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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 10:47 GMT
School Day 24: Moscow-Tbilisi
Composite image of teens taking part

The BBC Russian Service hosted a live link-up between schoolchildren in Moscow and Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on 6 December, 2006.

Georgian children responded to their Russian counterparts first.

Question from Elena, 15, Lycee 1535, Moscow

How does the system of education work in Georgia?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: I think our system works rather well. We study a lot. Among the most popular professions are economists and doctors. All the same, I would like to go to Moscow to study there.

Question from Vladislav, Lycee 1535, Moscow

I want to visit Tbilisi. What can you tell me about your country?

Gvanca, 16, School 1, Tbilisi: Georgia is my country and I love my country. We really want to have better relations with you, our Russian contemporaries. We spend time in the same way as you do, talking to each other and entertaining when possible.

Question from Anna, Lycee 1535, Moscow

I have a lot of friends who have Georgian origins. I would like to know, which literature you prefer - Georgian or Russian?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: I like both Russian and Georgian literature. They are really different and it's difficult to compare them, but the Georgian one is of course closer to my heart as I'm Georgian.

Question from Varvara, Lycee 1535, Moscow

How many of you like to dance and how difficult are your national dances?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: We like dancing and we know our national dances really well. If you try doing it with soul it's not difficult. To understand Georgian soul you need to see our national dances.

Another Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: Russian children would have had an opportunity to see them in Moscow, but as you know the tour of Georgian Folk Dance group Sukhishvili-Ramishvili was cancelled.

Question from Russian boy, Lycee 1535, Moscow

How did life in Georgia change after the revolution?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: At the time Eduard Shevardnadze was the Georgian president we were too small to understand what was happening and we were happy. But now after Saakashvili came to power we realised what kind of problems we had and now we can see many changes, particularly in education.

Question from Viktor, Lycee 1535, Moscow

Did America influence the Georgian revolution, in your minds?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: There was a period when Georgia was under the influence of Russia and it didn't bring any good results. America helps us because we are a small country and we have lots of enemies.

Question from Russian boy, Lycee 1535, Moscow

Do you have problems with drugs in your country and how do you fight with it?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: December 1 was a day for awareness of HIV/Aids in Georgia. There were a lot of young people with red ribbons and we united to demonstrate against drugs, although we aren't facing a big problem with it.

Russian children then responded to their Georgian counterparts.

Question from Gregory, 15, School 1, Tbilisi

I have a political question. What do you think about Russia's moves: banning Georgian wine, raising the price of gas supplied by Russia to Georgia, closing the air space for flights?

Ilya, Lycee 1535, Moscow: What have you supplied instead of wine? You yourself have damaged the reputation of your product [wine] - that's why it was banned.

Gregory, 15, School 1, Tbilisi: Have you ever tried our world famous wine?

Ilya, Lycee 1535, Moscow: Adults, whom I personally know, have tried. We charged the world market price for the supplied gas, it's not illegal.

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: The body of the woman who died during the deportation process will be brought back today [Georgian from Abkhazia, who died of heart failure last Saturday while in custody in Moscow awaiting deportation]. I am interested to know what children think about it: Can one do such things in politics?

Russian girl, Lycee 1535, Moscow: It is terrible, of course. All of us feel bad and we sympathise with her. There is little we can do right now, but we believe that the future belongs to us. And things like this are unacceptable.

Question from Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi

First of all, I'd like to say that I don't speak Russian very well, so please forgive my mistakes. Several years ago I was in Moscow and I took part in the children's singing competition called "Morning Star". I made it to the final and I lost it because I scored nine, and the Russian girl scored 10. When I asked her why she gave me nine, she answered - because you're Georgian. I felt great that the Russian fans supported me and screamed that I was the best, that it was unjust. I am curious, if I sing in Russia again, will they support me this time, regardless of the other things?

Map showing Moscow, Russia and Tbilisi, Georgia
Russian girl, Lycee 1535, Moscow: Could you sing for us? We are glad you had support, and every one of us would have done the same. What could you sing for us?

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: Do you want me to sing in Georgian or in Russian?

Russian girl, Lycee 1535, Moscow: In Georgian!

Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi: OK, I'll sing! [starts singing in Georgian]

Question from Georgian pupil, School 1, Tbilisi

You say that there would be no problems for Georgians in Russia. What can you say about skinhead gangs, who hate people from Caucasus?

Vitia, Lycee 1535, Moscow: It's unacceptable in Russia: Russia has always been a multinational country and all the nationalities that live together are bounded in friendly relationships. Skinheads are a terrible phenomenon - not typical for Russia. We feel sorry that there are such things, but this should not keep our nations apart. Please come to our country to study, to acquire education, to succeed. It [skinheads] is a terrible problem and we'll fight it.

Russian girl, Lycee 1535, Moscow: It is a terrible problem. Skinheads are a threat not only for Caucasus's people, but for the whole of Russian society. I feel unsafe when I see them. I think that it is the problem for all developed countries but I believe it's a problem of many developed countries. In the US they fight with Afro-Americans, and in Russia - with Caucasus nationals. I think, it's a serious problem for us and we'll fight it [the problem]. But I'd like to say that in my school and among people close to me there are no nationalistic or racist ideas. And there could be no such things against Georgians, for sure, because we both belong to the Orthodox Church, we share the same religion. It's unacceptable, impossible and terrible.

Question from Georgian girl, School 1, Tbilisi

Is it possible to resolve conflicts without creating victims?

Russian girl, Lycee 1535, Moscow: Unfortunately, these days, conflicts rarely resolve without victims. Because we are children, we believe that conflicts should be resolved peacefully. But it doesn't always work this way. But we should have the opportunity to influence this.


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