April 6, 2015 Amy Reasoner

Georgia: State or Country?

Georgia: Peaches, peanuts, and President Carter.

The Braves, the last of the original 13 colonies, and the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

georgia peach

 

Yep, wrong Georgia.

What about Georgia the country? Nestled between Russia to the north and Armenia to the south (well, and Turkey and Azerbaijan), it’s a country which lies within the area designated by Eurasia as “Eurasia Northwest”—a region including Georgia, Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine.

georgia sign

Hmm…more like this:

georgian georgia sign

The fact that this Georgia is bordered by the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains—as opposed to “that” Georgia, bordered by the Atlantic and the Blue Ridge mountains—is just the beginning.

So, just for reference:

georgia the country

The Eurasia Northwest region is featuring Georgia on its blogs this month, and we’ll let them share with you what else makes Georgia unique.

Without further ado, be enlightened by the re-blog of

Georgia: Overflowing with Historic Hospitality and Richness

Situated between Russia and Armenia, Georgia has one of the most diverse climates and terrain in the world considering its small size. The beauty of its natural lakes, Caucuses mountains and villages are trumped only by the hospitality of its people. Georgians have faced many countries in battle (Russians, Mongolians, Persians).

Through these experiences, they’ve refined their image as both warriors and generous hosts. The statue of Kartvlis Deda symbolizes Georgia’s character, holding a sword in one hand for enemies and a bowl of grapes in the other for friends.

Georgia is composed primarily of villages, but there are several major cities like its capital, Tbilisi, and Batumi, a tropical tourist destination beside the Black Sea.

Georgians have great respect for historic figures like David the Builder, Queen Tamar and King George V. These leaders led battles and united the country during their reign. When David the Builder was in power, a famous poem was written called “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin“. Its themes of love, overcoming obstacles, hospitality and loyalty epitomize Georgia. Georgian schools often study this poem, and many Georgians know portions of it by heart.

Toasting, Dancing & Rugby

Wine.

Many Georgians make their own, and it’s one of the primary exports they distribute internationally. Some historians think that Georgians may have been the first to properly grow and produce winefrom their grape vineyards.

The region of Kakheti is a famous producer of all kinds of wine. Across the country, over 400 varieties of grapes exist. Along with wine, Georgians have several other famous beverages including Limonati (flavored soda) and Borjomi gas water, taken from the natural springs in this part of the country.

Georgian Khachapuri

During family celebrations, funerals and hosting guests, Georgians collect and make abundant amounts of food. These get-togethers are called “supras.” Once the food starts coming, attendants are often forced to stack plates on top of each other due to the enormous amount of cuisine. No supra table is complete without a fair share of khatchapuri and khinkali. Other foods like tomato and cucumber salads, mchadi, Kuchmachi and lobiani may serve as appetizers. And with almost everything, Georgians use fresh bread often baked in a circular oven called a tone.

During supras, one person called a toastmaster (often the head of the family) will give toasts to God’s favor, good health and happiness to those sitting around the table. These toasts come frequently throughout the meal. It’s not uncommon for supras to last several hours.

The Georgian language has one of the original 14 alphabets of the world, similar to its southern neighbor, Armenia. Many Georgians are bilingual, but knowledge of their second language is split between Russian (Soviet generation) and English (post-Soviet generation). Still, all Georgians take pride in their mother tongue, and it’s taught in all the public schools.

Traditional Georgian dancing and music are often performed at special events. Most Georgians learn dancing from an early age; both the men and women use a complex mix of footwork, alternating between shuffling and kicking outwards in graceful fashion. They dress in beautiful, brightly colored dresses and outfits. The men often wear white fur hats and red or black militia style coverings, akin to their ceremonial soldiers.

When it comes to recreation, no Georgian boy can pass up a game of football (“soccer” in America). Like most countries outside of America, Georgia loves keeping up with football scores across the world and attending games at the stadium. Rugby is also a major sport here; Georgia’s rugby team is one of the best in Eurasia, and games against rivalries like Russia are always well attended.

Loyalty to Eastern Orthodox

Orthodox Church Front

Most Georgians affiliate with the Eastern Orthodox church.

They have many ancient churches throughout the country, some dating as far back as the first century. Most Georgians don’t attend services on a regular basis and may only go during special religious holidays like Easter and Christmas (celebrated in January according to Orthodox tradition). Catholic tradition is also strong in some parts of the country, and Islam is a small but growing religion among immigrants.

Some Evangelical presence also exists in the country, but their numbers are still very few.

 

To check out more ENW (Eurasia Northwest) blogs, go here: http://eurasianorthwest.org/blog/

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