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About Georgia

from 30 April, 1999

 

Traditions
Although much can be said about Georgian traditions, we will only give you a few tips on what is appropriate or inappropriate in the country. Since Georgia is at the junction of Europe and Asia, any tradition here is presented in a moderate way. Besides, you can always ask local people about the details you are interested in.

Family is one of the cornerstones of the Georgian life style. Georgian families are usually extended, i.e. often three generations parents and children live together.

An unusual phenomenon for foreign visitors is the Georgian table, which has a deeper implication than an ordinary meal.

Complicated ritual relationships are manifested in it. The table is led by "tamada", who proposes traditional toasts. Each toast is interpreted by table members before drinking it.

Georgian toasts are numerous but the most important and popular are the toasts to the guests, friends, ladies, family members, relatives, mother land, those, who passed away, etc. You can extend the list yourself.

In Georgia you never drink wine without toasting, which is not applicable to beer. Traditional tables are usually accompanied by singing.

As mentioned above, the table is led by "tamada", who is the one to propose toasts. If you want to leave the table (this especially concems men), the most appropriate way will be the following: first ask the tamada for permission to propose a toast, then toast to the host family and only after that leave the table.

In restaurants and other places the bill is never split and is paid by one person. Normally, men pay for women.

Anyone is allowed to enter a church, but, in this case it is not recommended to wear a low-necked dress, shorts or bathing suits. Women do not usually enter the church bareheaded.

In high mountainous regions it is not recommended to wear shorts, bathing suits and low-cut dresses.

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