Georgia celebrates Mother Language Day

Modern Georgian is written in its own unique writing system. Part of the Georgian alphabet book cover., 14 Apr 2014 - 12:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is celebrating Mother Language Day today, which marks Georgia's courageous victory over the Soviet repressive machine in maintaining the Georgian language as the country’s official language.

On this day 36 years ago, hundreds of Georgians took to the streets in Tbilisi in protest against the Soviet Empire’s decision to remove words in the Georgian Constitution that would guarantee Georgian as the country’s official language.

On April 14, 1978, local students, professors, teachers and citizens strictly opposed the decision so the Soviet regime was forced to step back. This was an unprecedented case when the regime withdrew and backed down to the community’s demands.

"It was a great victory. This day demonstrated that Georgian people would never give up and accept impairing of the national values,” said Georgia’s Prime Minister in a written statement congratulating people on Mother Language Day.

"The step was equal to heroism,” Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili claimed.

"Today, when Georgia is independent our duty is not only to respect our mother language but also take care of it, support each of our citizens to study Georgian language and thus strengthen its official status,” he said.

Georgian is written in its own unique writing system and comprises of 33 characters.