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A Second Perspective: Georgia the Country

Georgia with views of the Caucuses

Georgia with views of the Caucasus

Did you watch the television show about the country Georgia? Yesterday, we received a phone call from my sister about a show last night focused on the country Georgia. Because of our love for Georgia, we waited in anticipation for the program to begin. This morning Terry and I discussed the show. Overall, we were disappointed in the way the show presented the country of Georgia.

The show began with casinos and night clubs. While I’m sure if visitors are looking for this type of entertainment they may find it; this is not the “real” Georgia. I wondered how many Georgians actually frequent these establishments.

Our two visits to Georgia encompassed the cities of Tbilisi to Batumi. We did experience the Georgian supras with so much food and wine. The television special highlighted many types of Georgian foods including bread. The few times they talked about the wines, wine was only mentioned in terms of homemade wine and how much one must drink at a supra.

We attended supras while in Georgia. The supras we attended were very organized and fun. They included enormous amounts of food, spread throughout the meal, almost like separate courses. The belief in Georgia is that if there is no food left on the table after the meal, the host has not done enough for their guests.

A Georgian winery filled with qvevris

A Georgian winery filled with qvevris

At the supras we attended, there was plenty of well-made Georgian wines, but unlike the show mentioned, we were not instructed to down every glass that was poured. Supras are very long affairs lasting several hours to several days. The wines are spread out over the courses of hours and with the foods. It should be noted that Georgians do not find drunkenness acceptable behavior.

We enjoyed the numerous toasts that are made during the supras and learned that these are organized in a very specific manner beginning with a toast to God.

Since we write about wine, we were interested in the qvevri-made wines that Georgia is becoming well known for. However, neither the qvevri-made wines or the fact that qvevri winemaking is on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity were mentioned on program.

During the television show, a scene from the Pleasant Tear’s restaurant is shown. The scene was with two government employees. However, the scene never went beyond the restaurant table. Did the creator of the program know that in the basement were several buried qvevris?

On the show, Georgian music was portrayed. However no emphasis was placed on the type of music which is called polyphonic music. Polyphonic music is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

For me, the best part of the show was the scene of large rolled barbed wire fences constructed by Russia. This is the place where Russia has encroached upon the country of Georgia. This was an area we had not visited but had frequently heard about. It was frightening to hear about it and to see the barbed wire fence rolled along an area that really belongs to Georgia was heartrending.

Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine

Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine

If you are interested in a realistic view of the country Georgia or if you plan on visiting Georgia, find out more by reading our book, Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine.

When you visit Georgia and must return home you will likely feel that you have left a piece of your heart in Georgia.


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