Parliamentary Library marks Mother Language Day with digital exhibition

The cover of the anniversary 1976 edition of 'Deda Ena', as seen in the digital exhibition of the Parliamentary Library. Screenshot from the display., 14 Apr 2020 - 20:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia is celebrating the Mother Language Day by exhibiting print editions of Deda Ena, a classic elementary school textbook for Georgian from 1876, in an online exposition.

The Tbilisi-based venue, known for its decorated grand interior halls, joined a recent string of digitally organised displays by museums and artist groups working in the new reality of self-isolation due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Its exhibition of print editions of Deda Ena (Georgian for "mother tongue"), an iconic textbook created by teacher and children's writer Iakob Gogebashvili, displays the exhibits in a compact space often used for shows and events at the library.

Editions throughout various eras, from Tsarist Russia to Soviet decades and independent Georgia, are presented in the space, with details such as year of edition and names of editors available for some of the exhibits. Viewers can click these to see close-up views of the textbooks.

First published in 1876, Deda Ena is comprised of two grades' worth of material for learning reading and writing in Georgian as well as reading material for youth.

Published dozens of times during the life of Gogebashvili, the textbook saw more editions during the entire Soviet era in the 20th century Georgia, with its centenary celebrated in 1976. After the restoration of Georgian inpedendence it was reinstated by the Parliament of Georgia as an official textbook for elementary schools in 2009.

Georgia celebrated its official Mother Language Day on Tuesday.