Q:How did you start get interested in China? Please share your stories.
A:I was interested in the rich Chinese culture long before starting learning the language. I was fascinated of its folk dance and music, Beijing opera, Chinese tea ceremony and so on. However I got interested in Chinese Language 9 years ago, when the Chinese language wasn’t that popular in our country.I come from the family of sinologist, my mother is a famous Georgian Sinologist Marine Jibladze ( 玛琳娜·吉布拉泽),at the time when I was growing up in Georgia,she was in China writing her PhD dissertation in Chinese Language. When she got back to Georgia, the whole family including my father and older brother who lived with them in China for 3 years had conversations in Chinese, I was the only one who didn’t knew the language,and by the way when I first listened the conversation I was very surprised by its pronunciation, it sounded really soft and musical. So one day I decided to so give it a try and take Chinese Language classes,when I told my mother about it, she was surprised that It was my desire to study Chinese. She agreed and told me that very soon in Georgia will be opened Confucius Institute and I could go there and study. In 2010 at free university of Tbilisi opened first in Georgia Confucius institute and my journey of china began.
Q:When and how you started studying Chinese language and made this your career?
A:When I first visited China Confucius summer camp, I was absolutely in love and strongly believed that China was the country I wanted to visit and even live in. There I met my future husband who joined the camp and visited China that year. After 2 summer camps my feelings got stronger towards the country and the people. I decided to study in china, I got Confucius scholarship and went to Beijing(UIBE) for a year. In a couple of months I started thinking like Chinese person, eating Chinese food, watching Chinese TV-shows,listening the Chinese music and was living full life as a foreign student in China.Then I got interested in Chinese literature and dreamed about introducing it to my Georgian friends.As a Journalist after returning to my home country I started thinking about helping two countries become closer,share their culture and ideas. I joined the association on Georgian Sinologists,where I participated in different projects,translating dictionaries, Chinese poems, articles and so on. In 2017,on the 25th anniversary of Georgia-China diplomatic relations,I founded the first Georgian-Chinese media platform “Sinomedia”,with Slogan “Dialogue between civilizations”. (The media platform is cooperating with leading Chinese news agencies. It focuses on the coverage of China-Georgia diplomatic, economic,cultural relations and other important updates in three languages) My goal was to help establish inter-governmental relationships and exchange of cultures between two nations. This was a job that I dreamed about from my first visit to China. I felt that I found my dream job.After the first successful year, opened first Chinese-Georgian editorial department in Georgia, where I started working as a project manager. Now my goal is to introduce Chinese literature to Georgians and vise-versa.
Q:As a journalist, how did you objectively show the readers Chinese culture and China’s change and development in recent years?
A:As a Journalist I was translating and writing articles that showed beautiful Chinese culture, character, lifestyle and the modern China. Then with the support of the Embassy of people’s republic of China we did the project “Expert of China 2017”online contest among Georgians, more than 1000 people from different cities got interested in the contest, It helped Georgian people to understand more about China,including culture, geography, history,economics, society of China and Georgian-Chinese relations. After the project I decided to Introduce Chinese literature to Georgians and work on the books they will love.The project I was working on lately is Thomas Tales by Giorgi Kekelidze the Georgian writer, It is a tale for children which will be published soon and available in stores in China. I have strong feelings that the Chinese children are going to love it.
Q:What are the difficulties and challenges regarding to your current study on Chinese culture and language?
A:The cultural part was the easiest to adapt for me. China is a big country and it is very identical and different at the same time. It is so special and all you want is to explore and discover as many as you can. Our language Georgian is very unique and difficult language to learn, basically it is because of its grammar, so I didn’t find Chinese grammar that challenging at that time.Going from alphabet to characters and memorizing them was really hard and big deal for the first year. On the Speaking part if we consider 4 tones that you need to follow during speaking was also challenging for me. But It only needs cultural environment and soon difficulties will disappear.
Q:What do you think are the challenges and difficulties China is facing in aspects of translating and publishing Chinese works in other countries?
A:I think china is doing great in promoting Chinese culture overseas. Still China has to work on the sharing their rich experience in literature. People in Foreign countries know china as a country with ancient history and culture,but they know few about modern china- contemporary art, culture and life.People know Confucius and Lao zi, but they don’t know Chinese contemporary writers and books. The best way is to translate and promote Chinese characteristics,lifestyle and challenges. I think Chinese literature has really good opportunity to become popular overseas,because Chinese people really have so much to share, their experience is historical,after downfall China has risen and became so strong and I think we all want to see what is the secret of the power.
Q:What opportunities do you think will be brought to China and Georgia by the Belt and Road Initiative?
A:Georgia plays a role of gateway between Asia and Europe in the Belt and Road Initiative. Georgia, especially in recent years, has been actively involved in this global project. The belt and road initiative really helped two countries get closer, economically, culturally and in many different ways. Every year more and more Georgians start learning the language, visiting china and discovering culture. People who starts learning the language will fall in love with China and never forget about it.
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