Born in Tbilisi, Georgia |
Nino lived in Georgia until she was twelve and then, because her father was a Georgian diplomat, the family travelled for several years throughout Eastern Europe. In 2009 she came to the University of Toronto to continue her education, studying Cultural Studies, Politics and Policy. Nino is and has always been fascinated by the concept of identity, specifically national and diasporic identities, and thought Toronto would be a great place to research this. Toronto’s diversity is something she cherishes and she is impressed by how its growth in population runs parallel to its growth in diversity. Nino feels as if she learns something new about Toronto on a daily basis. She also speaks five languages, and thinks that here; it just might be possible to practice them all in one day!
Toronto as Home
When Nino first moved to Toronto, she stumbled, by accident upon this beautiful place. Alexandra Gates, right in between the Royal Ontario Museum and the Koerner Hall, is a peaceful and magical area. Here, even though one is in the middle of a busy downtown area, one can see incredibly beautiful scenery. Even though Nino has now been in the city for half of a decade she still finds the time to wander here.
Connection with the Past
Over ten years ago, Nino and her mother found this vintage ring, made of gold, silver and unpolished diamonds, at the Tbilisi Jewellery Flea Market in Georgia. This gift from her mother reminds Nino of a “flower smiling to the sun” and wearing it makes her feel close to her mom. It also triggers memories of her grandmother who was also fond of the ring and of Georgia because this ring is ‘cultural’. Long ago women of noble descent wore a headpiece called Tchikhtikopi which was a headband with a white veil. An essential part of the head piece was the diamond pin that held it together and this ring is actually made from one of these pins. For this reason, every day that she wears it, she feels as if she is wearing a part of her cultural heritage.