Georgian Days in Tartu

The 3-day mini festival starts on the 26th of May at the UT College of Foreign Languages and Cultures. At 12.30 the Ambassador Extraordinary of Georgia to the Republic of Estonia Tea Akhvlediani is opening a photo exhibition dedicated to the Georgian alphabet. The day continues at the UT Johan Skytte Institute of Political Sciences with a roundtable focusing on Georgian culture and diversity and ends with the screening of the Georgian film “Repentance” (1984, director Tengiz Abuladze).The film actually premiered 3 years later at the Cannes film festival, because it was banned at first in the Soviet Union due to its critical implications towards Stalinism.

On the 27th of May students and pupils are especially welcome to participate in the workshop “What do we know about Georgia?” Students currently learning the Georgian language will introduce the country and culture on a variety of topics. The presentations are followed by a small quiz and winners are awarded with prizes. The workshop atmosphere continues at the Georgian fair, where everyone interested can learn to write in the Georgian script and find out more about Georgian songs, dances, national clothes and popular tourist destinations.

The mini festival ends on the 28th of May with a cooking workshop at the restaurant “Gruusia Köök”. The hosts will provide insights to the Georgian wine culture and everyone will have the opportunity to learn how to cook the Georgian national dish khinkali.

The detailed schedule and presentation topics are available here:

The idea of organising the Georgian Days comes from Giuli Shabashvili, who’s currently a visiting lecturer of the Georgian language and culture for the 2015/16 spring semester at the UT College of Foreign Languages and Cultures. According to the lecturer, the opportunity just had to be used, as in addition to the fact that students can showcase their fresh knowledge, it is also a good opportunity to celebrate the Georgian Independence Day (26th of May).

Giuli Shabashvili describes her experience in Estonia as follows: “It is always interesting and also a kind of challenge to travel to a country unknown to you and teach your home language. This is a dual process - teaching and learning at the same time. I am diving in Estonian rich culture. Each time I am meeting new people, I am facing new traditions and attitudes. Tartu is a marvellous city, especially during the spring time. I am happy to teach Georgian at the Tartu University, since diversity is one of its main features. It also reflects in my classroom - my class is really diverse in terms of students’ nationalities.”

The lecturer describes the students’ motivation to be very high and thus it comes as no surprise that students have learned the basics relatively quickly and feel that even with the knowledge of a beginners’ course they could manage well when travelling to Georgia. The students highly appreciate the opportunity to learn Georgian with a native speaker and that they can learn a relatively exotic language at the university free of charge. The students’ feedback to the lecturer is very good and they admit that she has managed to introduce a variety of aspects of the Georgian culture, which has increased their motivation to learn the language even more.

The Georgian days are organised by the UT College of Foreign Languages and Cultures and the UT Johan Skytte Institute of Political Sciences in cooperation with the Tbilisi State University, the Georgian embassy to the Republic of Estonia and the Georgian national restaurant “Gruusia Köök”.

Additional information:
Kätlin Lehiste
(+372) 737 5358

Virge Tamme
Press Officer of the UT
Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5815 5392