Traditions of Georgian people: dinner table Supra accompanied with toastmaker - Tamada
Georgian people respect their traditions and will estimate your attentive attitude to their customs. Georgia is ready to accept visitors and charm them with its famous and phenomenal hospitality.
An unusual event for foreign visitors in Georgia is the Georgian table or Supra (dinner-party- the word literally means tablecloth). Many people have been charmed by Georgian hospitality and goodness. It’s a common, but significant phenomenon in Georgians’ life. The Supra is full of Georgian delicious dishes. Georgian spirit is nowhere better displayed than at the table. You'll believe in this, when you visit the remarkable land. A guest is considered as a gift received from the god.
The ritual of relationship is manifested in Supra. The table is led by tamada (toastmaster). Tamadas can be funny and witty, but they must have a serious side, too. He proposes traditional toasts with the word gaumarjos (longlive) to the guests, family members, relatives, motherland, God and all saints, peace, women, all the dead people (to stop on this toast is a bad sign) after that tamada says toast to our future, children and finally to meeting again soon. In Georgia you never drink wine without toasting and the glasses must full of drink before each toast, for important toasts tamada asks people to drain their glasses to the bottom (bolomde). Women are not expected to drink like the men; they can decide for themselves how much they imbibe, whereas the men have to follow the toastmaster’s directives. It’s also quite important that when things warm up a special vessel, often a horn (khantsi), will be brought out and passed from person to person. When you drink khantsi you should stand up. Toasts are not applicable for beer-such toasts are for enemies only. If you want to leave the table you must ask the tamada for permission to propose a toast, then toast to the host family and only after that leave the table.
Traditional tables are accompanied by singing and dancing. This is one of the highlights of the Supra, as many Georgians sing amazingly well, if you asked to dance Georgian style, don’t worry about mistakes, because Georgians will just be pleased if you have a go.
Georgian table is such an exotic that you'll fall in love with it at one glance and you'll never forget its charm. Almost every visitor has a question when the first Supra started and the answer is "When the first Georgians roamed the earth”.
There is a wonderful legend about first Georgians. According to ancient tradition, when God was giving land to the peoples of the world, the Georgians were busy eating, drinking and feasting and when they arrived it was too late, because there was no land left. The Georgians told God that they had been toasting to his health and invited him to join them. God has so good time at the Georgians table "Supra”, that he gave them all the land he had been saving for himself. That’s why Georgia is God’s own country.
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