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Friday, 28 October 2016


Being a guest of a Georgian family

2009-03-25 21:18

1/2/5/2125.jpegAn evening called "At home with a Georgian family" was held in the Moscow House of Nationalities. For the first time in a long while, those present did not discuss the intricacies of inter-state relations, but instead spoke about something sacred for every Georgian -the family.


It is often harder to ensure that family affairs run smoothly than manage a province - these words spoken by an ancient Roman historian still remain just as relevant in the 21st century. Around the world, Hymenaios is on the retreat. Meanwhile, it is in Georgia, which is currently enduring some tough times, that he might find his home. Here people are convinced that the family is a quiet port which will protect you from life's storms. This was stated by representatives of the Union of Georgians in Russia, the organizers of an evening which was held as part of the project entitled "Moscow families of various nationalities".

The president of the union, Mikheil Khubutia (pictured in the centre) reminded everyone that in the good old days it was considered prestigious for any family to accept an educated daughter-in-law into their home. Therefore, a Georgian girl used to be given Shota Rustaveli's poem "A knight in a tiger's skin" as a dowry. In the 18th century, a chess set was also given as a dowry as a matter of course. Perhaps that is why Georgian female chess players conquered the world in the 20th century. The vice-presidents of the Union of Georgians in Russia, Severian Tsagareishvili and Nodar Medzmariashvili, the film historian Kora Tsereteli, and the literary critic Irina Bagration-Mukhraneli, told guests about their families and how national traditions are maintained within them.

So just how does a Georgian family differ from any other? Even nowadays, in a Georgian family several generations all live under the same roof. As well as several dozen distant relatives, who might come over to visit and remain living in your home for several years. I can recall a conversation I had with the wife of a Georgian author, who was a Frenchwoman by birth. "I married him, not my mother-in-law, his sisters and the entire village in Guria," she complained. What can you do, virtues merely follow on from drawbacks: you can't go off by yourself in a noisy Georgian family. In times of woe or joy, you can be certain that you will never left on your own. You will be given moral and material support.

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