One day, I found out that I’m about to go to travel in Georgia to participate in setting up a Youth Exchange project for the summer of 2022. It was probably the second time I heard about Georgia. The first time I heard, I was supposed to host a Couchsurfer from this country, but because of Covid, we’ve never met. And it was time for a new adventure. So, I started researching and waited for my first experience in Georgia. I was very excited to meet the culture of our future partners and discover the lands where wine was born.
To Travel in Georgia, one of my greatest achievements
The 1st trip in Georgia was short and oriented on the work package related to the future project we had to develop together. Together with my boyfriend, We got the opportunity to meet first Georgian people for the first time, see the Georgian landscapes from afar and taste the famous Georgian white wine, which was the very first taste of this culture. However, the next trip happened in the summer of 2022, when we had to accompany a group of 8 Romanian youths to an 11-day Youth Exchange held in Mtskheta Georgia.
Following this amazing trip in Georgia, I want to share a little guide to Georgian culture involving details regarding Georgian aspects, Georgian food, Georgian wine, and Georgian traditions, as a symbol of gratefulness for getting the chance to discover Georgia and its people, and as a promise of return.
First things first – Some information about Georgia
Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Georgia is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. It has a small territory that is home to a population of 3.7 million people consisting of many ethnicities. This country is filled with cultural history, architecture, monuments, and unique natural landscapes. Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi is a city of approximately 1.5 million people. The city was founded in the 5th century AD by the Georgian king Vakhtang I Gorgasali.
The climate in Georgia is a mix between temperate and subtropical. The landscape is also varied, with mountains, forests, and plains. Even though Georgia is a relatively small country, there is a lot to see and do while you travel in Georgia
Facts about Georgian culture, Georgian people, and Georgian language
- Georgian culture is one of the oldest and most storied cultures in the world. With a rich history dating back thousands of years, Georgian culture has long been a source of curiosity and fascination for people from all over the globe
- Georgians are called Kartvelebi, and their land is called Sakartvelo. The official Georgian language is called Kartuli.
- Georgian cuisine is renowned for its deliciousness and its use of fresh, local ingredients.
- Georgia is the place where wine was born.
- The music is simply amazing. which is a mix of folk and classical influences.
- Hospitality is an important part of Georgian culture, and Georgians are known for being warm and welcoming to guests.
A little bit of Georgian Culture and Tradition – What you need to know before your travel to Georgia
The Georgian people have unique customs and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Also, Georgian culture is very traditional and family-oriented and Georgians value close relationships with extended family members.
One of the most interesting Georgian traditions is the supra. A supra is a traditional Georgian feast that is organized around a large table filled with an abundance of food and drink. The supra is a time for family and friends to come together, share a meal, and celebrate life.
Georgian tradition says that there is always a tamada (toastmaster) at any formal or informal supra (feast). The tamada is responsible for leading the toasts, which are an important part of any supra.
Traditionally, the tamada would be chosen by the host of the supra, but nowadays it is not uncommon for the tamada to be chosen by the guests. If you are planning to travel in Georgia, consider on attending a supra, and be sure to find out if there will be a Tamada presiding over the festivities. You will be sure to have a more enjoyable experience if you do.
The Georgian Language
The Georgian language is the official language of Georgia. It is spoken by about 3.98 million people in Georgia and also in parts of Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. The earliest surviving Georgian texts date back to the 5th century AD, but the Georgian alphabet was not developed until the 9th or 10th century. It is one of the few languages that resisted the influences of invasions over centuries and remained largely unchanged.
The money currency in Georgia
Before your travel in Georgia, you should know that Georgia uses the Lari as its money currency. The Lari is subdivided into 100 Tetri. The money system in Georgia was switched over to the Lari in October of 1995. 1 Lari is equal to about 0.35 EURO. Georgians use a combination of coins, as well as paper money.
The Georgian Food – Some Georgian recipes that everyone needs to try when you travel in Georgia
If you’re looking for some new recipes to try, here are a few of my favorites:
1. Khachapuri: This dish is a cheese-filled bread that is perfect for a snack or a meal. There are many different variations of khachapuri, but the most popular is the adjaruli, which is made with fresh cheese, eggs, and butter.
2. Lobio: Lobio is a stew made with beans, herbs, and spices. It is usually served with bread, and it can be either vegetarian or meat-based.
3. Khinkali: Khinkali are Georgian dumplings that are popular in the Caucasus region, often filled with spiced meat (beef, pork, or lamb), mushrooms, herbs, onions, and garlic.
The Georgian wines – Wines to try during your trip to Georgia
Georgian wine is some of the most interesting and complex in the world. There are a wide variety of grapes used to produce Georgian wine, as well as a range of winemaking styles. This makes Georgian wine very diverse and unique. Make sure to try it when you travel in Georgia.
There are four main types of Georgian wine: red, white, amber, and dessert. Georgian wine is made from a blend of different grape varieties, including Saperavi, Mujuretuli, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Georgian mineral springs – Healing properties
Georgia is home to many natural hot springs, which are a popular destination for locals and tourists that travel in Georgia. Actually, The springs are thought to have healing properties and are a popular spot for people looking to relax and rejuvenate.
Some of the most popular hot springs in Tbilisi Georgia:
• The Blue Spring: The Blue Spring is located in the center of Tbilisi. The water is a deep blue color and is said to have therapeutic properties.
• The Mineral Spring: The Mineral Spring is located in the suburb of Vake and is known for its high mineral content.
One important thing you need to know about Georgia
The war in Georgia in 2008 was a hard moment in the country’s history. The Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict between Georgia, Russia, and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The war took place in August 2008. This war was a major blow to Georgia, resulting in increasing the occupation of the country by Russia. The event marked major tensions between Russia and the West, and it led to a period of increased international isolation for Russia.
In the years since the invasion, Georgia has worked to rebuild its economy and infrastructure, and it has slowly started to re-establish ties with the international community. The country remains in a precarious position, however, and the long-term effects of the invasion are still being felt. Nowadays, the Russian army occupies 20% of Georgia’s territory and resources.
Final words about Georgia
It was not easy to end this article with the above information. I’ve been to Georgia, and I’ve discovered the country and its culture and tradition, I’ve seen some of its landmarks and natural resources, its food and wines., Moreover, I’ve spoken with people about their precious Georgian roots, about the meaning of family, and about who they are as a civilization. Every moment spent in Georgia was an inspiration for me.
But unfortunately, I had to discover this truth as well. A truth that I didn’t know before, because the subject never arrived in my chats, or news sections, nowhere. And I’ve found sadness, pain, loss, and scariness. But also, in Georgians, I’ve found hope for the better, empathy, and solidarity for Ukrainians that are facing the effects of the ongoing war, and any others that are suffering on the path of war.
Georgia is a fairy tale land that needs to be discovered, along with everything it represents. So, I hope you’ve found this article useful and inspirational. I wish you a good trip to Georgia!