Everything you need to know about Georgia including background, food culture, history of Georgia, and popular recipes to make.
- Georgia is nicknamed the Land of Wolves
- People from Georgia are called Kartvelians
- Joseph Stalin was a Georgian.
- The Krubera cave, the deepest cave in the world, is in Georgia and extends more than 1.25 miles down.
Georgia is the Northernmost Caucasus country (the Caucasus region also includes countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan). It sits between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, right below Russia and above Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Geographically, it sits in a region typically described as “Asia”, but culturally, Kartevelians identify more with the Europeans.
It’s unknown exactly where the name Georgia originated from, but one theory is that it comes from the Perisan word Gurg/Gurgan, which means “wolf”. That makes Georgia the Land of Wolves.
Georgia sits between the greater Caucasus mountains, which protects the country from the cold of Russia, and the Lesser Caucasus mountains, which protects the country from the warmth of the South. This leads to great weather with the perfect amounts of sunshine and rain.
Population & People
Georgia is home to 3.7 million people, a sharp decline from the 4.9 million inhabitants in 1993. Georgia is currently attempting a revitalization of their population, but for the last 3 years the population has stayed pretty steady, neither increasing nor declining.
Georgia is made up of 87% kartvelians, 5% Armenians, and 2% other.
84% of the population is Eastern Orthodox and 10% are Muslim. In fact, Georgia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity.
The language, Georgian, stands on its own, not directly extending from any other language. There are 3 alphabets in Georgian, but only one is used.
Surprisingly, there is no F sound in the language!
Popular pastimes in Georgia are strength sports, weight lifting, Georgian traditional dance, and Polyphonic singing.
The first kingdom that existed in the land that is now Georgia was called Colchis, and it began in the 13th century BC and lasted until 164 BC. This is where Pelias brought the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology.
The country eventually became one of the world’s first Christian nations after being visited by Apostles Simon and Andrew and St Nino of Cappadocia.
Stalin was born in Georgia. He took control of the Soviet Union and made the USSR a modern super power.
Though we know Stalin as an evil dictator, he is highly esteemed in his home country of Georgia, especially in the generation born before 1970.
On April 9, 1991, Georgia declared independence from the USSR. The first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was elected in 1991, though he passed away in 1993.
He was elected because he swore to establish Georgian authority over the autonomous regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Georgia lost control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia but didn’t recognize their independence. These regions maintained that they were autonomous, though their independence also wasn’t acknowledged by the rest of the world.
War occured in each of the regions, which ultimately resulted in the Rose Revolution of 2003 and the Russo-Georgian War in 2008. After this war, Russia recognized the sovereignty of the regions.
The food in Georgia is influenced by a myriad of countries, including Greece, Turkey, and Persia.
Kartvelians value hospitality highly, and are always open to welcoming guests, especially with food and drink.
Wine making is important to Georgians and extends back to before 3000 BC in the country.
Cherry Plums and tarragon are eaten together frequently. The national dish is Khachapuri, a bread boat filled with cheese and herbs and typically topped with an egg.