Facts and culture of Georgia: the most hospitable country in the world
Interesting facts about Georgia
Georgia is an amazing and hospitable country, which any person should visit at least once. Many of us have heard interesting facts about the culture of Georgia. Hearing this is one thing, but seeing everything with your own eyes or even participating in some old traditional events is quite another.
Georgia attracts tourists with its unique flavor. People who live in this country honor the traditions, many of which are already thousands of years old. Georgian dances and songs, national dishes, wedding traditions, toasts, this is just a glimpse of what Georgia offers to its residents and tourists.
Georgia is an amazing country with numerous distinctive traditions. Some interesting facts about Tbilisi and Georgia as a whole can strike the imagination of even those people who, it would seem, know everything about this country. In this article, we will cover some remarkable facts about Georgia and try to understand why this Caucasian country is unique and worth visiting.
Georgia has a very interesting and at the same time difficult language. The Georgian language belongs to an ancient and unique linguistic group, so it doesn’t emulate any other language in the world. It is believed that the Georgian alphabet was created based on the ancient Aramaic language, which people spoke in the days of Jesus Christ.
Georgian is one of the most difficult languages to study. Many words consist exclusively of consonants, and any foreigner can break his tongue trying to pronounce them. For example, the word “Gvprtskvnis” means “it cleanses us”.
Another interesting fact about the Georgian language is that there is no masculine or feminine gender in it. And with the stress placed on a certain syllable, you can change the meaning of a word.
Tip for everyone who travels to Georgia: do not try to communicate with locals in their native language if you do not speak it well. Locals don't really like it when someone tries to speak broken Georgian or distorts words. You can easily communicate with the older generation in Russian. And most of the young people from large Georgian cities (Kutaisi, Tbilisi, Batumi) speak English.
In many European countries, the number of believers has been declining in recent years, but not in Georgia. The majority of Georgian residents revere religion and consider themselves to be believers. 80% of all believers are Orthodox Christians. Therefore, there is nothing surprising that even in small Georgian villages you can see beautiful and ancient temples that amaze with their architecture.
In any Georgian city there is a huge number of cathedrals, temples, and monasteries, many of which were built hundreds of years ago. New temples are also regularly built, which look no less majestic. To come to Georgia and not enjoy the architecture of local temples means a lot to lose.
There is a real cult of wine in Georgia, and this is not surprising, because this country is considered the birthplace of wine production. According to legends, people began to produce wine on the territory of Georgia 7 thousand years ago. At the moment, over 500 varieties of grapes are cultivated here. That is why in Georgia, you can find a great variety of wine types. The mild and favorable climate is conducive to wine production, so many residents who live in private houses grow grapes and prepare wine for themselves and their relatives.
Although Georgia isn’t included in the list of the world's largest wine exporters (only 86.2 million bottles were exported in 2018), grape drinks of Georgian production are very highly valued by gourmets. If it comes to home production, perhaps, you don’t find another country in the world where so many people produce wine for their own use.
The secrets of Georgian wine production deserve special attention. For fermentation and storage of wine, people use a special earthenware jug qvevri. Such a jug is buried in the ground or stored in a special cellar for wine 'maturation'.
Aside from producing wine, people drink it in a special way as well. Toasts are an integral part of Georgian feasts. And the main drink on any table is, of course, wine. During the feast, a glass of wine is sure to rise for the world, for parents and women. Georgian toasts are a real work of art because each of them has a certain message and the stamp of culture.
Georgia is a real gourmet paradise. Almost any resident knows how to cook delicious Georgian shish kebab or khinkali. If you love delicious food, then Georgia won’t disappoint you for sure.
Interesting facts about Georgian cuisine:
- It is believed that there is nothing to eat if there is no bread on the table. According to the Georgian traditions, bread and sault should be definitely presented on the table.
- Georgians have heard little about haute cuisine with its scanty portions. It is customary here to give guests and clients of establishments such portions that they can feed several people to their fill. The food is so delicious that you can eat several servings yourself without noticing how it happened.
- More than 250 varieties of cheese are produced in Georgia, among which there are also unique ones. They are made from different types of milk, so you can try buffalo and even lamb cheese.
- The last glass at the Georgian table must be drunk to the bottom. You cannot "leave tears" for the owner of the house.
- It is necessary to eat such dishes as shish kebab and khinkali exclusively by hand. Only this way you can fully experience the taste of the dish. For example, the khinkali should never be pierced with a fork, otherwise, all the juice will flow out, and it is the "highlight" of this dish.
- Kharcho is a second dish that isn’t recommended to eat with a spoon. Kharcho means stew with nuts, and they eat it with hominy or lavash.
- Greens is a must-have addition to any dish. In Georgia, you can try basil, parsley, cilantro, and so on.
- Toastmaster is the main person during any banquet. No one can interrupt him, and he must drink at least 250 ml wine glasses. This is considered the norm of a good toastmaster because he must raise a glass separately for each person sitting at the table. At the same time, the toastmaster should raise toasts and entertain guests for at least 5-6 hours without a break.
Georgian cuisine is a topic of conjecture. Nevertheless, it is better to visit this country yourself and taste the local dishes.
The importance of family values
Family values are one of the sacred things for any Georgian. The social security system in Georgia does not always work perfectly. Therefore, most Georgians in difficult life situations rely on relatives and friends rather than the government. It is not considered strange or shameful for Georgians to ask for serious help from a distant relative whom you saw for the first and last time twenty years ago. Giving a helping hand to the relative is a great honor for any Georgian.
Georgians honor elder people and don’t speak badly about relatives. There are many traditions associated with marriage. One of the traditions that have been preserved until current days is when the groom's relatives give the bride gold (a kind of dowry). Another famous Georgian tradition is bride napping. Although it exists today, it has a somewhat simplified form. Theft takes place only by mutual consent of both parties. The groom can kidnap the bride only if she agrees with that. If it comes to the Svans (Georgian highlanders), they follow this tradition in its original form. That is, a man can kidnap a woman, even if she does not want it. Among the Svans, young girls are generally protected by brothers.
It is worth noting the funerals in Georgia. Not only relatives and friends attend funerals, but also neighbors. If a resident of a village is buried, then the whole village comes to say goodbye to him. At the same time, it is not customary to come to a funeral without a gift. People usually bring wine, food or money with them. In Georgia, it is believed that people are alive as long as relatives remember them. People remember the deceased and say speeches about them during family dinners.
Guest is a messenger of God
Georgians are one of the most hospitable nations. Every guest is honored and respected here. It is believed that a guest is a messenger of God, who should be appropriately hosted, provided with shelter and food.
If you come to visit a Georgian, you can rest assured that you won’t be hungry and thirsty and you will always have the place to stay for a night. Georgians treat their guests like in a five-star hotel. This attitude towards guests applies to the majority of Georgian establishments. They really have a sacred rule that says that the guest is always right.
When you come to visit someone, it is not customary to take off your street shoes. Taking off shoes is a bad form and a sign of disrespect for the owners. Therefore, do not be surprised if the owner of the house won’t offer you home slippers.
Mountains in Georgia
Georgia is known for its majestic Caucasus Mountains, which serve as a natural border between Russia and Georgia. In recent years, Georgia has become a real discovery in the tourism industry, since many people visit this country to see beautiful mountains. There are many mountain hiking trails that allow you to interact with nature and challenge yourself. Ski resorts also have vast popularity. This especially applies to the Gudauri and Bakuriani resorts, which aren’t inferior to the leading European ski resorts in terms of the level of service and quality of the tracks. And if we compare prices for vacations, then Georgian resorts are several times cheaper compared to similar European resorts.
The highest point of Georgia is Shkhara (height 5193.2 meters above sea level). It is a part of the Great Caucasus Range.
Unique architectural solutions
If it comes to architecture, Georgia stands out from other countries. Thousands of architectural albums contain amazing pictures of architectural constructions. Georgia is one of the few countries where you can see ancient majestic temples with an Art Nouveau building with a full glass facade and futuristic shapes nearby.
With the advent of the tourism business, the Georgian authorities began to reconstruct and update the facades of many state buildings. The architectures chose unusual approaches. Most municipal buildings located in large cities look like buildings from the distant future. It is normal here if the mayor's office or art gallery looks like a spaceship and an orbital station. And if we talk about police stations, court buildings, and prosecutor's offices, then almost all of them have completely transparent facades. Thus, people can see everything that happens inside these important administrative sites. This way, the authorities demonstrate their honesty and transparency.
Despite the global reconstruction and renovation of many buildings, a large number of old quarters remain in Georgia. These are narrow streets with stone walls, carved doors in houses, and courtyards that look like some kind of portals to the past. If you walk along with one of these streets, you can appear in ancient Georgia and imagine how people lived here hundreds of years ago. In the old parts of Tbilisi and other large cities, you can’t find any buildings higher than 2-3 floors. That is why many unique ancient buildings and architectural monuments have preserved their originality.
Georgia is a real paradise for those who are fond of architecture. There are many ultra-modern buildings with futuristic designs, as well as an array of ancient temples, citadels, cave complexes, and other structures that were built hundreds of years ago. /p>