I’m sure all students know what is tolerance and I’m not going to start of explaining this concept. I just want to share my thoughts with you.
When teachers told us about tolerance’s day and asked to speak about our country’s experience, first thing that came to my mind was the situation, when I first heard that word- Tolerance.
I was at 4th or 5th grade. Our teacher came and told us that we will have new subject- called tolerance. We were confused. I think teacher was confused too about what it was J
So after that, I remember adults saying: why to teach this to kids? We are tolerant nation anyways? They can teach math or science in that time. Some of them were connecting this to globalization. Some of them even with worse disasters. They were saying: why to use this “American” word.
Now I think that these opinions were proof why we needed to teach this at school. I think, Georgia is conservative country, mostly. We are little bit of afraid of new things. Even afraid of the word- tolerance. I often think, why it is like that?
I think it will be correct if I divide history of Georgian tolerance to before and after USSR. As you know, Georgia was part of USSR, like Lithuania. So I think many things will be common.
Before USSR, in 11th century we had women queen- Tamar. Women in politics was so strange in that time. Georgia always was mixed country. There is ethnic diversity, religion diversity, cultural diversity… our governors tried to have good relationships with other Minorities.
But then, USSR happened. There everything was censored and controlled. You could not write or say what you wanted. You just were part of the system, not a person. I think that explains much.
After USSR we had revolutions, ethnic wars, we lost our territories. That was because we did not know what tolerance was.
I think, Modern Georgia is more tolerant now, but there are difficulties. I think it comes from older age people. People of my age think different.
For me tolerance is all about that. Just be ready for new things, sometimes these new things are different from you, from your lifestyle. You are not Obliged to try it, love it. You just have to accept it. Accept the fact that there are people who does not look, act or dress like. And then, you will see, how wonderful world can be.
I was studying sociology for 4 years. And you ask me to say what I have learned in that 4 years in one sentence, I will say : we have to be tolerant, because people are different and that is why our world is interesting.