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Etiquette in Georgia

Shaking hands, kissing once or twice on the cheek – that is the question when it comes to greeting people around the world. Etiquette is important to take into account while travelling to another country as it helps us to avoid embarrassing situations and helps us to make friends easily . Moreover behaving according to social rules and codes makes business and other official meetings productive and improves communication.


In this article i summarized some etiquette rules to take into account when traveling in Georgia :


Greeting etiquette


  • Shake hands with someone you meet for the first time

  • Kissing on the right cheek once is a common greeting etiquette in Georgia when meeting with friends


Keeping an eye contact is also important thing as it shows that you are listening to others.


Georgian church dress code


When visiting Georgian orthodox church I would recommend following rules to take into account :

  • women to wear knee long skirt and cover the head with scarf . Scarf is usually provided in the entrance of the church for free of charge

  • As for the men, it’s recommended not to wear a hat inside the church. It’s also better to wear long trousers instead of shorts.


Restaurants


there are some rules to be aware when eating at Georgian restaurants . Let's starts with the tipping manner:

  • Eating at the cafe or in restaurant Restaurants in Georgia usually charge 10% -20 % service fee which is included in the bill. Except this fee it’s common to leave an extra tip for the

waiter if you are satisfied with the service. While tipping isn’t mandatory in it’s still highly appreciated.


Except the tipping rules and it's also important to know how to split the bill when eating with other Georgians in the restaurant :

  • It depends on the situation weather to pay the bill evenly among the diners. Georgians like to invite friends and there are often situations when one person pays the whole bill.

  • On first date it's common men to pay for the dinner.

  • If you meet someone for the first time the best way is to split the bill evenly.



Eating etiquette


Georgians are very hospitable and they love to invite people to their homes for having meal together. Georgian feast is called supra(სუფრა). In Georgia every supra has a toast master which is called tamada(თამადა). Tamada is the person who introduces each toast and leads the party table. While in another countries making a toast means simply saying ,,cheers'', in Georgia toasts are made about different topics , suc

Georgian feast , Niko Pirosmani painting

h as there are toasts about children, love, friendship, peace, parents. It’s interesting that each toast has it’s own order and Tamada knows when to say each toast. Traditionally Tamada

stands up, makes a speech and empties his glass. Once tamada makes the toast other members of the party also make the toast and say ,,gaumarjos ‘’ which means ,,cheers ’’ in English.


Sometimes wine comes not with the glass but with horns. These ceremonial objects are often being passed around from one person at the table to the next. Horn for drinking the wine is called ,,kantsi’’. Georgian supra is a big occasion and I would really recommend anyone travelling to Georgia to experience it once.

As for the eating habits on supra, the most polite way is to eat everything you are offered and not leave food on your dish and to empty your glass when making the toast.



Visiting someone’s house and gifts


Don’t surprised if you are invited as guest to Georgians house and here people love to invite friends at home party ( I think gathering at home is much more common rather than meeting with people at cafes or restaurants ).


First thing to take into account is to prepare some gift for the host , such as chocolates, drinks or fresh fruit. While entering the house you don’t necessarily need to take off your shoes . Usually most Georgians take off their shoes while entering their own house but when someone else is coming at home it’s usually fine to let them with their shoes on. The best way is to ask the host weather it's better to take off your shoes or not.







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