Foreigners living in Georgia: Likes and dislikes
10 January, 2017
Foreigners living in Georgia: Likes and dislikes
Georgia’s National Bureau of Statistics says according to the numbers of 2015 there are 92 560 immigrants registered in Georgia and 4 046 of them are from EU countries.
The employment of immigrants is not properly accounted but according to a research conducted by the Ministry of Healthcare, more than 5 578 foreigners are employed in Georgia. The most popular places of work are as follows:

Construction sector – 1714
Trade – 1468
Real estate service – 501
Transport and communications – 471
Hotels and restaurants – 460
Education – 192

It is very interesting to know what the foreign expatriates think and feel about Georgia and also, what are the factors that make them to move permanently to our country. Allnews.ge has spoken to several people and this is what it heard:

Daria Kholodilina, 27: I have received education in Donetsk, Ukraine and then I lived in Izmir, Berlin and Bonn. Then I decided to settle in Georgia. I first visited this country in 2012, for a week, to see the people I met and befriended in Berlin. Then I came back in 2013, first in June and then in August. At last, in November of that same year, I decided to move here permanently.

In March of 2014 I began working for Georgian National Association for Tourism. I was an apprentice at first. In 2016 I was involved in organizing Gem Fest. That gave me a very good experience.

I decided to live in Georgian because I liked the environment here. Also the freedom of doing anything you like. There are very good possibilities in this country to change everything for the better. I like nature and I don’t like people who destroy it. Also I don’t like people who get drunk and say that he does it for the love of the country. But generally, the people are very good-natured here and everyone is eager to help. I hope they will soon understand that being too noisy and polluting nature is very bad.

I would tell to others who want to come to Georgia that they have to be ready for many things. Like, for example, drinking, eating and driving. Otherwise they’ll have to walk a lot. They should know that registering business is very easy here but in order to have successful business, they’ll have to understand Georgian or have a reliable Georgian partner. Besides, they’ll have to take into consideration that there
is a very high rate of unemployment in Georgia.

Zoe Peret, 33: "In 2006, the festival called People of Caucasus was held in France and that is when I got acquainted with Georgia. I was studying ethno-musicology back then and I was already familiar with Georgian polyphony. I came to Georgia that same year and had decided to stay for a year. After that, I decided to add another year, then another and it has already been 10 years.

There are many things that tie me to this country. I sing in a local folk group called Ialoni and it has been already 2 years since I opened my own bar At Zoe’s. The singing was the primary reason for why I decided to stay in Georgia. It was for the same reason that I opened this bar. I wanted to present Georgian folk music in this non-traditional environment. As for the negative part, I think there are many stereotypes in Georgia and I want that to change. I want the minorities to enjoy more freedom but at the same time, this country is very rich from the cultural point of view and there are some beautiful traditions that have to be maintained.

Unfortunately, in France the generations are divided. Georgia is not that way. People here are more generous and always ready to help. However, they often overestimate their own characteristics and belittle others. I don’t like that and I want Georgians to appraise others as well.

Making business is also very easy here.

Most of the procedures are performed digitally. In France, digital servces are not se well developed. I would say to anyone who wishes to come to Georgia that they have to learn Georgian language. Also, keep in mind that many unexpected things await you here and you have to be ready for anything.

Dominique Tsagara, 29: I first visited Georgia in 2007. Overall I have been living here for 5 years. There were some periods when I was returning to my homeland. In 2011 I participated in teacher exchange program and lived in Mestia, where I was teaching English at a school. Then I worked at one of the NGOs and now I have a job as a journalist.

I had a very big professional interest towards Caucasus region and that was why I decided to settle in Georgia. Tbilisi is the center of the Caucasus, isn’t it? My Georgian friends and colleagues played a big role in my decision. Georgians have many good qualities of which I like the spontaneity and purposefulness. What I don’t like in them is that they take too much pride in themselves and sometimes they are also very spleenful. I also don’t like the quality of cleanliness.

I would say to anyone who wishes to come to Georgia, to learn Georgian language.This will help them to integrate into the society and find a job.

By Nana Mghebrishvili

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