Angelina Sozashvili, 87, Rustavi Retirement Home

„New Year is the most favorite time of the year for me and those around me, because we are visited by many guests. Visitors come from schools, kindergartens, music schools and hold concerts for us, bring us presents. Do you know why? We can feel the surge of dignity, we can feel that we are not lost and forgotten. Isn’t it why you are here now? You learned that there are people here who may not go outside a lot but they live and breathe … To be honest, we like it here. We’ve made ourselves at home because we communicate with people with the same interests. One women left us and returned to her home, but she couldn’t stay away long and came back to us again.

Let me say a few words about love and tolerance. I am an Orthodox Christian. To be honest, I did not go to church often and cannot go there even now, but I believe in Christ and his way. Nowadays, if you turn on TV you will hear so many adversities, sometimes people are beaten up for being of a different orientation, and some are killed for not looking like others. This is not normal. Is it what God has taught us?! When I was a schoolgirl in my first grade, my classmate had an aunt in our village in Gurjaani who loved one woman. Everyone knew it in the village but the response was different. Some disapproved, and some were ok with it. Because this is a natural thing. She was born like that and her mother accepted her like that. That woman happily grew old with her girlfriend. There was another story on TV about a man who became a woman. Why are we putting down this person, who has not done anyone harm. This is how he was born and he should do what he wants to. People should have the choice of being who they want to be if they do not inflict harm on others and do not mistreat others. This is what love and tolerance means for me. Happy New Year, everyone!”