In 1978, by the decision of the Supreme Council of the USSR, the status of the state language in Georgia was changed to the Russian language.
On April 14, 1978, more than 100 thousand people gathered on Rustaveli Avenue. Intellectuals, teachers and university students later were joined by other Tbilisi residents. As a result of the protest, status of the Georgian language as a state language was retained.
Later, sculptors Elguja Amashukeli and Nodar Mgaloblishvili made a monument to the Georgian language – “Deda Ena”.
In modern Georgian, there are 17 dialects, including Kartlian, Kakhetian, Imeretian, Rachan, Lechkhumian, Gurian, Javakhian, Meskhian and Adzharian. Particularly stands out a group of mountain dialects of Eastern Georgia – Khevsurian, Mokhevian, Mtiulo-Gudamaqrian, Tushetian and Pshavian, as well as three dialects outside the country – Ingiloan (Azerbaijan), Fereydanian (Iran), Imerhevian (Turkey).
Since ancient times, Georgian has been the language of the indigenous population of Transcaucasia – Iberia and Colchis.
There are 5 vowels and 28 consonants in Georgian. The modern Georgian alphabet consists of 33 letters; it was created in the 5th century AD.
From the early centuries, the ancient Georgian script Asomtavruli was used. From the 9th century – Nuskhuri (church), and from the 11th century – Mkhedruli (civil).
In 2016, all three types of Georgian scripts were included in the list of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Every year on April 14 the Day of the Georgian Language is celebrated.