Photo © 2009 - Old Tbilisi

Ancient Metekhi Church, beautifully illuminated each night of the year, glows golden on this snowy December evening in Old Tbilisi. From a distance, the much older Narikala Fortress and its Church of St. Nicholas share this peaceful scene. Religious services, suppressed during Soviet times, are once again offered at both of these historic churches, allowing Georgians and foreign visitors alike opportunities for worship and cultural visits. Tbilisi is one of the world’s oldest cities, and Old Tbilisi is its heart.
Ronald Bielen

GEORGIA

Georgia
In Southwestern Asia, bordering Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia, with a sliver of land north of the Caucasus extending into Europe, very mountainous with many glaciers; 69,700 km2 (slightly < SC), 11.5% arable.

Capital T’bilisi (pop est. 1.3M)
Population 4.6M (161/km2)
Life expectancy 77 years
HIV/AIDS 0.1%
Literacy 68%
Lang(s) Georgian (official) 71%, Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
Religions Orthodox Christian 84%, Muslim 10%, Armenian-Gregorian 4%, Catholic 1%, other 1%
Ethnic Groups Georgian 84%, Azeri 6%, Armenian 6%, Russian 2%, other 2%
Gov’t Republic
GDP/cap $4,800
PCVs 2001 – present; education and NGO development (Volunteers in country: 63; total to date: 373)
Nat’l holiday Independence Day 26 May (1918)

 

Focus word for 2012 - "Freedom"

Georgian: tavisufleba (ta-vee-soo-flay-ba)
Armenian: azatutyun (uh-zuh-tu-tyoon)
Azerbaijani: azadliq (uh-zad-lig)

 

Books

Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry
by Peter Nasmyth
Book Description
The first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state.

 

Kids' Books

Georgia to Georgia: making friends in the U.S.S.R.
by Laurie Dolphin; photographs by E. Alan McGee
Publisher: Tambourine, p1991, c1991
ISBN-13: 978-0-688-09897-1
ISBN-10: 0-688-09897-5
Interest Level: 3-6
Ages 8-12

 

Music

Shenma Survilma Damka
Music from Georgia

 

Films

Altzaney, Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenishvili (2009)

 

Recipes

Pkhali/Spinach with walnut and garlic sauce
Chakapuli/Braised lamb chops