Browsing All Posts filed under »Culture«

Georgian holidays, supras, and fate

December 18, 2013 by

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When I first arrived in my village in Kvemo-Kartli two years ago I’d already decided to stay in Georgia over the winter. I’d come to Georgia in mid-October and it’d have been premature to go back home after only two months—and besides, I thought I’d be a great opportunity for traveling around the country, experiencing […]

Increasing my fruit and vegetable IQ

December 5, 2013 by

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When discussing or recommending Georgian cuisine people focus on the well-known dishes, such as khatchapuri, mtsvadi, lobiani, and khinkali, rather than the ingredients of the regions, the fruits and vegetables, or the terroir. This is understandable. After all, when discussing Chinese or Italian or Mexican food we tend to think of recipes that represent the […]

Giorgoba nostalgia

November 26, 2013 by

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When I first arrived in Georgia more than two years ago I was immediately thrust into a holiday celebration which at the time I knew nothing about. It was Giorgoba. First, a little history. Saint George’s Day (known in Georgia as Giorgoba, literally “day of George”) is one of Georgia’s most popular holidays, celebrated twice […]

My arrival in Georgia: Journal entries from two years ago

October 31, 2013 by

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Last week marked the two year anniversary of my arrival in Georgia. After a week of orientation I went to Javaxi, a village in Kvemo-Kartli that showed me why it was worth staying longer than I planned. I kept a journal from that day forward and I’d like to share a couple entries. 21 October, […]

My favorite Tbilisi street food

October 27, 2013 by

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Although not of Georgian origin, shaurma (შაურმა) holds a place in my heart as Georgia’s best street food, whether I’m shopping around Aghmashenebeli, Leselidze, or Rustaveli and looking for lunch, or simply out late at night a few beers deep and craving something filling to ward off intoxication. Shaurma stands are ubiquitous in Tbilisi, second […]

Backstage at my first Georgian dance concert

October 26, 2013 by

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I pulled off my warm fleeces and slipped into the traditional parikaoba shirt. It was too big for me. I glanced at the faded tag: it once belonged to someone Lasha. A few boys tried to get a fire going in a rusty petchi (i.e. a small tin wood stove balancing on wobbly legs), making […]

What I’d find difficult about English

October 5, 2013 by

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English is a peculiar language, being an amalgam of Old Norse, Germanic languages, and French from the Middle Ages and further back. While teaching English I’ve encountered many difficulties explaining certain grammar and pronunciation concepts. Often it’s simple to explain a rule or an exception to a rule, but when a student asks for a […]

Love for a place

October 4, 2013 by

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In my first post of the new school year I’d like to introduce myself. My name’s Matthew Pizza. I’ve been with TLG since October, 2011. Starting this month I’ll be managing this blog, which entails editing posts, directing content, communicating with contributors, and writing lots of posts. I look forward to providing a range of content, […]

The Origin of the Georgian Alphabet

October 1, 2013 by

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The origin of Georgia’s unique alphabet is controversial. Whereas the Greek and Latin alphabets are the results of slow and gradual transformations of older scripts (rather than deliberate creations), the Georgian alphabet shows up in history out of nowhere. This makes it plausible that it was invented, either by one person or several. So the […]

Georgia’s fiery water

September 25, 2013 by

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Almost every country has a signature drink that can be divided into one of two categories. First, it can be smooth and pleasing to the palate, appealing to the senses and tasting delicious. Second, it can take your breath away, leaving you gasping for air and your esophagus feeling like it’s been burned by a […]

Interview with Dato Tsomaia, Georgian Rock Star

September 24, 2013 by

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Through a Georgian friend I met Dato Tsomaia, the drummer from the popular band LOUDspeakers. The band has a new wave indie sound with deep, dark undertones. Think Interpol-meets-Joy Division. I wanted to find out his thoughts on the Tbilisi music scene. Dato speaks English fluently and provided all the answers himself. Interviewer: Please introduce […]

Miscommunication Mishaps

May 1, 2013 by

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Coming to a country where both the language and the alphabet are unknown to you is a mission many may find daunting.  Regardless, all of us TLG volunteers took the metaphorical plunge, packed our bags and came to Georgia, after explaining to everyone back home that it’s the country, not the state in the USA. […]

The Names of Georgia, Part 2

When I started taking Spanish in the seventh grade, the first thing the teacher did was assign all the students Spanish names etymologically equivalent to their real ones. Since my name is Nick, I was given the name Nico. It was a painless way for all of us to feel a little Spanish, and so […]

Keyboard Transcription and English Reading

April 19, 2013 by

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I have lately encountered an unexpected source of interference when teaching my students English: their keyboards! Let me explain. Computers sold in Georgia most commonly have a regular English keyboard – QWERTY, with Latin characters. Russian keyboards might be a far second, and keyboards with actual Georgian characters printed on the keys are highly scarce. […]

Tamar the Great and Patriarchal Georgia

April 17, 2013 by

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Tamar the Great ruled in Georgia from 1184-1213, the Georgian “Golden Age.” She is called Queen Tamar the Great by some sources, but during her rule she was referred to as “მეფე,”  or “King.” I have been fascinated with Queen Tamar’s reign since I first heard of it at orientation. As an American woman living […]