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Museum Collection

“To the Great Friend of My Georgia…”

The book by Mikhail Davitashvili “Our Georgian Tea” with his autograph to Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov is kept in the book collection of the Museum-Reserve. “To the great friend of my Georgia and Georgian tea growers, the honoured collective farmer of Natanebi Village, Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov with gratitude for his kind words about the toiling labour of tea growers. The author. 28/I/71”. These lines were written by a Georgian writer, journalist and public figure, on the title page of the book, of which one of the chapters tells about the arrival of Mikhail Alexandrovich in Georgia in the summer of 1961.

Sholokhov learned about the life of the Republic, the labour of tea growers. On leaving he sent a letter to a Georgian newspaper: “Let me through your paper “Soplis Tskhovreba” give my cordial regards to the agricultural workers of Georgia and wish them a great success and happiness in their life. I would like to give my most cordial greetings and help to the girl-toilers of our tea plantations. To my shame, I was not aware of the toil of yours before my arrival in Georgia. That is why I give you my most cordial greeting and hug… M.Sholokhov. 24. 6. 61. Tbilisi.”

The warm words caused a hearty response in the Georgians. The tea growers of Natanebi Village awarded him the title of Honorary Collective Farmer of the Lenin Collective Farm and invited Mikhail Alexandrovich to visit them. The head of the collective farm, Givi Akakiyevich Tsitlidze, and the writer kept up a correspondence.

In the summer of 1968, Mikhail Sholokhov came to Georgia again. G.A.Tsitlidze handed in to Mikhail Alexandrovich a membership certificate of Honorary Collective Farmer. The writer was moved and excited, and said he would be proud to bear this title.

Talking with the farmer Konstantin Gudzhabidze Sholokhov learned that in the Great Patriotic war he let his five sons go to the front, and four of them never came back. In memory of the died soldiers the writer and Gudzhabidze planted four tangerine trees in the collective farm Garden of Friendship.

When leaving Mikhail Alexandrovich made an entry in the book of honourable guests: “An ordinary collective farmer of the Lenin collective farm, who visited the native collective farm after a long absence, is delighted with the success of the farm, and leaving the hospitable country of Natanebi he wishes a further success, well-being and prosperity to the collective-farmers and the head of the collective farm G.Tsitlidze. M.Sholokhov. 21.8.68.”

 

Svetlana Diyachenko