GEORGIAN Facts & Figures

Size: 26,911 square miles

Population: 4,469,200

Capital:  Tbilisi

Currency: Lari

Weather / Climate:

Georgia is situated in the South Caucasus,[66][67] between latitudes 41° and 44° N, and longitudes 40° and 47° E, with an area of 67,900 km2 (26,216 sq mi). It is a very mountainous country. The Likhi Range divides the country into eastern and western halves.[68] Historically, the western portion of Georgia was known as Colchis while the eastern plateau was called Iberia. Because of a complex geographic setting, mountains also isolate the northern region of Svaneti from the rest of Georgia.

The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range forms the northern border of Georgia.[68] The main roads through the mountain range into Russian territory lead through the Roki Tunnel between South and North Ossetia and the Darial Gorge (in the Georgian region of Khevi). The Roki Tunnel was vital for the Russian military in the 2008 South Ossetia war because it is the only direct route through the Caucasus Mountains. The southern portion of the country is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains.[68] The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range is much higher in elevation than the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, with the highest peaks rising more than 5,000 meters (16,404 ft) above sea level.

The term, Lesser Caucasus Mountains is often used to describe the mountainous (highland) areas of southern Georgia that are connected to the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range by the Likhi Range.[68] The area can be split into two separate sub-regions; the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, which run parallel to the Greater Caucasus Range, and the Southern Georgia Volcanic Highland, which lies immediately to the south of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains.

The overall region can be characterized as being made up of various, interconnected mountain ranges (largely of volcanic origin) and plateaus that do not exceed 3,400 meters (11,155 ft) in elevation. Prominent features of the area include the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau, lakes, including Tabatskuri and Paravani, as well as mineral water and hot springs. Two major rivers in Georgia are the Rioni and the Mtkvari. The Southern Georgia Volcanic Highland is a young and unstable geologic region with high seismic activity and has experienced some of the most significant earthquakes that have been recorded in Georgia.

Taken from wikipedia

GEORGIAN languages

Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.

Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad. It is the literary language for all regional subgroups of the Georgian ethnos, including those who speak other Kartvelian (South Caucasian) languages: Svans, Mingrelians, and the Laz. Judaeo-Georgian is spoken by an additional 20,000 in Georgia and 65,000 elsewhere (primarily 60,000 in Israel).

Classification

Georgian is the most pervasive of the Kartvelian languages, a family that also includes Svan and Megrelian (chiefly spoken in Northwest Georgia) and Laz (chiefly spoken along the Black Sea coast of Turkey, from Melyat, Rize to the Georgian frontier).

Dialects

Main article: Georgian dialects

Dialects of Georgian include Imeretian, Racha-Lechkhumian, Gurian, Adjarian, Imerkhevian (in Turkey), Kartlian, Kakhetian, Ingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tush, Khevsur, Mokhevian, Pshavian, Fereydan dialect in Iran in Fereydunshahr and Fereydan, Mtiuletian, Meskhetian.

History

Georgian shared a common ancestral language with and is believed to have separated from Svan and Mingrelian/Laz in the first millennium BC. Based on the degree of change, linguists (e.g. Klimov, T. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani) conjecture that the earliest split occurred in the second millennium BC or earlier, separating Svan from the other languages. Megrelian and Laz separated from Georgian roughly a thousand years later.

The earliest allusion to spoken Georgian may be a passage of the Roman grammarian Marcus Cornelius Fronto in the 2nd century AD: Fronto imagines the Iberians addressing the emperor Marcus Aurelius in their incomprehensible tongue.[2]

The evolution of Georgian into a written language was a consequence of the conversion of the Georgian elite to Christianity in the mid-4th century. The new literary language was constructed on an already well-established cultural infrastructure, appropriating the functions, conventions, and status of Aramaic, the literary language of pagan Georgia, and the new national religion.[3] The first Georgian texts are inscriptions and palimpsests dating to the 5th century. Georgian has a rich literary tradition. The oldest surviving literary work in Georgian is the "Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik" by Iakob Tsurtaveli, from the 5th century AD. The Georgian national epic, "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" , by Shota Rustaveli, dates from the 12th century.

The history of Georgian can conventionally be divided into:

  • Early Old Georgian: 5th-8th centuries
  • Classical Old Georgian: 9th-11th centuries
  • Middle Georgian: 12th-18th centuries
  • Modern Georgian: 18th-21st centuries

Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_language

GEORGIAN people

The demographic situation in Georgia, like that of some other former Soviet republics (especially Estonia and Latvia), has been characterized by two prominent features since independence: decline in total population and significant "Georgianization" of the ethnic composition. The proportion of ethnic Georgians increased by full 10 percentage points between 1989 and 2002, rising from 73.7% to 83.7% of the population.[1]

The population grew steadily while Georgia was part of the Soviet Union and during the first years of independence, rising from less than 4 million in the 1950s to a peak of 5.5 million in 1992.[2] Then the trend changed and the population began to decline, dropping to 4.5 million in 2005 according to the estimates by the Georgian Department of Statistics.[3] This figure represents the total population, including the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose population in 2005 was estimated at 178,000 and 49,200, respectively. Without Abkhazia and South Osetia, the population in the regions controlled by the central government of Georgia was 4,321,500 in 2005 and 4,382,100 in 2008[4] (compare the 2008 figure with the CIA estimate of 4,630,841 for all of Georgia, including Abkhazia and South Osetia[5]).

As a portion of the population, Georgia was named as largest emigration countries in the world in the 2007 World Bank report. The 2002 population census in Georgia revealed a net migration loss of 1.1 million persons, or 20% of the population, since the early 90s.[6] The decline in Georgia's population is mainly due to the emigration of ethnic minorities. Over 300,000 Russians, 200,000 Georgians, 200,000 Armenians, 85,000 Greeks, 50,000 Azerbaijanis, 50,000 Ukrainians and 20,000 Jews have migrated from Georgia since independence.

Age structure:

  • 0–14 years: 16.1% (male 395,929/female 345,071)
  • 15–64 years: 67.6% (male 1,503,360/female 1,616,234)
  • 65 years and over: 16.4% (male 302,103/female 453,110) (2009 est.)

Median age:

  • total: 38.6 years
  • male: 36.1 years
  • female: 41 years (2009 est.)

Sex ratio:

  • at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

  • total: 16.22 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 18.21 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 13.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

  • total population: 76.72 years
  • male: 73.41 years
  • female: 80.45 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate:1.44 children born/woman (2009 est.)

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_georgia

GEORGIAN food

Georgian cuisine uses well familiar products but due to varying proportions of its obligatory ingredients such as walnut, aromatic herbs, garlic, vinegar, red pepper, pomegranate grains, barberries and other spices combined with the traditional secrets of the chef 's art the common products do acquire a special taste and aroma, which make Georgian cuisine very popular and unique.

Georgian national cuisine is notable for an abundance of all possible kinds of meat, fish and vegetable hors d'oeuvres, various sorts of cheese, pickles and pungent seasonings, the only ones of their kind.

A guest invited to the Georgian table is first of all offered to eat the golden-brown khachapuri which is a thin pie filled with mildly salted cheese;

Then he is asked to try lobio (kidney bean) (ripened of fresh green beans) which nearly in every family is cooked according to its own recipes; stewed chicken in a garlic sauce; small river fish "tsotskhali" cooked when it is still still alive; sheat-fish in vinegar with finely chopped fennel; lori, a sort of ham; muzhuzhi, boiled and soaked in vinegar pig's legs; cheese "sulguni" roasted in butter, pickled aubergines and green tomatoes which are filled with the walnut paste seasoned with vinegar, pomegranate grains and aromatic herbs; the vegetable dish "pkhali" made of finely chopped beet leaves or of spinach mixed with the walnut paste, pomegranate grains and various spices. In East Georgia you will be offered wheaten bread baked on the walls of "tone", which is a large cylinder-like clay oven, resembling a jar, while in West Georgia you will be treated to hot maize scones (Mchadi) baked on clay frying-pans "ketsi".

Lovers of soups will be delighted with the fiery rice and mutton soup "kharcho", the tender chicken soup "chikhirtma" with eggs whipped in vinegar and the transparent light meat broth flavoured with garlic, parsley and fennel.

Even the most experienced gourmand will not be able to resist the savoury chizhi-pizhi, pieces of liver and spleen roasted in butter and whipped eggs; crisp chicken "tabaka" served with the pungent sourish sauce "satsivi". The famous dishes include the melting-in-the-mouth sturgeon on a spit and sauce; the chicken sauce "chakhokhbili" in a hot tomato and dressing; the Kakhetian dish "chakapuli" made of young lamb in a slightly sourish juice of damson, herds and onion; roasted small sausages "kupati" stuffed with finely chopped pork, beef and mutton mixed with red pepper and barberries.

Everyone in Georgia is fond of "Khashi", a broth cooked from beef entrails (legs, stomach, udder, pieces of head, bones) and lavishly seasoned with garlic. There exists quite a just opinion that "the onion soup in Paris and the khashi soup in Tbilisi serve the same purpose. They are eaten by the same people-by hard workers to make themselves stronger and by revelers to cure a hangover". Remember E. Evtushenko's lines: "Everyone who saws, transports, builds, sweeps the neighbouring streets, makes shoes, digs ditches eats khashi in the morning".

Admirers of Khinkali-a sort of strongly peppered mutton dumplings, a favourite dish with the mountain dwellers of Georgia-keep growing in number. Like everywhere in the Caucasus, mcvadi (shashlik) is very popular in Georgia. Depending on a season, it is made of pork, mutton or spits aubergines stuffed with fat of tail and tomatoes.

The splendour of Georgia cuisine is backed up by famous white and red dry wines, among which anyone choose wine to one's own taste: "Mukhuzani" with a pleasant bitter taste, golden cool "Tetra" light straw-coloured "Tsinandali" with a crystal sourish touch, dark amber-coloured slightly astrigent "Teliani", rubycoloured "Ojaleshi" with a mildly sweet, emerald-like sparkling "Manavi", garnet-red honey-tasting "Kindzmarauli", and dark ruby-coloured velvety "Khvanchkara", light-green "Gurjaani" dark golden fruity "Tibaani" and many others. If to Georgian wines you add best-brand cognacs, champagne, not to mention remarkable mineral waters and fruit drinks, you can fancy what pleasure Georgian cuisine will to you.

Taken from http://www.aboutgeorgia.ge/cuisine/

Places to go in GEORGIA

 

Doing business in GEORGIA

Archaeological research demonstrates that Georgia has been involved in commerce with many lands and empires since the ancient times, largely due its location on the Black Sea and later on the historical Silk Road. Gold, silver, copper and iron have been mined in the Caucasus Mountains. Wine making is a very old tradition. The country has sizable hydropower resources.[111] Throughout Georgia's modern history agriculture and tourism have been principal economic sectors, because of the country's climate and topography.[112]

For much of the 20th century, Georgia's economy was within the Soviet model of command economy. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, Georgia embarked on a major structural reform designed to transition to a free market economy. As with all other post-Soviet states, Georgia faced a severe economic collapse. The civil war and military conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia aggravated the crisis. The agriculture and industry output diminished. By 1994 the gross domestic product had shrunk to a quarter of that of 1989.[113] The first financial help from the West came in 1995, when the World Bank and International Monetary Fund granted Georgia a credit of USD 206 million and Germany granted DM 50 million.

Since early 21st century visible positive developments have been observed in the economy of Georgia. In 2007 Georgia's real GDP growth rate reached 12%, making Georgia one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe.[112] The World Bank dubbed Georgia "the number one economic reformer in the world" because it has in one year improved from rank 112th to 18th in terms of ease of doing business.[114] The country has a high unemployment rate of 12.6% and has fairly low median income compared to European countries.

The 2006 ban on imports of Georgian wine to Russia, one of Georgia's biggest trading partners, and break of financial links was described by the IMF Mission as an "external shock",[115] In addition, Russia increased the price of gas for Georgia. This was followed by the spike in the Georgian lari's rate of inflation.[citation needed] The National Bank of Georgia stated that the inflation was mainly triggered by external reasons, including Russia’s economic embargo.[116] The Georgian authorities expected that the current account deficit due to the embargo in 2007 would be financed by "higher foreign exchange proceeds generated by the large inflow of foreign direct investment" and an increase in tourist revenues.[117] The country has also maintained a solid credit in international market securities.[118] Georgia is becoming more integrated into the global trading network: its 2006 imports and exports account for 10% and 18% of GDP respectively.[112] Georgia's main imports are natural gas, oil products, machinery and parts, and transport equipment.

Since coming to power Saakashvili administration accomplished a series of reforms aimed at improving tax collection. Among other things a flat income tax was introduced in 2004.[119] As a result budget revenues have increased fourfold and a once large budget deficit has turned into surplus.[120][121][122]

Georgia is developing into an international transport corridor through Batumi and Poti ports, an oil pipeline from Baku through Tbilisi to Ceyhan, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) and a parallel gas pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline.

Tourism is an increasingly significant part of the Georgian economy. About a million tourists brought US$313 million to the country in 2006.[123] According to the government, there are 103 resorts in different climatic zones in Georgia. Tourist attractions include more than 2000 mineral springs, over 12,000 historical and cultural monuments, four of which are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi and Gelati Monastery, historical monuments of Mtskheta, and Upper Svaneti).[124]

As of 2001 54% of the population lived below the national poverty line but by 2006 poverty decreased to 34%. In 2005 average monthly income of a household was GEL 347 (about 200 USD).[125] IMF 2007 estimates place Georgia's nominal GDP at US$10.3 billion. Georgia's economy is becoming more devoted to services (now representing 65% of GDP), moving away from agricultural sector ( 10.9%).[126]

Taken from wikipedia

GEORGIA: useful links

www.georgia.gov

www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1102477.stm

www.afgeorgia.org

www.guardian.co.uk/world/georgia

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