• Georgia
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  • Georgia
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Georgia

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
Do you know the legend of the creation of Georgia? During the creation, the Lord called on the people to allocate them a territory. All were present except the representatives of Georgia, who were sunbathing. They got there too late and the Lord told them that the allocation of land had ended. The Georgians decide to charm the Lord with their dances and songs, and they did this with success! The Lord was seduced so he gave them the land he had reserved for himself and installed himself in the clouds.
Located on the border of Asia and Europe, Georgia, this small ibero-caucasian country, known for its efficient sulphurous waters (at 65 degrees), whose steam heals rheumatism, offers a wide range of landscapes and reliefs including mountains, plateaus and vineyards, tea and tobacco plantations, oaks, beeches and tropical plants. The flora contains thousands of species. The lack of masses of tourists will mean travel to Georgia is stress free. However, the separatist regions of Arkhazia and South Ossetia must be avoided for security reasons.

Our Editorial team's advice

Do not pass judgement on political issues or on corruption problems; a lot of Georgians are armed, and since they are touchy, they can get angry quickly. Moreover, do not tell a Georgian he is Russian, he will not like it.
Although they are suspicious at first, Georgians are particularly welcoming. Do not refuse an invitation, on the contrary, go and share the table with a Georgian family to appreciate the warm welcoming of its hospitality. Do not forget to bring a small gift.

pros

  • +The richness of historical monuments.
  • +The low cost of living.

cons

  • -Driving conditions make travelling around difficult.
  • -The real problem of insecurity.
  • -The lack of tourist infrastructures. Housing structures are often of poor quality.

Traditions

Like in Britain, old people and women with children have priority on public transportation.

If you wish to offer a gift, men will appreciate a quality knife. In fact, they love weapons with a blade. You can also offer American cigarettes, T-shirts, key chains or postcards. In any case, Georgians love gifts.

In places of worship, act respectfully. Enter in silence and correctly dressed.

Food

Food is one of the most important elements of Georgian culture. Meals are like a ceremony. The table is directed by the ?tamada', who offers traditional toasts during the entire meal. You cannot drink a toast to somebody, before the master of the house has done it for all his guests. You cannot change the dedication of the toast either. Hazelnuts are used in all of the sauces! Any name of a dish placed next to the word ?satsivi' is served with a sauce flavoured with herbs, garlic and hazelnuts. You can also find some in soups and desserts.
Meals generally start with an assortment of hot and cold dishes: grilled and spiced giblets, beans and nuts (lobios) salad, marinated eggplant, spiced spinach (pkhaliis), without forgetting the pickles and smoked meats (basturmas). For the meat, Georgians serve suckling pork and beef. Chicken is roasted or cooked in a stew. One of the most common dishes is the chakhokhbili, a stew flavoured with herbs, tomatoes and paprika. Georgian wine is renowned; Kindzmareuli is a fruity red wine and Tsinandali and Gurdzhaani are two dry white wines. Finally, the bravest will try the traditional Georgian breakfast, served wuth khachi, a soup with tripes, beef-foot and a lot of garlic!

Souvenirs

Ceramics, embroidery, and jewellery are the main handicraft products to bring back as souvenirs. The export of old books, paintings or icons can cause serious complications with customs. Ask the Ministry of Culture for authorisation to take them out of the country. Shops are generally open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.