provide public lectures on issues of social interest.</p> <p>In addition to that, important part of the Festival were presentations of differents publications that were offered to the guests of the Festival on the opening day – October 17. In particular, UN Association of Georgia (UNAG) and Administration of President of Georgia presented their joint publication. Furthermore, the presentation of periodic publication of Public Rights Ombudsman’s Office – "Solidarity”, was hosted by Mr. Beka Mindiashvili, the Chairman of Tolerance Center functioning under Ombudsmans Office. On top of that, UNAG presented its new web-site –<a href="http://www.diversity.ge/">www.diversity.ge</a>that is the first data portal in Georgia with its database fully devoted to the ethnic minorities and cultural diversity. The aim of the web-site is to empower national integration process in Georgian and inform the broad public on these issues.</p> <p>During the course of the Festival there will be several showings of TV Documentary Series about different ethnic groups living in Georgia - "Multiethnic Georgia” that was prepared by UNAG together with Georgian Public Broadcasting in frames of National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia program.</p> <p>Festival is very important for the preservation and strengthening Georgia’s cultural diversity.</p> <p>Ethnic and cultural diversity was always a feature of Georgian state. For centuries different nations lived in peaceful and respectful manner on the territory of Georgia. And this was more strengthening and developing cultural diversity of the country. Numerous political and economical crisis that occurred in Georgia after its independence has slowed down this development. However, in 2005 according to the decree of President of Georgia the work has intensified for development of National Integration Strategy and Action Plan that will take caring for the issues actual for ethnic minorities, preservation of cultural diversity and strengthening to the highest, governmental level. Civil Integration and Tolerance Council functioning under President, that actively works in this regard, has already developed Strategic Vision for Civil Integration Strategy, which is a first step on the way to developing the complete governmental policy.</p> <p>The guests of the Festival are able to look closer into the work of CITC as it is planned to make a presentation of the report prepared by the Council and active involvement of its members in these events.</p> <p>In the organizers’ view this Festival has to empower realization of the goals of Tolerance and Civil Integration Policy and strengthening of tolerant environment in Georgia, consolidate national integration process, raise public awareness on cultures of ethnic minorities living in Georgia and their importance to the Georgian state.</p> <p>One of the supporters of this Festival is UN Association of Georgia that is carrying out a 4-year program National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia funded by the USAID. The main goals of the program are to strengthen sense of civic unity among diverse citizens of Georgia, consolidate tolerant environment and national integration processes throughout the country.</p> <p>The Festival is organized and supported by: Administration of President of Georgia, Public Rights Ombudsmans Office, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, UN Association of Georgiam DVV International – Georgia, "Open Society – Georgia” Foundation, Civic Initiatives Foundation, Association of Adult Education of Georgia, Union of Youth Centers of Georgia, Civic Development Foundation.</p>