Gorelovka, Javakheti

Go Group 
is the media organization working in the Caucasus

Mmission participants

Levan Zhorzholiani, Media.ge
Malkhaz Chkadua, Liberali magazine
Nana Tabatadze, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)
Tamar Mshvenieradze, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)

Tamar Mshvenieradze, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)
"It was a great opportunity to learn about this place"
Nana Tabatadze, Georgian Institute of Public Relations (GIPA)
"Actually, I thought Dukhobors were foreigners"

Culture and Religion of Dukhobors in Georgia...

Total votes: 16
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Dukhobors of Javakheti
Boarded up windows

The journalistic expeditions arranged by the GO Group Media to the regions where various ethnic minorities live compactly, offer a simple way to contribute to the solution of a complicated problem of society dissociation. The unity can be achieved only through mutual understanding, and the only way to understand each other is to know each other. About 10 to 12 journalists from the leading newspapers, news agencies, radio and television channels usually join us in such expeditions. The articles and reports they write and broadcast tell thousands of people throughout the country about the problems, ideas and hopes of those who speak different language, live according to different traditions but still are the citizens of the same country. Therefore, such expeditions create some kind of a channel of communication between various ethnic groups within Georgia’s multinational society, they let people know each other and also contribute to overcoming of mutual detachment and tensions the sole reason of which is often a simple lack of knowledge.
There are 130 Dukhobors living in Gorelovka village. All of them are ancestors of those 'heretics' who were exiled from Russia to the Caucasus and made it to today's Samtskhe-Javakheti back in the 18th century. In 1980-es, there were 3 thousand Dukhobors living in Gorelovka alone. In late 1980-es many of them left for Russia and Ukraine; locals claim that the slogan 'Georgia for Georgians' was the main reason behind  this decision. Another difficulty for Dukhobors living in Georgia was the collapse of kolkhhoz system - they were used to living and working in the community, and private ownership was the challenge for the most. Many of Gorelovka's natives left in 1997, and later in 2008.
There are about 30 comparatively young people in the village. But as one of our respondents claimed, most of them are males and thus there are not many opportunities for creating new families.   
Not too long ago Samtskhe-Javakheti region was considered to be the center of Dukhobor culture. Today in Gorelovka, there are many abandoned houses. Their owners died while their children moved away. These houses with boarded windows are almost a portrait of Gorelovka today...

Go Group Media decided to grant Tbilis-based journalists an opportunity to find out more about this unique culture which is moving away from Georgia.

Materials published by the Mission participants

Dukhobors of Javakheti
Malkhaz Chkadua, Liberali magazine
Video clip on the Journalistic Mission to Gorelovka village of Samtskhe-Javakheti region. more...
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