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"De-georgianization" operation started2011-06-15 23:02
Soon biometrical passports will be distributed in Georgia. This may cause some revolutionary changes. The thing is that many Georgian names are inexcusably long, and the new passport just misses space for them. But the solution has been found: Georgian surnames, so ornate and full of hidden sense, will be cut to the required size. We will explain in detail how it will be done. We will also tell you what consequences it might have.
Georgia is ready to start giving biometrical passports to its citizens. This is, of course, convenient and modern. The most important thing is that it is one of the requirements of the European Union and to observe it means to facilitate the receipt of Schengen visas by Georgian citizens.
However, it has become clear that ancient Georgian names and surnames are in most cases too long. The thing is that the ancestors of modern Georgians invented them without caring about their laconism, and could not even dream about any biometrical passports. Their surnames reflect the boundless immensity of high mountains, birds' warble in a summer forest, the incessant bustle of torrents. A contemporary of Shota Rustaveli liked listening to wondrous birds in the forest that gave birth to the city of Tbilisi, so all his descendants have a surname related to the singing of birds. Another ancestor liked hunting tigers that were numerous in the same forest in those times, so he gave his offspring a surname that would make them remember that and be proud of the feats of their great forefather. A certain Avtandil was a fighter ("palavani"), so the surname Palavanishvili emerged. And this was not just history, it was the pride of the family, its traditions and power. Georgians have always cherished their ancestors. They used to draw their portraits on the basis of the dim memories of their great-grandmother and then to hang them on the wall.
As a rule, the longer was the surname, the nobler it was. The more elegant it was, the more princely roots it had. That is why there are so many Shatberashvili's or Kalandarishvili's in Georgia today.
And now the civilization is giving such a low blow to the inviolable sanctuary, to the ancient Georgian surnames. This is not just technical abbreviation, this is a real revolution of names. There must be something like "Shatbera" instead of Shatberashvili. If the last sound "a" is stressed, a kind of French wine is obtained.