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Rose Revolution anniversary without celebration

By Natalie Osipovi
Monday, November 25
Ten years ago, on November 23, 2003, a new era began in Georgia. The so-called Rose Revolution completely changed the way of life of both politicians and civil society. Since then, every year, November 23 was celebrated by the Georgian government, but today Georgia has another government and another president. However, some people still congratulate each other on this date, while others think that this day has to be forgotten.

Georgian society has been split up in two parts: some feel the Rose Revolution has created a “new” Georgia, others think that that period has not brought anything good to the country.

On the 10th anniversary of the revolution, its main hero, the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili mentioned in his post on Facebook that the Rose Revolution created the basis for the journey towards Europe, towards democracy, as well as the welfare and independence of our country.

“The revolution has begun a new period – a period of the rebuilding of Georgia, it created strong and effective institutes, and a generation that will never get used to the regression of our country. It put Georgia on the way towards NATO and the EU,” Saakashvili said in his Facebook post, adding that the Rose Revolution is a very important moment in Georgian history and this moment has not been finished yet, “it is going on and everything is still ahead.”

The director of the Giorgi Leonidze Literature Museum, Historian Lasha Bakradze, remembers the mood of that day, and the hope and belief of the changes. He said besides lots of frustration, we should not forget November 23, because it is still a great day of the new Georgian history.

The co-founder of the Georgian Reform Organization Otar Kakhidze, thinks that after such a long period, Georgia stands close to the European Union and NATO as never before. The main achievement of these ten years is the existence of Georgia as an independent state.

At the same time, the co-director of the Public Policy Institute, Nana Sumbadze does not feel excited on this date. Sumbadze says that besides her attitude towards the Rose Revolution, this day was certainly a critical moment in Georgian history. Sumbadze mentions that no end justifies the means. “A lot of things have been changed, but these changes have been carried out at the expense of human dignity, which is completely unacceptable to me,” she says.

In general, many citizens believe that the day has certainly led Georgia towards rapid changes after the heavy 1990s, but finally, the majority of people agree that it had no point of doing this, because ordinary people have suffered a lot during these ten years from the United National Movement (UNM)’s governance.

The 10th anniversary of the Rose Revolution was celebrated at Rike Park in Tbilisi. The organizers were non-governmental organizations, such as "Propartia", "Youth for European Future" and the "Professional Club". A photo exhibition and concert was held in the evening. The majority of attendants had roses in their hands, which was quite symbolic.