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It's very amusing to hear impressions and stereotypes about Georgia from my Russian readers. Unfortunately, I don't think I have many native Georgians reading this blog. I will be there in two weeks, and will spend several days in Tbilisi at the beginning and end of the journey. Please send me a message if you are there, and have time to meet for coffee or a quick chat.

In the meantime, I can't fully grasp current relations between Georgia and Russia, despite having read a lot of articles on this topic recently.  The most common stereotypes about Georgians repeated to me by Russian readers:

(1) Georgians are very, very lazy - especially Georgian men;
(2) most mafia in Soviet times were Georgians - yes, constant warnings about the Georgian mafia! :));
(3) they are hot-blooded Southerners, loud, animated; and
(4) continual comments about the wild men of the Caucasus'!


In fact, I think there is quite a long history of Russian females being attracted and drawn to men from the Caucasus, though I don't know the precise reasons why. The most amusing comment in my recent post about celibacy came when a reader wrote - "Думаешь горячие кавказские парни ее разморозят?" Well, I am not a piece of meat that needs to be dethawed! :))  Anyone who immediately attempts to do so will likely fail, and it does not matter if he is from the Caucasus or right here in Washington, DC.

The route is already planned, and I'll journey through the country with a native Georgian, spending most of my time in village areas. I think outside of a few larger cities, the whole country is a big village! :) If you have suggestions on places to visit, things to see, please write in comments. Thanks and pleasant week to all!
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Date: 2016-09-26 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juan-gandhi.livejournal.com
It tells a lot about the Russian culture, not about the Georgian culture.
If you ask them about the Americans, you'll be surprised.

Date: 2016-09-26 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Ask who about Americans? Georgians or Russians? :) In general, I think most of the people writing all these comments about Georgia and Georgians have never stepped foot in the country...

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two empires, actually

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Re: two empires, actually

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Date: 2016-09-26 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skomoroh-roker.livejournal.com
----In fact, I think there is quite a long history of Russian females being attracted and drawn to men from the Caucasus, though I don't know the precise reasons why

russians themselves are more "northern" temper. it's valued of what do you do, than wha do you say or look like. Not always, sure, but often.
georgians are more expressive, they like affectation, visible gestures. they often look loud-brave-generous-noble.
but, as it often happens with people of south it all often is just a visibility and "style", related with a will to look in a certain way before "own people". so don't be very serious about.
from the other hand - it's a really old, reach and deep culture and a really beautiful country.

Date: 2016-09-26 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I like emotional, animated, free-spirited people. It is akin to my personality, even though I am definitely reserved around strangers when I first meet them. I don't like to be surrounded by sullen, gloomy faces on the streets, as I constantly encounter when I'm in Moscow and other parts of Russia. So, I'm sure I'll like the openness of the Georgian people, because it is my spirit as well...:) Btw, I disagree about Russians and appearances - the latter is very, very important to most Russians. Ever noticed how they all like to give advice to others on how to dress, look, eat, wear, etc.? I've been called a slob numerous times for wearing hats during winter travel, jeans, having unkempt hair....:))
Edited Date: 2016-09-26 02:07 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2016-09-26 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notabler.livejournal.com
all 4 are lies. I've never been in Georgia, but met some of native Georgians. All were very decent people, nor lazy, neither wild. Some have a slightly shorter temper, but because they still have much more understanding about respect of other, dignity and honour.

Date: 2016-09-26 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
All the Georgians I communicate with so far have been really lovely! :) Good and bad everywhere, I think Georgia is no exception.

Date: 2016-09-26 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maks j-fry (from livejournal.com)
Actually these aren't stereotypes, we lived together almost 240 years. We know everything about them. These 4 items are correct. Be ready to be mugged or kidnapped or something.

Date: 2016-09-26 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Who is going to kidnap me? I will be traveling with a Georgian man, with a loaded shotgun in his car. :) I'm sure everything will be okay. I think Georgians and Russians are very different people, with a shared and complicated history...

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Date: 2016-09-26 02:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-09-26 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks. I know Sasha, and communicate with him. :) He actually introduced me to the native Georgian I'll travel with in the country. :)
Edited Date: 2016-09-26 02:54 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2016-09-26 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rider3099.livejournal.com
 Have a wonderful trip! I envy you because I really love Georgia!

Date: 2016-09-26 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I haven't heard many bad things from friends who have visited this country as a tourist. All fall madly in love with it...so, let's go and see if I have the same experience. :)

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Date: 2016-09-26 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sergej-vl.livejournal.com
I never been in Georgia and have no personal expirience of communication with Geogians. Therefore I can say nothing useful for you on this topic.
But I will read your travel notes with big interest.

Date: 2016-09-26 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks! It seems people are no longer interested in travel stories, but I will continue to share my impressions from all journeys. :)

Date: 2016-09-26 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timsparrow.livejournal.com
Good luck! One thing for sure: you have to brace yourself for Georgian hospitality: it is impolite to refuse to eat or drink when offered. More, Georgians have a special word for a condition when you are satiated, but cannot stop eating because the food is way too delicious!

Date: 2016-09-26 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks! What is this "special word" for when you're too full and drunk on chacha or Georgian wine to take another bite or sip? This seems like a very useful phrase to know...:))

Date: 2016-09-26 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ambival.livejournal.com
What an American lawer will do in Georgia? Is it politics?

Date: 2016-09-26 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Politics? :)) I do not have a secret mission or directive there. Also, my identity is not as a "lawyer". I'm just a woman going to Georgia for fun, to explore the culture, people, see mountains, eat tasty food...why not? :)

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Date: 2016-09-26 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amantonio.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked my comment.
Caucasus men know how to talk the talk, that women like. Hence they walk the walk. This is how the dethawing process works.

Date: 2016-09-26 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Yes, your comment was a definite winner! Made me laugh out loud! :)) What type of "talk" do women like exactly?

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she's smart, i think she would

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Date: 2016-09-26 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maryasha-b.livejournal.com
I have never been to Georgia, but I had Georgian colleagues in Moscow. And I also got an impression that Georgian men are lazy. Or at least will not certain things because they expect women to do it. Similar situation in Russia, but to lesser extend.

Date: 2016-09-26 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
And what are the men supposed to do? Just sit around and have fun all day? :))

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Date: 2016-09-26 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maryasha-b.livejournal.com
And indeed at least in Moscow there is a lot of ethnically mafia... Not only Georgian, but Caucasian. Recently in our neighborhood cafe of one of these mafia groups has been demolished. I am soooo happy. Can't tell if they were Georgian, Armenian or Azi.

Date: 2016-09-26 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
In the U.S., we only have stereotypes about Russian mafia. Never heard about the Georgian mafia!

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Date: 2016-09-26 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orangelass.livejournal.com
I'm Russian, and I've never heard about the first three stereotypes, as you call them.
#4 is probably about Caucasian temperament. Russians believe that many of those men are easily offended, and they will try to defend their and their families' "честь и достоинство". Caucasian men will make a big deal out of what other people just let go.

When I hear Georgia, the first words that come to my mind are hospitality, kindzmarauli, mountains, and mustaches. :)
I'm sure you'll fall in love with Georgia's nature. And if you drink alcohol, try Georgean wines; they differ from European and American wines significantly.

You mentioned you want to understand the current Georgia - Russia affairs better. You might have read about this... But if you haven't, may be you'll be interested in reading this: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Вооружённый_конфликт_в_Южной_Осетии_(2008)

Date: 2016-09-26 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Yes, it seems many Georgian men have this "mountain man" appearance with full beards, five o'clock shadow, or facial hair of some sort...I like it. :) Thanks for the article. I will give it a read. I drank Georgian wine during one of my visits to Russia, and also ate Georgian food there.

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Date: 2016-09-26 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] creaze.livejournal.com
Being myself a rude sovok, i shall comment that these stereotypes do more justice to other tribes and nations of Caucasus, which there are plenty besides Georgians. Specially to some (and i mean: just some) northern Caucasian ones.

One thing i've heard about Georgians in Georgia is that they fail to control their hospitality: once you get to receive an invitation to join a family dinner (a swift introduction is said to be enough to receive one), you get fed with most delicious house made meals until you can hardly breathe — and no mentioning of preceding nor of succeeding dinners to attend tonight will matter.

But then again, that was just someones impression, not mine.

Date: 2016-09-27 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I will be on the move constantly, so it seems there will not be time for all these huge feasts, but maybe I'm wrong. In mountain regions, we will stay in guest houses, I'm sure we will be well fed there. :)

Date: 2016-09-26 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timsparrow.livejournal.com
Get ready for the famous Georgian hospitality: everyone will try to feed you with the best food and wine they gave. No refuse will be accepted.

Date: 2016-09-27 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
But what if you don't drink alcohol very often? How to refuse the wine politely?

Date: 2016-09-26 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eltelfo.livejournal.com
they are not lazy, but 2, 3, 4 - not an empty phrases
and of course there are many good things, not only stereotypical
Mexico, I think, is like Georgia
Edited Date: 2016-09-26 07:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-09-26 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Why do you think Mexico and Georgia are similar, or perhaps I misunderstood your comment?

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Date: 2016-09-26 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karakal.livejournal.com
Although 'hot-blooded', Georgians are very hospitable and kind-hearted. Especially it's true when it comes to treating foreigners (in the broader sense including people from regions the host doesn't belong to).

And it's not a product of my personal experience. It's also a wide-spead Russian stereotype about Georgians, which hopefully is not far from truth.

Date: 2016-09-27 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Absolutely, the country is known most for its hospitable inhabitants! :) It's what most travelers there remember most...

Date: 2016-09-26 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theodorexxx.livejournal.com
Not drinking wine is considered a crime there

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Date: 2016-09-26 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qi-tronic.livejournal.com
en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Georgian_mafia

"
The Georgian mafia (Georgian: ქართული მაფია) is regarded as one of the biggest, powerful and influential criminal networks in Europe, which has produced the biggest number of "thieves in law" in all former USSR countries and controls and regulates most of the Russian-speaking mafia groups.
"

Date: 2016-09-27 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I think the mafia has been greatly reduced under the reforms of Saakashvili. Btw, thanks for the links to the articles in FB. I haven't had time to read yet, but will! :)

Date: 2016-09-26 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pasha1980.livejournal.com
I suggest you visit Batumi. My Mother lives there with her Georgian boyfriend. I think they could show you around if you wished. Also, if you need help while in Batumi please feel free to let me know.

Date: 2016-09-27 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
We will make a stop in Batumi for at least a day, I think. However, the city is not really of interest to me as I am not drawn to the sea. I prefer mountains. Thanks for the offer to connect with your mom and her boyfriend. My travel companion is Georgian, and will know many people in Batumi. :)

Date: 2016-09-27 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamschik.livejournal.com
I think, Georgian men are attractive because they are very courteous when they date a woman; their manners could be compared only with French court of Ludvig 13.
I can tell you story about Georgian men that refers to American culture, so it may be more informative for you. The story was written by great Russian writer Vasilij Aksyonov, back in 60-s. He came to Tbilisi for movie festival where Miller presented one of his films. He hailed a cab, and was talking to driver about the movie. When the driver heard Miller's name, he said, "What? The one who killed our Marylin Monroe? Our men will never bother to see a movie by the man who wasted such a gorgeous woman":)

Date: 2016-09-27 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I do not know about "courteous". I've read a lot of stories online written by foreign women being harassed on the streets of Georgia, men being very aggressive, touching them, etc. They are written by women who have lived in the country a while. Worth a read, I think. Also, when I interviewed to teach English in Georgia, the woman who interviewed me brought up this topic as well, and basically told me to be "prepared to receive a lot of attention, and possible harassment as a foreign woman." There is an impression that we are all sluts, I suppose...Here are just two examples: https://kyliestravel.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/should-you-date-a-georgian/ and http://recmag.org/2016/09/22/date-or-not-to-date-a-georgian-guy/.

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Date: 2016-09-27 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cangoose-si.livejournal.com
Current relationships between Russia and Georgia can be explained using an analogue with a family. Imagine a couple who lived together for a long time. It wasn't a great passionate love but a marriage of convenience for both sides from very beginning. The family had it's ups and downs. Sometimes husband was abusive, sometimes wife spent too much on jewels and hairdos, sometime they did feel a great physical passion toward each other. They separated at some point, but still lived in the same household. Then a new guy came from overseas, verbally offering much to the wife. She plunged headfirst into the new relationship, but soon realized that verbal promises and real deeds are not the same with the new suitor, and found herself abandoned and neglected after a few short years of a passion. In the meantime, her old guy is still living next door, they're still sharing a lot of joint memories and contacts, That's the Russo-Georgian relationships in a nutshell. After a hot (as suits to a Southerner) romance with the States, Georgian realized that Russia is till next door, that remittances from Georgians who live in Russia are still as important as whole Georgian export. In the same time, Russians got over (the largely artificial) idea that "Georgians betrayed us" and realized that the country is next door, it is beautiful and hospitable, the cuisine is amazing and prices are very reasonable. So both sides are quietly trying to return to what can be described as a mutually profitable cohabitation. No military or political alliance, just a good business.

Date: 2016-09-27 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Seems to be a good analogy, and you've woven a nice historical tale in your comment. Thanks for the insight! :)

Date: 2016-09-27 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayrat akhmadullin (from livejournal.com)
If a male speaks negative things about another male or males you can definately be sure: he is either just jealous or feel himself somehow inferior. Is it mean that all the Georgians are friendly and full of dignity? Not, of course. I'm sure, you'll meet a whole bunch of different characters there.
Do you remember what you had been told by your loved once's before you visited Russia for the first time? For the most of the Russians Georgia is like Russia for the most of the Americans. It's going to be an interesting and fascinating travel. I'm looking forward for many interesting stories. And you'll be OK. But be safe, anyway))
Sadly, I don't know much about Georgian culture. But here is something what I know and what fascinates me the most. This is their Men's choruses.
And Georgian music is nice overall.
My favorite ones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUXTIBKgLpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jcDXDHoNGs
And the cherry on the top. My most favorite Georgian dance. It was a "Miss of Kazan State University" competition. The girl in blue was a Georgian girl who called her friends and family and she won the competition and she was a "Miss of Kazan State University".
Also, you can see how wormly the Georgian guys and girls are welcomed here in Kazan.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Bgmj21EvU
The last video was filmed by one of your fellow American compatriot. She studied Russian language here. All thanks to her))

Date: 2016-10-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
My loved ones didn't tell me anything about Russia before I visited the country. :) In fact, none of my family members are friends even think about Russia, or have any remote interest in it. The country does not consume, or even enter the minds of most Americans. I've seen so many videos with the Georgian choirs and elaborate traditional dances! Very cool. :) I leave for this journey on Tuesday, and am certain it will be an interesting experience. P.S.: sorry for delayed response. The comment was marked as SPAM because of the weblinks, and I'm only noticing it now.

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From: [identity profile] ayrat akhmadullin - Date: 2016-10-17 12:28 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-09-28 10:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erik shindler (from livejournal.com)
relation between Russia and Georgia are semifrozen , but as of lately tourist number from Russia.
1. yes there is truth in laziness trait but i wouldn'd call it total slothness. We gf was georgian and she actually complained of that factor
2. georgian mafia mostly opeartes outside of the country, anyway i doubt you would feel its presence when travelling
3. compared to russians georgians are surely more temperamental . Just got this brawl clip yesterday from euronews
http://www.euronews.com/2016/09/27/politicians-punch-up-live-on-air-in-georgia

Date: 2016-10-09 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
It will be very interesting to compare Georgian behaviors with what I've noticed in Russia. :) Russians tend to have serious, cold expressions to outsiders and Georgians appear the opposite based on what I've read. Lively, animated, vocal and friendly. Let's see...I leave next week, and will be sure to share my impressions. :)

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From: [identity profile] erik shindler - Date: 2016-10-10 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com - Date: 2016-10-10 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-10-05 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baron2012.livejournal.com
Be careful with georgians! Remember if you have a diner with a georgian and he pays for it he thinks taht he has a right to have sex with you and will try to rape you.

Date: 2016-10-09 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Have you been to Georgia? :) What if I pay for dinner with a Georgian man? Do I then have a right to demand sex from him, if desired?

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] baron2012.livejournal.com - Date: 2016-10-09 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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