What Are Georgians Proud Of?

Have you ever asked a Georgian to tell you about Georgia? If you have, you would have noticed a super satisfied look while experiencing a non-stop speech about your speaker’s small, centuries-old Caucasian country. Even though Georgians usually criticise their country among each other, they only share with foreigners the best about their homeland. Here are some of the things Georgians are proud of:

1. Unique Alphabet

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Georgian Alphabet
Photo Source: viajargeorgia.es

The Georgian Alphabet is an alphabet used only in Georgia and nowhere else, influenced by Greek and Iranian scripts, and shaped into something unique. The exact date of the Georgian alphabet’s creation is debated. Writing has existed in Georgia since at least the 10th Century BCE and a distinctly Georgian script since the 1st Centry CE. Since then, it has changed three times: from Asomtavruli, to  Nuskhuri, and then Mkhedruli. The first two can be seen on religious monuments and writings, while the latest one has been used in daily life since the 19th century. The Georgian Alphabet currently has 33 letters and is hard to learn but surely enjoyable to write. Most people do not know the Georgian alphabet exists even though it is one of the world’s few unique alphabets, which is mentioned by everyone who is a proud Georgian. 

Note: Don’t be surprised if you notice a big difference between Georgian handwriting and print.

2. Folk Traditions

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Geogian Folks & Dancings
Photo Source: GeoMartial

Georgians are immensely proud of their traditional folk music and arts. Georgian polyphonic music has a unique, dissonant style that has been left unchanged for centuries. In 2001 UNESCO recognized their musical tradition as a “masterpiece of the world’s intangible cultural heritage”. The songs are based on three or four part harmonies and can be heard anywhere in Georgia but mostly in churches, monasteries, across the villages or in Georgian Supras (a traditional feast).
Then, they will probably go on to speak about their traditional dance and national ballet, which like their polyphonic songs, remain a major cultural cornerstone. Georgian dance tell the stories of their people’s history and culture. Their men are virile and the women are elegant, dressed in gorgeous, multi-colored costumes. The dances are accompanied by the sounds of accordions, drums, and bag pipes. The Sukhishvilebi, Erisioni, and Rustavi dance ensembles are known worldwide.

3. Wine

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Georgian Wine
photo Source: inter-travel.ge

Since ancient times, Georgia has been known as the Country of Grapes and Wine.  Georgian winemaking in traditional Qvevri clay vessels has existed for 8,000 years and is still practiced today. As proof of its cultural significance, the this tradition became a National Monument of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012. Eighteen different kinds of grapes and wine are cultivated in Georgia such as Tsinandali, Kindzmarauli, Mukuzani, and Khvanchkara. There is little chance you will miss out trying at least one class as wine is always accompanied with the many Georgian toasts at supras.

Note: Take into account that you might be cajoled into drinking Georgian wine out of a vase, horn, or anything ( we do mean, anything ) where liquid can be poured into and then drank.

4. Cuisine

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Eggplant with walnuts
Photo Source: georgianjournal.ge

Many tourists admit that it is easy to lose track of  time at a Georgian table. Every Georgian will convince you to try their Georgian traditional food to understand their taste of life. It is true – Georgian dishes have unforgettable bites that will keep the Georgia in your heart forever. Moreover, Georgian Cuisine are perfect to all kind of food lovers: meat lovers, cheese lovers, salad lovers, veggie lovers and sugar lovers with their various traditional sweets.

Note: Try Acharuli Khachapuri, Georgian dumplings (khinkali), Kharcho and Churchkhela but never forget to heed the advice Georgians about food mixing and the balancing your menu – Georgian food can be hard to digest and quite heavy.

5. nature

Narikala Fortress rising above the old town of Tbilisi
photo Source: thdk.be

Even though Georgia is a small country it has resorts for all types of seasons and tourists. You can swim the Black Sea beaches, ski the Caucasus Mountains, experience fall at amazing local lakes (Lopota Lake Resort, Kvareli Lake Resort) or enjoy an afternoon tea in Borjomi where you can taste its famous mineral water. There are numerous sea resorts, four ski resorts, many lakes and waterfalls. Georgians have all of this in one, glorious country.

Note: Remember Georgians are very sensitive about the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Many still see them as part of Georgia and occupied by Russia.

6. Hospitality

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Second row

Georgian hospitality is unselfish. No words can describe the gratitude shown their hosts – they give you everything all! Here you can have food, accommodations, and travel arranged for free. Georgians are more than glad to pick you up from the airport, invite you to various restaurants and bars, give you rides to Georgian sights, gift you with the souvenirs and take care of your most every need during your trip.

Note: Never, ever leave money for your Georgian host if they have given you anything for free. Their hospitality was offered to you from their heart and not for money.

7. Freedom

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Civil War 1992
Photo Source: Jemal Kasradze

Georgians have a very strong character. They have been fighting for freedom for centuries. Georgia has been invaded several times by Turkish groups and conquered by Mongol Hordes. In 1891, Georgia was all but completely annexed by the Russian Empire and ultimately fell to the Bolsheviks in 1921. However, Georgia declared independence from the USSR on April 9, 1991 and became one of the first Soviet republics to take steps towards independence.

Nearly every Georgian generation has faced severe war but their determination and grit held their country, religion and, culture together for centuries. This is why Georgians are always proud of their freedom; it has been a long and arduous effort to the liberty they currently enjoy.

8. Sports

Georgian National Rugby Team
Photo Source: worldrugby.org

Sports are always a serious topic for Georgians and it often overflows into loud debates. If you want talk to Georgians about sports, know that they mostly pay attention to wrestling and judo. There have been many Georgian sportsmen who have brought home World and Olympic championships recently. Another favorite sport is Rugby. Georgian rugby is very similar to a old, traditional game called Lelo-ball; an ancient form of folk football which is still alive in countryside competitions. The Georgian Rugby team was present at the World Rugby Championship on 2003 and they are ranked among the world’s top Rugby teams.

Note: Football is also quite popular but Georgians are not that proud of their football team and clubs anymore. However, new generations are avid fans Tbilisi’s Dinamo football club.

9. Arts & Culture

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David Kakabadze Painting
Photo Source: wikiart.org

Georgia is a country with an ancient and rich culture going back for millennia. Since the 5th century CE, Georgia has developed a diversified art and culture heritage. The period of the 11th-12th centuries were the Renaissance of Georgian state which was strongly influenced by the development of oriental literature. The symbol of Georgian fiction is the poem “The Knight in the Panter’s Skin” by Shota Rustaveli, written in the 12th century.

Moreover, the 19th century was the blossoming of secular cultured in Georgia, when writers and artists enriched the treasury of national and world art.  The works of poets and writers of Georgia were translated into many languages and are affordable for the foreigners. It should be mentioned that Georgian art – painting and architecture is also represented to worldwide by the works of legendary masters: Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili and among famous Georgian sculptors are Zurab Tsereteli and Elgudza Amashukeli.

Note: Take a look at “The Knight in the Panter’s Skin” and challenge yourself: Georgian children study the poem by heart at school.

10. Architecture

Shatili Castles
Photo Source: yogurtales.com

Georgian architecture refers to the styles of architecture including castles, towers, churches and fortifications. Medieval Georgian castles can be seen in Shatili (in Khevsureti) and fortifications in the Upper Svaneti. Most of Georgian churches are related to Byzantine architecture but the style developed in Georgia during the 9th century. Nowadays, tourist can meet the mix of every architectural style in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi and take a look at old Georgian houses at the West of Georgia (a.k.a. Oda).

Note: If you ever question why Georgians are proud of their architecture, ask them to tell you about Vardzia, David-Gareja or Uplistsikhe – if they forget to do so.

Well, this is the least complete picture of the general things Georgians are proud of but the following in the lists could be: Georgian traditional enamel jewelry, Georgian famous opera singers and ballet dancers and even the worldwide known fashion designers.

2017-01-19T13:18:36+00:00 September 26th, 2016|