ABOUT GEORGIA

HISTORY

The term “Georgian” does not derive from Saint George it is an ancient Persian word Gurg or Gorg, meaning wolf or from the Greek georgios that means “the farmer” or “the cultivator of land”.
The first settlement found on the territory of Georgia, near Dmanisi, dated back to 1.8 million years and is considered to be one of the oldest in Europe and Asia. The remains of the old settlements were found all around Georgia. The statehood of Georgia amounts more than 3000 years of its existence, that is proved as by the local so by the foreign sources and archaeological excavations. The pre-historic tribes Diaokhi and Kolkha, predecessors of the ancients Georgians, had tight relationship with other civilizations especially with Hellenic Greece and Roman Empire. Since the Christianity became official religion in 337 BC, Georgia became inseparable part of the world civilization with its culture, history and statehood. Everyone knows the legend about the “Golden Fleece” and Argonauts as well as the myth about the Prometheus, punished by his father God, Zeus, stealing fire for man and being chained to the rocks of the Caucasus for it.
As early as III-IV BC in the state of Egrisi, western Georgia, were established educational and scientific institutions which had connection with other educative schools abroad. Both natives and foreigners had the opportunity to study there. Georgians had their own religious and educational centers in the monasteries far beyond its borders like: Byzantine Empire, Olympia, Holy Mount Athon, Cyprus and others.
The Golden Age in the history of Georgia begins from the reign of the king David IV called the Builder. This is the period of political strength, economic and cultural prosperity that converted the country to the one of the most powerful countries in the Middle East during the monarchs like Giorgi III and his daughter Tamar. The territory of Georgia included the most part of the Trans-Caucasian region and its political power spread far beyond its neighbouring areas from the North mountainous Caucasus to the Black Sea coastline on the South.
This was only the short period of peace and serenity. The land of Georgia has overcame the invasions of Mongols, Seljuk Turks, the Persians and the Ottomans but still the country has power to survive. This was the reason why the king Irakli II took decision to merge in the Russian Empire. In support of this Treaty of Georgievsk was signed at the end of the XVIII century. Since that time began the ruling period of Russia leading by a lot of rebellions in most parts of Georgia. But still in 1918 Georgia gained its independence that, unfortunately, did not last long, only for the period of 3 years and Georgia becomes one of the Socialist Republics in the newly formed Soviet Union.
During the elections in 1990, first multi party elections after such a long time since 1918, the party called “The round table” with its leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes an absolute winner. This is the end of Communist government in the country.
Nowadays Georgia is a democratic republic.

LANGUAGE

Georgian alphabet is united in the Ibero-Caucasian group of languages having its own inscription, considered to be one of the oldest in the world among other fourteen inscriptions. The exact date of its creation is not known but the first example of Georgian inscription was found in the monastery in Palestine in 433 BC. It underwent three stages of its development: aso-mtavruli (capital letter writing), nuskha-khutsuri or kutkhovani (angular) and mkhedruli (warrior) since XIII century till now.

The alphabet consists of 33 letters with 5 vowel sounds. There are no capital letters in the alphabet. The oldest literacy work in Georgian language is “The martyrdom of Shushanik” written by Iakob Tsurtaveli in 476.

UNESCO added Georgian Alphabet to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

CULTURE

Despite repeated periods of foreign occupation, Georgia’s rich and ancient historical roots date back thousands of years, lending the country a unique national heritage and culture that will excite any cultural enthusiast. Georgia’s monumental architecture, unique traditional music and colorful dances, world-renowned cinema, theater and art combine to give the country, and its hospitable and gracious citizens, a strong sense of national identity.

Georgians are also separated into smaller regional provincial ethno-cultural entities, each with its own unique cultural flavor in terms of their peculiar traditions, customs, folklore, dress, cuisine and they may even speak another language. Yet, what binds them all together is the fact that they safeguard and share a mutual identity, literary languages and a basic set of cultural values.

And all these historic regions of Georgia unites the rich history and unique cultural heritage, the variety of recipes and widely known of all Caucasians, hospitality – all these features for centuries was admired and still admire visitors to Georgia.

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