‘Borderization’

Op-Ed

I was a linguist before I became a journalist. I am making this opening statement because I am suffering a problem of a semantic character with the word ‘borderization’. I chose it as the title of this piece, and as soon as I put it on my computer monitor, the system marked it with a red underline, indicating that it is not stipulated as an entry in the programmed dictionary. I hastily delved into my most usable two dictionaries, Webster and ABBYY Lingvo, to look up the meaning of the word, but both dictionaries refused to help. Then I discovered the definition on Google: borderization is the installation of border marks and fencing. This means that we are using a glaring euphemism to describe the continuing Russian attempts to move the border from north to south from within the de-facto South Ossetia right into the Georgian territory. What is taking place at the so called border between Georgia and the Tskhinvali region is not a harmlessly executed regular borderization but a forceful expansion of the occupied part of Georgia in favor of the de-facto Republic of South Ossetia.

Question: is the unrecognized ‘Republic’ strong enough to move borders back and forth? Answer: Of course not! Then what’s happening, folks? Russia, the big brother of all the newly-hatched smaller siblings, is the answer to the puzzle. The Tskhinvali mini-brothers have that giant relative to do the job for them, and the goal of the effort is to turn the mentioned ‘Republic’ into a bigger country than Georgia proper. Just imagine the level of the Russian-Ossetian elation if some day in the near future, South Ossetia possesses a larger territory than Georgia itself, and Tskhinvali carries bigger international clout than Tbilisi!

Here is a fascinating sequence to the story: having learnt that the once-unnoticeable South Ossetia has grown into a serious state comprising all of central Georgia, the dwellers of another runaway creation, called Abkhazia, are undertaking a demarche before the Russian government about its mishandling of their independence and making a request for immediate ‘borderization’ of their de-facto territory so that Abkhazia gobbles up the entire west of Georgia. The result: the birth of a new geopolitical unit under the name of ‘The Abkhazian-Ossetian Republic,’ with the city-state of Tbilisi squeezed in-between as an immobilized enclave and an impotent new administrative formation.

How do you like that picture? Well, Russia might be extremely happy at having finally truncated and tamed Georgia; Europe might welcome the new reality to feel secure; America might take it easy because it is too preoccupied with current unsolved problems of Mankind; and the rest of the world might not know at all what has happened in Sakartvelo.

How about us, the Georgians? I am not entirely positive, but we might be compelled to put up with the situation forever and drag on with endless political talk-shows, with nonsensical narratives about anything but the nation’s wellbeing; continue playing the attractive drama and comedy in our lovely theaters; carry on dancing the folk routines and singing the famous polyphonic tunes; keep on building various exotic eateries; persist in indulging in sumptuous parties and idle cruising around the city in oversize SUVs (calling all of them ‘jeeps’); maintain the habitual inborn conceit, pride and arrogance for totally unknown motives; stay nursing the confidence in ourselves that we are the chosen people of Our Lady; go on daydreaming that life will someday be better in Georgia without spilling sweat at the altar of honest labor; insist on our being right in political dealings while everybody else is wrong; keep bringing up the younger generation with the potential of committing exactly the same blunders that have been made in the last 30 years following the collapse of the soviets.

Excuse my pasquinade – lampoons are not my cup of tea – but I didn’t know how to better wrap in words the sense of helplessness I harbor within myself at knowing that our little darling is shrinking even more every day, and nobody can do anything substantial and efficacious about it. Meanwhile, the mutual incrimination on the subject by the ruling power and its opposition is yielding into pure nothing!

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze 

Image source: pexels.com

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