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How authentic is the tradition of Georgian Supra?

It is scientifically proved that Georgia is a cradle of winemaking. However, we do not know what practices of wine consumption historically existed in Georgia. We only have the artifacts found in archaeological digs that prove the use of wine for ritual purposes. However, it is interesting how the wine were consumed in everyday life in Georgia. The researchers of the culture in Georgia and abroad have worked on this issue for a long time.

On June 24, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies organized the public lecture: "Literary origins of Georgian Feast: Cosmopolitan poetics of national tradition" in a Ligamus Book House that was given by the professor of comparative literature and Slavic languages and literature, Harsha Ram, University of California. The purpose of this lecture was the analysis of the issues raised above. 

The themes of the lecture caused great excitement and dispute in social networks even before the lecture. Georgian society has always been particularly acute towards such sensitive issues that once more reinforce the idea that a supra in Georgia was identified with national value and a symbol for centuries. It appeared to be the alternative anti-imperial at first, and then anti-totalitarian structure.

The question is, in which historical periods and what factors were involved in determination of different layers and development.

How authentic is practice of feast we have today?

Moreover, in the ethnographic records of travelers and writers (Arcangelo Lamberti, Alexandre Dumas and others), where there is a detailed description of various social circles’ life in Georgia are not the real historical evidences of existence supra in this way. Obviously, this does not mean that the professor casts doubt in millennia history of viticulture and winemaking in Georgia, as sufficient scientific evidences exist. 

As professor Ram believes, different social, political and cultural factors are involved in development of supra, as a cultural fact. As a researcher of 19th century, he studied Russian and British Romanticism that undoubtedly have an aesthetic and ethical influence on 19th century Georgian aristocracy life. As a historian of literature, his studies were oriented at this direction; he did not discuss other genetic factors of Georgian supra, such as ritual, liturgy and so forth.  However, the professor said that he is open to any alternative statements.

© Georgian Wine Club, Wine Information Center. 

 

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