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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unprecedented Boxing Show in Tbilisi (March 12, 2011) - Avtandil Khurtsidze Fights for the World IBO Belt Title

In less than two weeks the famous Georgian middleweight Avtandil “Tornado” Khurtsidze (22-2-2, 13 KOs) will challenge the vacant world title according to IBO. The last owner of this belt was one of the strongest middleweights from USA, Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6-0, 20 KOs), but recently he decided to renounce his title. 

Battle with the best fighter in the history of Georgia's professional boxing will be a major event is unprecedented for Georgia's boxing show to be held on March 12 in Tbilisi sponsored by a Kiev promotional company "Elite Boxing Promotion". At the moment, Khurtsidze is in full swing preparation for the upcoming battle in the boxing hall of the sports complex" FreeStyle "under the guidance of his coach Andrei Sinepupov. The last time “Tornado” went into the ring was in France in autumn, when in a duel for the vacant "interim" champion of the WBA middleweight title he suffered a controversial defeat based on judges’ decision from a local favorite Hassan N'Dama N'Zhikama (25-0-0, 17 KOs). Taking into account the ambiguity of the verdict and the fact that after the fight has been held mandatory in such cases, doping control, the leadership of the World Boxing Association (WBA) has decided to retain the top spot in their middleweights rating to Avtandil Khurtsidze.

For the preliminary match of the boxing show in Tbilisi a promising Ukrainian boxer welterweight Victor Postol (12-0-0, 8 KOs) is selected, who also, as Khurtsidze, represents " Elite Boxing Promotion ". Postol will need to hold a 10-round battle against a fighter who by far exceeds the class all his previous opponents.

Names of Khurtsidze’s and Postol’s rivals will be officially announced in the coming days.

Avtandil Khurtsidze

Record22 (13 KO's) 26
Weight categoryWelterweight (72.574 kg)
Positions in ratings1 - WBA Middleweight (December 2010)
8 - WBO Middleweight (October 2010)
TitlesIntercontinental Champion, WBA
NationalityГрузия   Georgia
Lives & trainsУкраина   Ukraine Kiev
BornГрузия   Georgia Kutaisi
ProfdebyutFebruary 20, 2004
Date of BirthMay 2, 1980
Height (cm)163
Span (cm)170
CoachAndrew Sinepupov
Boxrec ID238446

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Georgia: Love Your Country, Love Your Chokha

A Chokha (Georgian: ჩოხა,ტალავარი) is part of the traditional male dress of the peoples of the Caucasus. It has been in wide use among Georgians from the 9th century until 1920s
There are Four types of Chokha: Kartl-Kakheti chokha ( Kartli and Kakheti are eastern Georgian provinces), Khevsur Chokha (mainly in Mtskheta-mtianeti province of Georgia), Adjarian chokha (mainly found in western Georgia provinces such as Adjara and Guria and also used to be used in Lazona that is now part of republic of Turkey, it is shown in fourth picture on this page) and General Caucasian chokha which most likely to Kartl-Kakheti chokha and is little longer version of it. Generally Caucasian Chokha originated in Caucasus[3] most likely from its mountainous sites, Chokha isn't in Georgian language but from Turkic. Originally the cloth in Georgia was referred as Talavari but later on after Persian invaisions in Georgia, Persians called Georgian national dress Chokha (meaning fabricly made outfit). The name of the cloth moslty known as "chokha", the Russians who came to the Caucasus through Circassia called it "Cherkeska" (meaning Circassian dress), and the Cossacks adopted it as their national cloth.

France may be known for its berets, and Spain for its mantillas, but few national costumes are linked to as strong a sense of national pride as Georgia’s chokhas.
Dating from the Middle Ages, the chokha is a calf-length, wool coat for men inherent to the Caucasus, distinguishable by the bandoliers sewn across the breast and its tapered waist cut. Accessories typically include a hood, tall leather boots and a belt holding a long, embossed dagger, called a khanjali.
But this is no party costume. Nearly every Georgian household has photos of ancestors adorned in chokhas. Once a symbol of resistance to Bolshevik Russia’s 1921 takeover of an independent Georgia, the chokha has now come to represent a Georgia reborn, a country that revels in its cultural individuality.
Increasingly worn by Georgian men at weddings and official functions, the eye-catching coat is finally experiencing a comeback.
“When you love your chokha, you love your country. When you love your country, you love your traditions,” elaborated 60-year-old Rezo Sulava, a leader of the All-Georgia Chokha Society.
The chokha revival is taking place in parallel with a resurgence of interest in other mainstays of Georgian culture – the Georgian Orthodox Church, Georgian folk dancing, and choral singing.
Holding onto the country’s chokha tradition, though, has not always been easy. By the early 20th century, European fashions had replaced the chokha; in Soviet times, the coat was largely a stage costume, mostly worn in public by Georgian folk dance ensembles.
“The chokha has been in a terrible coma and we’re trying to resurrect it,” said Luarsab Togonidze, a folklorist and co-owner of Samoseli Pirveli ( “First Clothes”), a slick Tbilisi boutique that specializes in the recreation of traditional Georgian clothing.
By studying museum collections, old photographs and private wardrobes throughout the country, Togonidze and his business partner, Levan Vasadze, created a chokha atelier (prices start at 200 lari, about $113 ) for a growing niche market.
That market – among it, the glitterati of Georgian artistic and theater circles – turned out in number at a February 6 fashion show Samoseli Pirveli staged in a champagne factory outside of Tbilisi.
Sashaying and swaying through the crowd, dancers from Georgia’s Sukhishvili and Rustavi folk dance ensembles showed off embroidered, Sleeping-Beauty-style wedding gowns for women, fitted, cropped jackets with cummerbunds for men, and, of course, chokhas.
But, unlike many Georgian traditionalists, Togonidze caters to customers looking for more contemporary takes on these long-established looks. His designers also create made-to-order dresses inspired by chokhas – a fashion statement embraced by many of the women attending the Samoseli Pirveli fashion show.
Some Georgians, however, feel that altering the design of the chokha is tantamount to sacrilege.
“Women shouldn’t wear chokhas,” asserted All- Georgia Chokha Society leader Sulava. The society’s 1,000 male members, or “chokhosanebi” (literally, “chokha people”), are headed by the powerful Patriarch Ilia II and act as the patriarch’s honorary guards, attending all religious celebrations and national festivals in uniform.
Set up in 1952 as an attempt to protect Georgian traditions from Soviet encroachment, the league today tries to preserve Georgian traditions from globalization.
“The chokha emphasizes I am a Georgian. It is a spiritual costume,” Sulava elaborated.
Sukhishvili dancer Tea Darchia, though, rebuffs that disapproval. “Pants were made for men and women wear them. Why can’t we wear the chokha?” Darchia posited.
Others, though, like event organizer Sandro Kakulia, believe that wearing the chockha has become trendy for the wrong reasons. “It’s fashionable now, not because people love the symbol, but they are following a trend. It’s elitist,” Kakulia said.
But unlike most fashion trends, wearing a chokha demands a certain responsibility. Even boutique owner Togonidze, who is not a Society member, says “there’s something magic” to wearing a chokha. “It has an effect on your behavior. People treat you differently.”
Chokhosanebi follow a code that regulates everything from the color of the chokha they wear (burgundy, white, black and gray are the standard colors), to how it is worn (with high-collared shirts always buttoned to the top), to how men must sit with their khinjalis (not dangling between their legs and not pointing up at a neighbor).
Some, however, argue that such reverence reflects an unhealthy understanding of Georgia’s traditions, by promoting living in the past rather than looking to the future.
The Indie-rock group Dervishebi (Dervishes) performs a parody of the classic Georgian song “Suliko” in electric-colored chokhas and Converse high-tops -- much to the ire of Georgian traditionalists and conservative members of the Orthodox Church.
“Everyone has their own relationship with the chokha,” said Dervishebi singer Guga Gegetchkori. “It’s only a national dress, that’s all. It’s not holy. It’s like a t-shirt.”
Boutique co-owner Togonidze concedes that “chokha radicals” can get carried away.
The chokha may be a strong representation of Georgian national pride, he commented, but fans should keep their passion in perspective. “It’s the 21st century,” he said. “You don’t have to overdo it.”
Editor's Note: 
 Paul Rimple is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi. Justyna Mielnikiewicz is a freelance photojournalist also based in Tbilisi.

Russian Soviet Occupation Armed Forces in Kutaisi District in 1921

February 25 - Black date in Georgian History - Soviet Russia occupation of Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Georgian soldiers killed by Russian Soviet 11th Army occupying Tbilisi in 1921

Russian Soviet Occupation Armed Forces in Kutaisi District in 1921. 
Summary of the publication:

After the intervention of Russian Soviet Armed Forces on the territory of Georgian Democratic Republic, occupational regime was established. Local governing organs the so called “Revkoms” were created on the whole territory of Georgia. However their power was nominal. The situation created in Kutaisi District as one of the administrative unit clearly described the power of “Revkoms” and their relation with occupation forces. And the situation established in the region was much like the occupied country. From the very first day of entering Russian hungry and less discipline Red Armed Forces on the territory of Kutaisi, citizens were robbed and disturbed, illegal requisitions and brutal actions took place.

Kutaisi “Revkoms” had perpetual correspondence with the officials of Russian armed forces with the exacting requirements of restoring the regime. Despite the certain punishing actions it was quite difficult to stop the looting. All the worst and rigorous laws of the war were in use which floated on the surface all the bad sides of the human being.

War always has the alternative but the peaceful world will always remains as the mirage before existing the big states fighting for the power or for the territorial integrity.

Nino Vashakmadze, Amirani XXI, 2009
Read full publication in Georgian:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phirosmani Through the Eyes of Picasso

Niko Pirosmani (Phirosmani, Pirosmanashvili)
May 5, 1862–1918 Georgian primitivist painter.

Thanks to Pablo Picasso the world has discovered Anri Russo as one of the outstanding primitive painters. The next marvelous discovery for the Europeans was the works of Niko Phirosmani that were exhibited in the Louvre in Paris in 1969. Right from the start they have won the recognition of experts. The connoisseurs compared his paintings to the great canvases of Jotto.

Three years after the exhibition, the poet Ilia Zdanevich published an album “Phirosmanishvili” in Paris. It consisted of a single compositional engraving of Phirosmani by Picasso. The portrait was accompanied with Zdanevich’s article, which had been published earlier in 1914, in a Tiflis Newspaper “Vostok”.

The creation of this portrait had its history. It was made at Zdanevich’s request, who was a close friend of Picasso. Zdanevich had worked with Picasso on matters concerning the publication of rare engravings. Being fascinated by Phirosmani’s work, Zdanevich asked Picasso to paint his portrait.

The book, printed on Japanese paper, was published in a very small edition and has ended up in the collection of amateurs. The portrait of Phirosmani, 15.8 x 9.8 sm. by size was etched out on a copper plate with the “dry needle” technique. All of the seventy-eight copies were signed by Picasso, so each of the paintings could be rightfully considered an original. The unusually large format of the etching, yet small edition of the book can be explained by the fact that it contained only a page and a half of printed text and only one painting with two clean sheets in-between them. Accordingly, the price was very high.

We are familiar with the motif “a painter and his model” in Picasso ‘s graphic portraits, such as “Woman and Rembrandt with the Palette” and “Rembrandt and a Young Woman". Some of the techniques used by Picasso in these paintings were utilized in his work “Phirosmani”. Having constantly worked on the theme “a painter and his model” Picasso created a series of graphic paintings, in which he conveyed his attitude towards the works of different painters. It is obvious that in Phirosmani he felt a new original artistic thinking, which was reflected in the unusual compositional form of the painting.

The portrait of Phirosmani drastically differs from any other graphic work by Picasso, where he tried to be comprehensible to all. In his graphics the painter mainly used the contour line, outlining the objects. However, in this case the contour line of the figure crosses the surrounding objects. This trick disrupts the perception of their unity.

The figure of Phirosmani standing with a brush is a “geometrical” one; it is outlined with a large amount of dots, beams and straight lines of different lengths. The painter is standing before an easel with a clean canvas on a stretcher in front of him. On the left, near his head, a second clean canvas is hanging on the wall. The image of Phirosmani is not that easily discernible at first glance. Alter looking at the portrait for a while, we can see a figure in a national Georgian costume with a wide-brimmed hat on, in a felt cloak, and shod in “kalamani” (peasants’ shoes). The features are easily recognizable, we can clearly see Phirosmani with a moustache, a beard, and deep-set eyes. In one hand he is holding a brush, in the other he has a palette with different color paints. The artist is at work. On a palette he has three blots of color; red, yellow and blue. These are the very combination of colors that Phirosmani frequently used so masterfully.

The portrait can be perceived in two perspectives - half face and full face, depending on the angle one is looking at it. Thus, the picture conveys an illusion of a dynamical movement as if the figure is in constant motion. It perhaps symbolizes the painter being constantly in thoughts, without which there would be no art.
Picasso ’s artistic achievement in this work is remarkable. The 90 year-old painter was told about Phirosmani’s works, but only later did he have a chance to have a look at his paintings at an exhibition in Paris. Not by accident did Picasso choose a specific technique for this portrait. He thought that the traditional method of engraving should be enhanced with color and lineal composition so that internal rhythms of the silhouettes and their beauty would have strong emotional impact on the viewer. Picasso created a very complex and at the same time very recognizable image of the original, that of his fellow-painter. Probably for many viewers this work may seem difficult to understand partly due to the technique, namely, acupuncture that the painter used to create it.

Picasso showed Phirosmani during his creative work. The lines which make up the portrait usually cross each other in the area of the head and the breast; in other words in foci of thoughts and feelings. And the dots on the portrait are associated with the biologically active points of the body, which is well known from the folk medicine of ancient East. These spots were identified by man during two thousand years of practice. The vital significance of these biologically active spots of the organism have been acknowledged in Europe starting from the beginning of the 20th century, as practice of acupuncture treatment became common in the West. These biologically active points, also called “vital” and “Chinese”, are connected with nervous system and internal organs.

Physicians of the East while studying the function of the organism have discovered specific connection between various organs, in accordance with it they created a system of lines, called channels or meridians. The concept “meridian” is defined as a functional path connecting certain points in human body. They are distributed along twelve basic meridians. There are also two groups: a distal and a proximal ones. The distal group contains the dots located below the elbow and knee joints, the proximal one include the spots on the remaining meridians. Altogether 309 points are marked out.

The study about meridians is the main part of acupuncture, even though they do not precisely correspond to nervous and vascular systems. It was accepted by many Soviet and foreign specialists. Modern researchers have found a bio-energetic potential in these biologically active points as well as in the difference between their potentials. It was determined, that these spots affected changes in human organism from functional state of the nervous system (sleep, wake) as well as dining the emotional stress.

With the combination of lines and points Picasso reveals the process of apprehension of reality (with the eyes), its comprehension (by the brains), the emotional experience and explosive action of ideas (in brains and heart), through nervous impulses, prompting active creativity So, the signal is received, the idea is formed, the decision is made, a sure hand is ready to make the first stroke...

Alexandre Chkheidze.
Published: Amirani XXII, 2010 pp.272-275

Religious Activities of Georgians in Kingdom of Kiev

There can be found a lot of materials about historical-religious and cultural relations between Georgians and Ukrainians that can shed light on a whole number of issues of coexistence of these two nations. Namely political and religious factors have played the greatest part in mutual interest that Georgia and Kiev Russia took in each other - Great state union of Eastern Slaves was the cradle of the Ukraine, Russia and Belorussia. As it is historically known in the 4th century Christianity was declared as a state religion in Georgia and orthodox Georgian public men played great role in the world of early medieval Christianity.

As a Christian state Kiev Russia was formed in the 10th century and represented one of the biggest orthodox Christian countries. According to the historical sources, introduction of the Georgian and Ukrainian nations happened at the beginning of the 10-11th cc. By this time were formed relations and connections between Kiev mid Georgia who both were the countries on high level of cultural and economical development and also with other countries.

In the mentioned period Georgian artists took part in painting of the famous cave "Kiev Pechora" monastery. This monastery as it is known was built like the monastery of Georgians on the Mount Athos which for a long time was an example to follow both for Russa and Kiev. In the second half of 11th century Anthon Pechorski (985-1073) travelled two times to the Mount Athos and brought to his motherland the "Image of Athos".
Collection of the life description of the monks of Kiev caves preserved information that speaks about the building of the main temple of the monastery and it says that among the invited builders were Georgians too. In particular, Georgian masters brought materials for mosaic and decorated the altar, walls and the floor of the temple with mosaic ("Musia"). Popularity of Georgian builders and masters was great outside Georgia and that is why, they were invited to Kiev to decorate this oldest monument of Christianity.

According to Kiev historical annuals, there was migration between Georgia and Kiev Russia in the 12th century. It was so important that Velikiy Kniaz (Grand Prince) of Kiev Iziaslav II second wife was daughter of Demetre I, who was the son of famous Georgian King, David IV ‘The Builder’.

There is no doubt that at that time Georgians knew about the existence of Kiev Russia and in the first place they were informed about its power and their orthodox Christianity. This last circumstance was of great importance. The religion drove different states and nations closer culturally and made it easy to establish kinship among them. Historical and religious relations of the definite period between Georgians and Ukrainians were ended by the appearance of Mongol Horde on the horizon of the cultural nations. This further was followed by Osman-Turk and other invaders aggression and thus Georgian-Ukrainian relations were stopped for quite a long period of time. However prominent pages of religious relations were preserved forever in the history of these two nations.

David Sandodze, "Amirani" Vol 1, 1999

1. History of Georgia I. Supplementary textbook, Tbilisi, 1958
2. I. Tsintsadze, From the history of relations of the Ukraine and Georgia. Tbilisi, 1954

Old Football (Soccer) Brochure
 USSR Football Championship. 20-th round.
18 September 1939. Tbilisi. Dynamo stadium by .L.P.Beriya. 35,000 spectators.
Dinamo (Tbilisi) vs. Dynamo (Kiev) 2:2 (1:1).
Scorers: 1:0 Harbediya (15), 1:1 Komarov (20), 2:1 Paichadze (57), 2:2 Komarov (78).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Caucasus Research Institute - FREE online scholarly articles, scientific and popular publications (in Georgian and English)

The ICRI is an independent non-profit organization, which has as its principal objectives:  
  1. the scientific study of the Caucasus as a distinct cultural region;
  2. the diffusion of the results of Caucasological research in scholarly and popular media.

The ICRI is not attached to any government agency, and will not involve itself in nationalistic or sectarian polemics. The scholarly disciplines in which ICRI members conduct research include: history, ethnology, archaeology, folklore studies, comparative religious studies, sociology, cultural studies, conflict resolution, linguistics, etc.

To realize its objectives, the Institute intends to: 
  1. establish international contacts;
  2. participate in and organize conferences, congresses, symposiums, seminars, exhibits, displays, and other information-sharing activities;
  3. publish and assist in diffusing scholarly articles, scientific and popular publications, textual collections, monographs, brochures, etc;
  4. participate in the preparation of journals, newsletters, television programs, etc;
  5. serve as a clearinghouse for information on events of interest to local and foreign scholars, aid in the organization of research expeditions and tours, etc.

New! Mobile version of ICRI web page has been launched! Please visit:

Website is available in Georgian and English languages


Friday, February 18, 2011

Russian Cossacks were shooting local Georgians and raping women and girls in the Georgian villages

According to published on the site WikiLeaks Confidential letters of US Embassy, during the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia, Russian Cossacks were looting and executing ethnic Georgians in Georgian villages.
Russian Cossaks and Ossetian separatists took hostages in Georgain villages of Nikozi, Dzveri, Tkviavi, and Karaleti (north of Gori). Additional reports indicate Russian Cossacks are shooting local Georgians and raping women and girls in the Georgian villages from South Ossetia to Gori.

This was reported today in Russian online magazine link

Read complete US Embassy Confidential report at Wikileaks here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Georgian unique polyphonic musical culture

International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatory

Over three thousand years of its history, Georgia allocated on the border line between Asia and Europe has developed its unique polyphonic musical culture. The Georgians have enriched the world treasure with special polyphonic musical folklore and church music. Since ancient times three-part singing has been the norm of Georgian musical thinking. Everybody who has ever been in touch with Georgian polyphonic forms recognizes their diversity and excellence.
History of the scientific study of traditional polyphonic music counts a century. Later well-known foreign scholars and musicians also got interested in Georgian polyphonic music. The interest especially increased at the end of the 20th  century; which was proved by the scientific-practical conferences held in 1984198619881998, and 2000 years. This was followed by the First International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony in2002.

These scientific forums inspired the idea to establish 
the International research Center for Traditional Polyphony. The idea was realized in 2003 with the support of UNESCO and world-renowned ethnomusicologists.

On the one hand, the Center aims to collect scientific knowledge on the world polyphony and to spread the practical and theoretical knowledge on Georgian polyphony throughout the world, on the other hand. This purpose is achieved by 
 the international symposia on polyphony and the published collections of proceedings of the symposia. The Tbilisi symposia 200220042006, 2008 and 2010 have already presented the polyphony of various countries of the world.

The web site on the world and Georgian polyphony will help the people interested in these issues to have an access to the information available at our Center.