Author: Oli Pipia

From June, 1 Georgia will open land borders that have been closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19

The Interdepartmental Coordination Council for the Fight against COVID-19 under the Prime Minister of Georgia decided to open land borders with the closest neighbors for travelers from June 1, which have been closed since March, 2020 due to the pandemic. Announce the head of the council’s operational headquarters at a briefing on Tuesday.

“The Coordination Council made a decision to open land borders from June 1. The land borders will be opened, and their crossing will be possible with a document confirming the completion of the full course of vaccination and with a negative response to the PCR test”, said the head of the council’s operational headquarters. According to him, if, upon entering Georgia, a person cannot submit a document on completing the full course of vaccination, at the border he will be able to show a certificate of a negative PCR test done 72 hours in advance, as well as undertake an obligation to re-pass the test within three days.

The Georgian government also recommends that foreigners who decided to visit the republic across the land border have medical insurance with them in order to avoid the monetary costs associated with possible treatment for COVID-19 infection.

From February, 1 Georgia completely canceled the ban on regular flights, which had been in effect since March 2020. All travelers who have completed the full course of vaccination against COVID-19 can arrive in the country by air. Citizens of Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Switzerland and EU countries can enter Georgia without completing a full vaccination course. It is enough for them to show at the border a certificate of a negative result of a PCR test for COVID-19.

The Interdepartmental Coordination Council on Tuesday at a meeting expanded the list of countries whose citizens can enter Georgia by air on the basis of a certificate of a negative test result. The list includes Canada, China, Kuwait, Moldova, Oman, South Korea and Japan.

Tasting of Georgian wines from kvevri was held in Japan

Tasting of Georgian wines was held in Tokyo as part of the “Double World Heritage” event.

The main concept was the combination of Georgian wine with traditional Japanese cuisine “vashoku”. Experts assessed the drinks that are already on sale in the Japanese market, reports the Georgian National Wine Agency.

The event was organized by the contractor of the National Wine Agency, the director of the marketing company Red Bridge, the master of wine Kenichi Ohashi and the famous Japanese sommelier Saturu Mori. The presentation was attended by the Ambassador of Georgia to Japan Teimuraz Lezhava.

According to an interview hold by Red Bridge, Japanese consumers are particularly interested in qvevri wines, a traditional method of making wine in large buried earthen jars. Since 2013, the production of wine in qvevri has been recognized as a UNESCO cultural heritage site.

The oldest kvevri found on the territory of Georgia was located on Mount Khrami. Its age dates back to about the 6th century BC.

For many years Japan has been a strategically important market for Georgia – exceptionally expensive premium quality wines are supplied there.

According to the National Wine Agency, up to 200,000 bottles of wine were exported from Georgia to Japan in 2020. And from January to April 2021, 64 thousand bottles have already been exported to this country.

Kutaisi Airport (Georgia) to have new regular flights in May

In May, direct regular flights to nine destinations in five countries in Europe and Central Asia will be operated from the airport to Kutaisi. This is reported by the Association of Airports of Georgia.

In May, the low-cost airline Wizz Air resumes direct regular flights from Kutaisi Airport in the direction of Riga, Dortmund, Katowice and Gdansk.

The Association of Georgian Airports is negotiating with the airline to resume the routes existing before the pandemic and flights will be gradually restored.

On April 18, Wizz Air resumed regular flights from Kutaisi Airport in the direction of Warsaw and Vilnius. At first, the flights were operated once a week, but from May 13, it will be possible to get to Warsaw twice a week.

From May 14, Wizz Air will resume regular flights from Kutaisi airport in the direction of Riga, and from May 21 in the direction of Dortmund. By the end of the month, from the Kutaisi airport – will be possible to get a direct flight to two more cities in Poland: from May, 29 – to Katowice, and from May, 30 – to Gdansk.

Kazakh low-cost airline company FlyArystan has also started regular flights from Kutaisi to three destinations: Atyrau, Aktau and Nur-Sultan.

“At this stage, in May, from Kutaisi International Airport with the help of direct regular flights, you can get to nine directions of five countries. We are constantly working with airlines so that, in parallel with the improvement of the epidemiological situation, they fly more often and add new directions”, -reported the representative of the United Association of Georgian Airports.

The United Association of Georgian Airports reminds that foreigners can cross the Georgian air border with a negative PCR test result (A polymerase chain reaction) or must submit a document confirming that they have completed the full course of vaccination.

Georgian alphabet

The ancient Georgian alphabet has been granted the national status of cultural heritage in Georgia and is now one step closer to gaining recognition worldwide.
Three types of Georgian scripts were officially presented at the UNESCO Intangible Heritage nomination in 2015.
Georgia honored its ancient alphabet and granted it cultural heritage status.
Georgians are extremely proud of their unique writing system, which comprised of 33 characters. It is the only alphabet in the world that is pronounced exactly the same way it is written. In addition all letters are unicameral meaning they make no distinction between upper and lower case.
Georgian is written in its own unique script that once described as one of the most beautifully written languages in the world.
Today there are three types of Georgian scripts; asomtavruli (capitals), nuskhuri (lower case), and Mkhedruli, which is used today in modern Georgian language (the cursive script).
The first scripts are more historic and are used together as upper and lower case in the writings of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Together this writing is called khutsuri (priests’ alphabet).
In addition, the Georgian alphabet has been named among the top five most beautiful alphabets in the world by international travel website.
Scholars believed the Georgian alphabet was created in the 4th Century AD, or at the latest in the early 5th Century.

Georgian Literature

Georgian cuisine, wine, and nature speak the international language and require no translation—the value of these things is immediately perceptible. Unfortunately, this is hardly true of Georgian literature: the unique Georgian script was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015. Georgian historical medieval literature is an important source of revealing the history of the region, but it is extremely poorly preserved.

The origins of Georgian literature date to the 4th century, when the Georgian people were converted to Christianity and a Georgian alphabet was developed. The emergence of a rich literary language and an original religious literature was simultaneous with a massive effort to translate texts from Greek, Armenian, and Syriac. Among the earliest works in Georgian is the prose Tsameba tsmidisa Shushanikisi dedoplisa (470 or later; “The Passion of Saint Queen Shushanik”), attributed to Iakob Tsurtaveli. Old Georgian ecclesiastical literature reached its acme in the 10th century with the lyrical hymns composed and collected by Ioane Minchkhi and Mikael Modrekili and with such biographies of the Church Fathers as Tskhovreba Seraapionisi (c. 910; “The Life of Serapion”) by Basil Zarzmeli and Grigol Khandztelis tskhovreba (c. 950; “Grigol of Khandzta”) by Giorgi Merchule. Chronicles—such as Moktseva Kartlisa (c. 950; “The Conversion of Georgia”) and Kartlis tskhovreba (compiled between the 10th and 13th centuries; “The Life of Kartli”)—evolved from legend to genuine historiography.

With the weakening of the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century, Georgia’s rulers achieved prosperity sufficient to allow a secular literature to develop. King David IV (the Builder) and, later, Queen Tamara, his great-granddaughter, oversaw a cultural golden age that reached from the late 11th to the early 13th century. They encouraged and commissioned works in all the arts but particularly in poetry and prose. Influenced by Persian literature—especially Ferdowsī’s Shāh-nāmeh (“Book of Kings”), an 11th-century epic—Georgian courtly romance and epic flourished. In verse, Georgia acquired its national monument, Shota Rustaveli’s extravagant but sophisticated courtly romance Vepkhvistqaosani (c. 1220; The Knight in the Panther’s Skin). It was preceded and perhaps influenced by Amiran-Darejaniani (probably c. 1050; Eng. trans. Amiran-Darejaniani), a wild prose tale of battling knights, attributed by Rustaveli to Mose Khoneli, who is otherwise unknown.

In the early 18th century, Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, supported by his pupil and nephew King Vakhtang VI, introduced modern schooling and printing to Georgia. Orbeliani also compiled the first extant Georgian dictionary and wrote a book of instructive fables, Tsigni sibrdzne-sitsruisa (c. 1700; The Book of Wisdom and Lies). Two major poets emerged in the next generation: Davit Guramishvili used colloquial language to write revealing autobiographical poetry that has a Romantic immediacy, and Besiki (pseudonym of Besarion Gabashvili) adapted conventional poetics to passionate love poetry. Both died in the 1790s while in exile.

During the 18th century, Georgia sought salvation from Ottoman and Persian rule by making an alliance with Russia. In 1801 Russia abolished the Georgian state, dethroned its kings, and made Russian the language of administration. But Russian rule was fairly bloodless and opened routes to European culture. A generation of Georgian Romantic poets was inspired by French and German literature and philosophy. Aleksandre Chavchavadze, father-in-law to Russian playwright Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov, was an original, contemplative poet; Nikoloz Baratashvili was a visionary genius comparable to the English poet John Keats.

Prose fiction, which could be sustained only by a large educated readership, was slower to develop. By the 1860s, however, fiction and nonfiction prose was flourishing. Ilia Chavchavadze and Akaki Tsereteli had immense moral and intellectual authority and measurable narrative talent, as displayed, for example, in Chavchavadze’s Katsia-adamiani? (1859–63; “Is That a Human Being?”), which attacks the degenerate gentry, and Tsereteli’s fine autobiographical Chemi tavgadasavali (1894–1909; “The Story of My Life”). Aleksandre Qazbegi was the first commercially successful prose writer in Georgia, his melodramatic fiction drawing on the legends and pagan ethos of the Caucasian highlanders. Vazha-Pshavela (pseudonym of Luka Razikashvili) is modern Georgia’s greatest genius. His finest works are tragic narrative poems (Stumar-maspindzeli [1893; “Host and Guest”], Gvelis mchameli [1901; “The Snake-Eater”]) that combine Caucasian folk myth with human tragedy. Young Georgian poets and prose writers were subsequently inspired by European Decadence and Russian Symbolism as well as by the highlanders’ folklore that imbues all Vazha-Pshavela’s language, imagery, and outlook. His greatest pupils were the dramatist and novelist Grigol Robakidze and the poet Galaktion Tabidze. Robakidze developed the themes of Vazha-Pshavela’s “The Snake-Eater” in The Snake Skin, a tale of a poet’s search for his real identity. Robakidze also led a group known as the Tsisperqnatslebi (“Blue Horns”); its best poet was Titsian Tabidze.

In the 1920s and ’30s the prose writer Mikheil Javakhishvili went on to become a great writer—produced inventive and captivating prose that often tells the story of a sympathetic doomed rogue, as in the novels Kvachi Kvachantiradze da misi tavgadasavali (1924; “Kvachi Kvachantiradze and His Adventures”) and Arsena Marabdeli (1933–36; “Arsena of Marabda”). The most enigmatic Georgian prose writer of the 20th century was Konstantine Gamsakhurdia; like Robakidze, he was influenced by German culture (especially the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche), and in his work he combined the ethos of the Austro-German poet Rainer Maria Rilke with Caucasian folk myth.

Fine lyrical poets achieved great popularity in the 1960s: Ana Kalandadze (who had been a harbinger of literary renewal in the 1940s, when her earliest work was published), Murman Lebanidze, and Mukhran Machavariani.

Chabua Amirejibi continued in the spirit of Javakhishvili’s novels centred on rogues with the magnificent Data Tutashkhia (1972) and the autobiographical Gora Mborgali (1995), while Otar Chiladze, with Gzaze erti katsi midioda (1972–73; “A Man Went Down the Road”) and Qovelman chemman mpovnelman (1976; “Everyone That Findeth Me”), began a series of lengthy atmospheric works that fuse Sumerian and Hellenic myth with the predicaments of a Georgian intellectual.

5 churches in Tbilisi which is worth seeing at least once

Christianity has been declared the state religion of Georgia since the 4th century. Today the Church of Georgia is an undivided part of the World Orthodox Church.
Most of the population of Georgia is Christian. Christianity has become an important part of Georgian culture and history over the centuries.
There are many churches in Tbilisi of great historical and cultural importance.
Do you know which 5 beautiful churches you should definitely visit in Tbilisi?

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