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The Cultural diffusion in the XX century Abkhazia

December 28, 2021 | ნახვა 412
The Cultural diffusion in the XX  century Abkhazia

                                                                                              Lia  Akhaladze

                Doctor of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Sukhumi State University (Georgia)

               Abkhazia has been a bearer of general Georgian cultural values ​​throughout the Middle Ages. The ancestors of present-day Abkhazs, along with the Georgians, also contributed to its creation.They attributed the national identity to the Georgian cultural-historical world, a fact confirmed by various historical sources, written monuments and artefacts. As for the present-day Abkhaz national culture – literature, theatre, music, and fine arts – at the professional level it was born in the 20th century.
Abkhazian literature was formed on the basis of centuries-old oral traditions. Abkhaz writers and poets used and reworked many folklore stories and motifs. First and foremost, these activities are connected to Dimitri Gulia, who (at the beginning of the 20th century) started the history of Abkhazian literature.
The establishment of the Abkhazian branch of the Writers’ Union of the Georgian SSR in 1933 became a special event in the cultural life of Abkhazia. Prior to the founding of the Writers’ Union, Abkhazian writers were united in scientific community around Dimitri Gulia (1874-1960). Dimitri Gulia studied at the Gori Teaching Seminary and from that time on had close relationship with the Georgian public figures and representatives of culture. He taught Abkhazian language course at Tbilisi State University and had a particularly close relationship with Ivane Javakhishvili. It was at the initiative of I. Javakhishvili that D. Gulia was invited to teach Abkhazian at the university. Along with the students, Akaki Shanidze, Giorgi Akhvlediani, Simon Janashia, Arnold Chikobava, Varlam Topuria attended the courses in Abkhazian language. Dimitri Gulia considered Georgians and Abkhazs to be the children of one inseparable family and participants of the common historical process. He also pointed out the great role that the Georgian nation had historically played in the cultural and spiritual life of the Abkhaz people (Churgulia, 1974: 43).
Dimitri Gulia is the author of the first Abkhazian novella “Under the Foreign Sky” (1919) and the first Abkhazian novel “Kamachich” (1940), as well as “short stories” based on folklore. Dimitri Gulia is rightly called the Patriarch of Abkhazian Literature and Culture. He was also a folklorist, linguist, historian, and teacher. His name is associated with the perfection of the Abkhazian alphabet. Dimitri Gulia tried to enrich the literature of the native people with excellent translations. He translated “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” by Shota Rustaveli and the poems of Nikoloz Baratashvili and Akaki Tsereteli from Georgian into Abkhazian. He also translated the Literary works of Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and others from Russian into Abkhazian.
Abkhazian poet Yua Koghonia (1903-1928) was a junior contemporary of Dimitri Gulia. He made a significant contribution to the development of Abkhazian epic poetry. The motifs of Abkhazian and Georgian folklore are artistically reflected in his works (Multiethnic,2015: 222).Along with Dimitri Gulia we should as well mention Samson Chanba (1886-1937), a prominent Abkhazian writer and statesman, who made a great contribution to the development of Abkhazian literature. He studied at Khoni Teaching Seminary, wrote and published in Abkhazian, Georgian, and Russian. S. Chanba is the author of the romantic poem “The Holy Virgin of the Mountains” (1919), the first Abkhazian drama “Muhajirs” (published in 1920 and performed in 1928), another work on the theme of Muhajirs “Apsny Khanum” (1923), “Past Days” (1929), et al. With these works, he laid the foundation for the national drama and psychological stories in Abkhazia. Samson Chanba compiled and published the work “Geography of Abkhazia”in 1925. He was the Minister of Education of Soviet Abkhazia (in 1921-1925 and in 1930-1932) and the Chairman of the Central Executive Committee. In 1934-1937 he was the chairman of the board of the Abkhazian Writers’ Union. Samson Chanba is considered to be the first Abkhazian playwright, whose works were performed on the stage of Georgian troupe in Sokhumi.
At the dawn of the formation of Abkhazian literature Mikheil Lakerbay appeared on the scene (1901-1965). His first work was published in 1919. Notable works from his early period include publicistic articles and harsh social lyrics such as “In Prison,”“Motherland,”“Dimitri Gulia.” In the following period, Michael Lakerbay intensively worked in dramaturgy and fiction, wrote historical dramas and comedies for the stage, but became especially famous for his stories “Abkhaz novellas” and “Alamis.” The writer’s language is laconic, colourful, and full of humour. His works reflect the life of the Abkhaz people. In his novellas the writer revived the past of the Abkhaz people, depicted the episodes of heroism and bravery, friendship and love, hospitality, and revenge in attractive colours, which made life inAbkhazia so exotic in the not-so-distant past (Churgulia, 1983: 158-159).
Great is the contribution to the development of the Abkhaz fiction of Ivan Papaskiri, who is recognized as the patriarch of Abkhaz prose (1902-1980). After graduating from Sokhumi Teaching Seminary and Pedagogical School in 1928-1929, he continued his studies at the Leningrad Institute of Oriental Languages. Ivan Papaskiri is known as the author of the very first social novels (“Temir” – 1937; “Woman’s Honour” – 1949) in Abkhazian literature, most of which narrate the life of the Abkhaz people. Scholars point out that Ivan Papaskiri’s work is a history of the Abkhaz people in the 20th century revived in artistic and attractive forms.The novel “At the Foot of Ertsakhu” proved to be thematically especially effective. In it the writer painted the brotherhood and friendship of Abkhazs, Georgians, Ukrainians, Russians in attractive colours (Churgulia, 1983: 153).
The development of Abkhazian literature was especially influenced by the works of Bagrat Shinkuba (1917-2004), the Laureate of the Shota Rustaveli state Prizeand Dimitri Gulia Prize. His activities began in 1935, when his first poem “Courage” was published. In 1938 “The First Poems,” a poetic collection of B. Shinkuba was published.The novel “The Last of the Ubykhs” was especially popular. In it the author tells the tragic story of the Ubykh people who were deported to the Ottoman Empire by the Russian Empire (Mosia, 2012: 157-187).
When talking about Abkhazian literature, it is impossible to ignore the works of Ivan Tarba (1921-1994). He is a poet of outstanding worldview and aesthetics. His poems are full of human feelings.In this world, he respects eternal values: humanism, love, loyalty, and friendship. Among the Abkhazian writers and poets, Ivan Tarba is one of the most popular among the Georgians. His poems were often translated (and are still translated) into Georgian. In 2021, at the initiative of the Peace Education Centre of Sokhumi State University, Collection “I love my Abkhazian” was published in Tbilisi (Tarba, 2021).It clearly shows that Georgians and Georgia in general were as close to the poet as Abkhazs and Abkhazia. This is confirmed by his poems: “Mtatsminda,”“Tbilisi Night,”“Ruins of Rustavi Cathedral,”“Giorgi Leonidze,”“Georgian Iron” and others. Ivan Tarba is also known for his juvenile poems. In addition to poetic works, Ivan Tarba has written the novels “Famous Man,”“The Sun Wakes Up with Us,”“Mother’s Eyes,” and others (Multiethnic,2015: 223).
Poet and translator Mushni Lasuria is a prominent representative of Abkhazian literature and culture. His works include the following poetic collections: “Hope,”“Silk House,”“Lord of the Waters,”“Morning of the Waterfalls,” etc. The main themes of his works are native Abkhazia and Georgia as a whole, its nature, love, courage, and centuries-old friendship between brothers. He translated “The Man in the Panther’s Skin” into Abkhazian, for which he was given the Shota Rustaveli StatePrize(Multiethnic,2015: 223-224).
The feeling of love for Georgia was especially emotionally expressed in the poetry of Alexey Jonua (1920-1989), one of the most prominent representatives of the first generation of Abkhazian literature. His poem “To the poets of Georgia” should be considered as a clear representation of the poet’s national worldview. It unequivocally expresses the author’s position on all the problematic issues that have become the basis of the Abkhaz separatists’ confrontation with Georgians in recent decades. According to the Abkhaz poet, Abkhazia without Georgia neither was in the past, nor can it exist in the future. He has not the slightest doubt that this unity is eternal and nothing can break it (Nikoleishvili, 2012: 150).
Abkhaz poet, prose writer, playwright, and scientist Giorgi Gublia (1929-2019), a graduate of the Department of Caucasian Languages​​ at Tbilisi State University, has a particularly warm attitude towards Georgia. In 1970, he successfully defended his dissertation on “The Artistic Journey of the Abkhaz People’s Poet Dimitri Gulia” in Tbilisi, after which he chaired the newly established Department of Abkhazian Language and Literature at the Sokhumi State Pedagogical Institute. In his works, the poet describes nature and sings sincerely to the sacred feeling of love for nature, woman, homeland. Giorgi Gublia’s poetry has an inexhaustible love for his people and Georgia. He considers Abkhazia to be a part of Georgia’s soul. The author’s lyrics are distinguished by a deep knowledge of the history of Georgia and the psychology of Georgian and Abkhaz peoples.
Famous Abkhazian poetess Neli Tarba (1934-2014) was also the graduate of Tbilisi State University. The most important part of the first Abkhaz poetess’ works is the cycle of poems “Georgia,” which is a tribute to the centuries-old unity of the Abkhaz and Georgian peoples. According to Neli Tarba, her love and loyalty to Georgia was “taught by Abkhazia and her ancestors” (Nikoleishvili,  2012: 151).Konstantin (Kumf)Lomia (1928-1999) has painted Georgian themes with special colours. In this regard his cycle of Tbilisi poems (“Mtatsminda,”“Mtkvari”) is especially interesting. In them, against the background of the poetic imagination, he sings to Tbilisi landscapes and considers it as his hometown (Nikoleishvili, 2012: 151).
Prominent representatives of Abkhazian literature of this generation are Boris Gurgulia, Shalva Tsvizhba, Chichiko Jonua, Levarsan Kvitsinia, Shamil Pilia, Shalodia Adjindjal, Alexey Gogua, Djuma Akhuba, Platon Bebia, Nikoloz Kvitsinia,and others. Most of them were graduates of Tbilisi State University and other higher education institutions in Tbilisi.
The origins of Georgian literature in 20th century Abkhazia can be found in the works of Giorgi Sharvashidze, Ivané Gegia, Petré Tcharaia, Tedo Sakhokia, and others. The newspaper “Soviet Writers of Abkhazia,” ​​which was published by the Writers’ Union of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and mainly represented the Soviet narrative, played an important role in the development of Georgian and Abkhazian literature in Abkhazia. The second half of the 20th century is especially important in terms of the development of Georgian literature. Prominent representatives of the “Abkhazian wing” of the Georgian literature of the XX century were: Mariam (Putsu) Dgebuadze-Pularia, Mose Gvasalia, Klimenti Gogiava, Shota Akobia, Evgeni Akubardia, Mirian Mirneli, Eteri Samkharadze-Jghamadze, Geno Kalandia, Jano Janelidze, Alexandre Jikia, Nodar Khundadze, Tsiala Ardashelia, Givi Beraia, René Kalandia, Guli Zukhba, Zurab Nakopia, Ramaz Kuprava, Guram Odisharia, Murman Khurtsilava, Vladimir Jologua, Khuta Gagua, and others (see in detail: From the history, 2014, 2017, 2020).
            Mariam (Putsu) Dgebuadze-Pularia (1887-1969), one of the representatives of the older generation of Abkhazian writers, was especially loved by the Georgian and Abkhaz readers. Mariam Pularia’s first short story was published in 1907, but the real recognition to the writer came after the novel “Golden Ring” was published in Sokhumi in 1952 (Multiethnic,2015: 225).Georgian writer and public figure Shota Akobia (1920-1996) is the author of many excellent works, including “Morning of the Motherland,”“Birth of the Spring,”“Roads and Meetings,”“I remembered you,”“White Shadow,”“Love and light,”and so on. In 1984 he was given the Dimitri Gulia State Prize and in 2001 (posthumously) was awarded the Giorgi Sharvashidze StatePrize for his book “Fatal Times” (Multiethnic,2015: 225).
The poet and public figure Geno Kalandia (1940-2017) occupies a prominent place on the “Abkhazian flank” of Georgian literature. He was educated in Sokhumi and Moscow, and worked as a journalist. The first collection of his poems “Sky and Leaves” was published in 1966. G. Kalandia’s first plays “Moonlight Hour,”“The Place-Mother,” and “The Prodigal Son”were performed at the stage of Samson Chanba State Theatre in Sokhumi. Geno Kalandia is the author of over 40 poetry collections and dramatic plays. In 2002 he was given the Giorgi Sharvashidze State Prize for the cycle of poems “Maxims.” Geno Kalandia was also translating the poems of the Abkhaz poets. Georgian readers got acquainted with certain samples of the poetry of Ivan Tarba, Alexey Jonua, Constantine Gerchelia, Boris Gurgulia, Platon Bebia, and others through his translations. His poetry is also translated into several languages. At different times he was the chairman of the Abkhazian Theatrical Society, Secretary of the Writers’ Union, Chairman of the Union of Creative Persons of Abkhazia, member of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, member of the Parliament of Georgia. In 2013 he was given the Shota Rustaveli State Prize (so far, he is the only one among the Georgian authors of Abkhazia to receive this highest state award for the creative persons) for his contribution to contemporary Georgian literature (Multiethnic, 2015: 225).
The poet and public figure Jano Janelidze (1933-2009) is also a prominent representative of the Georgian literature of Abkhazia. He is the author of about forty collections of poetry and prose, from which we should choose the collections of poetry and stories: “June,”“Window of a dream,”“Crown of Thorns,”“At the fresco of the Holy Virgin,”“From the Crucifixion to the Ascension,”“Bloody Lea,”“When the Winners Are Judged,” etc. He has published the diaries of an unknown Abkhaz girl from Tkvarcheli (“The tragedy of Tkvarcheli”). He has been given the Giorgi Sharvashidze State Prize and is buried in the Didube Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures in Tbilisi (Multiethnic,2015: 225-226).
         Eteri Samkharadze-Jghamadze (1928-1993), a Georgian poetess of tragic fate, who with all her creative work sang to virtue and love, became a victim of hatred and evil in 1993. She was killed because she could not give up her “native sky and land.” Eteri Samkharadze-Jghamadze did not leave her hometown and had fallen “warmed by the love of the homeland” at the gates of Sokhumi “not with a weapon, not with a sword, but with poems in her hand” (Multiethnic,2015: 226).
The history of Abkhazian culture is unimaginable without the history of the Sokhumi Drama Theatre with its rich traditions, as well as with the theatrelovers of Ochamchire, Gagra, Gali, Tkvarcheli, Gulripshi, and other small theatrical troupes. As it was mentioned above, the history of the Sokhumi Theatre dates back to 1885 and the formation of the theatre-lovers’ society in the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, there already was a Georgian professional troupe here. After the forced Sovietization of Abkha­zia, the Georgian troupe and the Abkhaz literary-dramatic circle (founded by Dimitri Gulia in 1919) were considered to be unreliable for the Soviet government and were dissolved. In 1927 David (Dude) Dzneladze (1889-1971) was sent to Sokhumi to form the professional troupe there. In 1928, David Dzneladze established the Sokhumi Drama Theatre. On its stage the Georgian performances were mainly held. From 1929, Vakhtang Garik /Vachnadze/ (1896-1937) became the artistic director of the Georgian troupe. He made a significant contribution to the development of professional theatre in Sokhumi. His cooperation with Samson Chanba in forming the Abkhazian troupe is especially important. Georgian and Abkhazian troupes have been working in one building since 1930. Due to the shortage of the Abkhaz actors, the Georgian actors participated in the performances of the Abkhazian troupe too. Vakhtang Vachnadze directed not only the Georgian, but also Abkhazian plays: “Mahajirs” by Samson Chanba, “Uprising in Likhni” by Vladimir Agrba, and others at Sokhumi Theatre (Argun, 1982: 7).
A new, talented generation of directors (Neli Eshba, Dimitri Kortava, Nikoloz Chi­kovani, Giorgi Sulikashvili, and others), educated in Tbilisi, Moscow, Leningrad, and other cities, came to the theatre in the 1970s. The Abkhazian troupe had some excellent actors, People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR and Abkhazian ASSR Minadora Zukhba, Sharakh Pachalia, Alexey Agrba, Mikheil Kové, Eteri Koghonia, Levarsa Kaslandzia. They played in the performances of the Georgian troupe too. The Georgian theatre was one of the strongest centres of culture in Abkhazia, which contributed to the intellectual and aesthetic perfection of society. At different times Vaso Kushitashvili, Levan Mirtskhulava, Yuri Kakulia, Anzor Kutateladze, David Kobakhidze, Leo Shavdia, Gogi Kavtaradze, Gizo Zhordania, Giorgi Sulikashvili, Giorgi Zhuruli, Medea Kuchukhidze, Sandro Mrevlishvili, Leri Paksashvili, and others worked as directors in the Sokhumi Theatre.
Famous actors, namely Salome Kancheli, Bukhuti Zakariadze, Mikheil Chubinidze, Elene Sakvarelidze, Marine Tbileli, Tinatin Bolkvadze, Flora Shedania, Giorgi Ratiani, Sergo Pachkoria, Leo Pilpani, Boris Topuridze, Boris Tsipuria, Victor Ninidze, Zurab Laperadze, Jemal Moniava, Omar Elerdashvili, Lorena Papuashvili, Dimitri Jaiani, Bakha Bekauri, Gizo Siradze, Lorena Mikashavidze, Valeri Arghvliani, Nana and Lily Khuriti, Nugzar Chikovani, Nugzar Kurashvili, Merab Brekashvili, and others worked in the Sukhumi Theatre in the 1950s-1980s(Argun, 1982: 6-12).
In 1978, the Georgian troupe separated from the Samson Chanba Theatre and the Konstantine Gamsakhurdia Sokhumi Drama Theatre was established. However, the cooperation between the Georgian and Abkhaziantroupes continued. The work of the People’s Artist of Georgia Gogi (Giorgi) Kavtaradze (1940-2020) was especially remarkable in the theatrical life of Abkhazia of the corresponding epoch. The performances of“The Merchant of Venice,”“The Right Hand of the Grand Master,”“The law of eternity,”“Hellados,” and others became the real jewels of the theatrical life of that period. The joint performances of the Georgian and Abkhazian troupes, namely Nodar Dumbadze’s “Don’t Be Afraid, Mother!”, Ivan Papaskiri’s “Woman’s Honour,” and others were especially emotional for the Abkhazian society.
Famous Georgian singer and choirmaster Dzuku Lolua (1877-1924) was at the origins of musical art in Abkhazia. He is considered a pioneer of collecting and recordingAbkhaz folklore. Dzuku Lolua formed a folklore choir and revived the Abkhaz folk songs on stage. His work in this direction was continued by Konstantin Kovacs (1899-1939) and the Abkhazian public teacher Kondrat Dzidzaria (1898-1943). In 1930, at the initiative of the famous Georgian composer Dimitri Arakishvili and Konstantin Kovach, a music school was established in Sokhumi. The teachers of the school were the following famous pianists, singers, and conductors: Odyssey Dimitriadis, Augusta Kamenskaya, Maria Bubnova, and others. The creation of the school contributed to the upbringing of professional musicians. Some of them became famous not only in Abkhazia, but also abroad. Sokhumi Music School (the part which is in Tbilisi) is still named after Dimitri Arakishvili and part of the school in Sokhumi (since 2002) was given the name of Alexey Chichba (1925-1995), a graduate of Tbilisi Vano Sarajishvili State Conservatory, an artistic director and chief conductor of the Abkhazian State Capella.
The role of Georgian composers in the formation of the Abkhazian professional music school is very important. Abkhazian musical folklore was used by Ivane and Zakaria Paliashvili, Andria Balanchivadze, Shalva Mshvelidze, Otar Taktakishvili, Sulkhan Tsin­tsad­ze, and others. In 1971, at the request of the Georgian Composers’ Union, the Abkhazian Composers’ Union was established. It played a great role in the development of the Abkhazian Composers’ School. From this period the works of Abkhazian and Georgian composers (Alexey Chichba, Razhden Gumba, Konstantine Chengelia, Mamia Berikashvili, and others) became more and more impressive. In 1967, an opera studio was established at Dimitri Arakishvili Sokhumi Musical School, which (first in Sokhumi, then in Tbilisi) performed Zakaria Paliashvili’s opera “Daisi” (“Twilight”) and Alexey Chichba’s oratorio “Hero Keraza.” The school’s symphony orchestra and the choir continued to exist independently as new centres of Abkhazian musical culture since 1969.
In terms of the development of choral music, it was important to establish the Abkhazian Youth Capella in Sokhumi in 1981. Its founder and leader was the famous maestro Guram Kurashvili. The repertoire included works of world choral music, the diversity of which allowed them to present their creations in different parts of the world. The Capella had success not only in the former Soviet republics, but also in different European countries: Yugoslavia, Hungary, France, Italy, and England. Capella was distinguished at several international choral music competitions: Béla Bartók (Hungary), Guido de Arezzo (Italy), Celje (then Yugoslavia, present-day Slovenia).
The institutional development of fine arts in Abkhazia is related to the name of the Georgian painter Nikoloz Tabukashvili (1915-1981), who in 1952 was appointed as a director of the Sokhumi art salon. At the same time, with the help of the Ministry of Culture of the Abkhazian ASSR, he set up an art studio in the building of the Concert Hall. In 1955, Nikoloz Tabukashvili opened an art school on the basis of this studio. He was the permanent director of it until 1978. Nikoloz Tabukashvili’s name is associated with the upbringing of a whole generation of Abkhaz and Georgian artists, among whom are many active prominent ones (Shervashidze, 1987; Mgaloblishvili, 2015). Also, the Abkhazian branch of the Artists’ Unionof the Georgian SSR (later the Abkhazian Artists’ Union) was established at that time. It was headed (since 1953) by the famous artist Chola Kukuladze (Shervashidze, 1961: 77-94).
While talking about the fine arts of Abkhazia, it is impossible to ignore the works of Alexandre Sharvashidze (1867-1968). Although he was unable to return to his homeland and could not work in Abkhazia after the establishment of Soviet rule in Georgia. From 1921 he lived and worked in Europe as a theatre artist. (His scenography was used during the ballet performance of “Shota Rustaveli” in Monte Carlo.) As it was already mentioned, A. Shervashidze donated about 500 samples of his work to the museums of Tbilisi and Sokhumi in 1958. Alexandre Sharvashidze’s personal exhibition of works was for the first time held at the Georgian Art Museum in Tbilisi in 1985 (Shervashidze, 2011).
             Olga Brendel, a student of David Kakabadze and Sergo Kobuladze, a graduate of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, also worked in Abkhazia. Her paintings depict the landscapes of Kartli, Abkhazia, the sea, Lake Ritsa, and Crimea. She participated in national and international exhibitions. In 1958, after a 36-year stay in Japan, a talented Russian artist Varvara Bubnova returned to Abkhazia (at the age of 72). Her Exhibition was held with great success in Tbilisi in 1960 (Shervashidze, 1961: 87).
Among the artists of the 1950s the works of Chola Kukuladze are noteworthy. He was a painter, graphic artist, specialist of etching, sculptor, illustrator. Along with other paintings, he created portraits of the Georgian and Abkhaz poets and writers, designed books and performances at Sokhumi Theatre. He created extensive panels in Sokhumi, Moscow, and other cities. His paintings have been repeatedly exhibited in Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Prague. Some of them are preserved in private collections in Moscow, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Switzerland, and Germany (Kukuladze, 2013: 4; Artists of Abkhazia, 2007: 34-35).
Among the works of the Abkhaz artists are notable paintings of Sergey Gabelia, Yuri Chkadua, Gennady Lakoba, Adgur Dzidzaria (all of them were graduates of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts), and other artists. Especially successful is the painter Adgur Dzidzaria, who since 1995 is a member of the International Federation of Artists (IFA). In 1995-1999 he had personal exhibitions in Germany and Russia. No less successful were the Georgian artists from Abkhazia: Ramin Apakidze (his works are preserved in Tbilisi and Sukhumi, as well as in private collections in the USA, France, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Russia); Nugzar Mgaloblishvili (participated in exhibitions in Tbilisi, Sokhumi, Batumi, and Moscow in 1972-1989, including the Bulldozer Exhibition by avant-garde artists in 1975); Zurab Chedia (especially important is his participation in the Gurzuf Plein Air in Crimea in 1980 and in exhibitions in European countries), etc.
As we can see, the institutional development of education and science, and various fields of culture in Abkhazia was experiencing a real rise from the beginning to the 20th ce­n­tury. The national and cultural individuality of the Abkhaz people was established in clo­se connection with the Georgian compatriots during the so-called “Second Republic of Ge­orgia” (Georgian SSR) in 1921-1991. It is very sad that the contemporary Abkhaz scholars have completely neglected the contribution that the Georgians of Abkhazia have brought to the cultural life of Abkhazia and Georgia on the whole (Papaskiri, 2016: 363-364).
A kind of cultural diffusion took place in Abkhazia of the 20th century. Modern Abkhazian national culture has its roots in the common Georgian cultural and historical roots, the originality of which originates from the centuries-old cultural, political and economic coexistence of the Georgian and Abkhaz peoples.  It is true that the Abkhazian national culture of the XXI century is greatly influenced by Russian culture, but it is also part of the spread of common characteristics in the cultural space, cultural diffusion.


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