Covid-19 may be powerful enough to prevent us from gathering physically, but we still are able to meet on Zoom and explore each other’s culture profoundly. This is what YEAs have been doing since the beginning of 2021 through a project called “the EU-Georgia dialogue initiative”.
On February 12th, YEAs from the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries had an opportunity to talk about Georgia’s history and politics. Tatia Paradashvili, Salome Tsereteli, Dea Magalashvili and I made a presentation about the topic with the help of Mafalda Infante, a YEA from the EU. Putting all the formalities aside, we were amazed by the interest expressed by the audience.
My part of the presentation started with ancient history of Georgia, including information about the Colchis and Iberian kingdoms, the myths and the interesting facts that show the connection between Georgian history and the Western civilization.
Highlighting the fact that Georgia’s current foreign policy isn’t just “a policy” rather than cultural and historical choice was the biggest pride for me as a citizen of Georgia who shares the EU values and who’s trying to do his best in order to promote those values here, in Georgia.
Other parts of our presentation were about modern history and politics of Georgia. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t expect such a well-informed audience with unconditional love to Georgia. It was unbelievably nice to see people from different parts of the continent genuinely interested in my home country’s culture and history. Almost all of them knew about the current political situation of Georgia that alone clearly demonstrates how important Georgia is for the EU.
Obviously, the Dialogue Initiative aims to spread information about culture, politics, and History of Georgia and other EaP countries, but, in my opinion, the dialogue is also crucial for us YEAs, to meet each other (at least on Zoom) and build enduring connections. I had the privilege of meeting people from Portugal, France, Germany and Italy through the dialogue. I’ve never seen more motivated people.
Even though I just turned 18, I’ve been trying to become a YEA for 3 years straight, but I wasn’t eligible because of my age or other happenings, however, I became a YEA in the summer of 2020.
Suddenly, I joined a community with a lot of Bright minds! The people I admired were YEAs, they were my role models. I remember myself 2-3 years ago aspiring to work hard and be skillful like my role models, which I still do. Nevertheless, I won’t say I achieved the goal, surely not. But I made it to the platform, in this case, to the initiative which gives me opportunities to make presentations with my role models, learn and work with them.
You may think: why is making presentations with some experienced people such a huge deal? I would answer that meeting successful young people undoubtedly motivates me to be a better version of myself and to never, EVER give up my goals and the life I promised to little Giorgi from the many times bombed city of Gori, Georgia.
This blog may be too contrasting starting from the presentation ending with my personal story, but this is what the EU resembles for me:
- Individual stories of people from different backgrounds
I, with my co-presenters, made a presentation, overcame many insecurities, became better than my yesterday’s self and finally wrote my very first blog.
All this just for a presentation, too many things done for one meeting, too much contrast and diversity for a blog post, right?
Well, yes but so is the idea of the EU, from my point of view.