Russian culture in Georgia: Residents angry about presence of music in capital

A restaurant in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
A restaurant in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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Some residents in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, are angry that they still hear Russian music throughout its streets.


Russian culture is increasingly being marginalized in its neighbour Georgia.

A campaign called “Turn off Russian” created part of the backlash, as it tries to encourage Georgians to stop listening to Russian music. 

Organisers say they will soon expand their activities further and will do everything to make Russian heard less often in Georgia.

The group is not the only organisation angry about the presence of Russian culture in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

"In my restaurant and cafe-bars, we haven't played Russian music for a very long time,” said Shota Burjanadze, Chairman of the Association of Restaurateurs.

“Moreover, the service staff speak in English to guests from Russia. This is not just an expression of protest; this is the reality by which we will get rid of the Russian mentality.

“The more we move away from Russia, the stronger we will be in the European direction".

Other people in the capital have expressed similar views.

One person in Tbilisi told Euronews: "I find it annoying that Russian songs are heard in restaurants in Georgia while Russia occupies 20 per cent of Georgia, and the creeping occupation continues.

“In my opinion, it is disrespectful that Russian songs and Russian conversation continue to go on in Georgia".

Another person said, “Russians should feel that listening to their songs causes discomfort in Georgia. 

"They need to realise that part of this country is occupied by Russia and we need to make them feel that way. However, banning Russian music from the government is not relevant. Everyone should turn it off themselves.”

Russia has controlled the Georgian region of South Ossetia since a brief war in 2008. Moscow now recognizes the territory as a independent state but most countries still consider it part of Georgia.

However, not everyone disagrees with the pressence of Russian culture in the country.

One woman told Euronews: "Hearing Russian music is not a problem for me, because I listen to music in Russian as well as in English. I think that banning Russian music in Georgia will not change anything".

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