Bread for GCF
15 March, 2012
Bread for GCF

While the airwaves are filled with litany of bad news that can make even the most loyal humanist disheartened, good news are few and far in between. If you listen or watch any news channel you hear one disgusting story after another. From Putin’s crackdown on opposition protesters in Moscow, to murderous assaults by the Syrian government on Syrian population, to Israel Gaza strip flare ups, to Iran, to a botched rescue attempt of an Italian and Englishman, in Nigeria, to

newly discovered the body of the missing Mariam Makhniashvili,  in Toronto, there’s isn’t much to smile about. To be honest, personally, aside from watching FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi score the 5,000 goal in the Club’s league history, there hasn’t been anything else worth watching or listening to on the news. So I have decided, on the advice from my legal council, just kidding, no lawyers were involved in this, to disclose some news that I hope will turn up some spirits.

On May 26th, the city of Atlanta, GA will be holding the first annual Outdoor Georgian Cultural Festival! This is great news, as there hasn’t been an outdoor  festival celebrating Georgian Culture on such a grand scale at least not in Atlanta, a city that holds a very large population of Georgians – I mean the country not the state. The community of Georgians putting on this festival has really stepped up to the plate so to speak, and is doing everything they can to make this festival a success. After fifteen or more years of living in Atlanta (we are slow, I’ll grant you that), we have finally decided to let the neighbors in on who we are, and why they will love us even more after they visit the festival.

First, anyone who has ever caught a whiff of Georgian cuisine knows it is a must on the list of things to do before you die.

Second, our singers are so spectacular, that people from as far away as Japan come to listen and learn the traditional vocal polyphony. I won’t be taking part in that activity, as I must admit whenever I try to sing, I end up sounding like a frog chocking on a cricket. Tika Alavidze-Pachulia, a former lead dancer of Georgian National Ballet Ensemble, is training our young dancers specifically for this festival. Again, not my strong suit! The artists and craftsmen are gearing up for the festival and the champion backgammon players are breaking out their boards and dice training for the Tournament. I am not listing all the activities that will be part of the Georgian Cultural Festival, they will be revealed on the website (coming soon on www.egatl.com), but I have more than a suspicion that there will be good time had by all.

In my humble opinion the biggest draw of the festival will be enthusiastic and spirited people who are creating and performing at the festival. And although almost all Georgians are participating in this festival, the coolest part of this adventure is the overwhelming response of our American friends who are excited to sing and dance and generally volunteer for the Festival work.

May 26th is a little ways off, and there’s still much work that needs to be done. Once it was discovered that I can’t dance or sing or cook, or say proper Georgian style drinking Toasts, I was, after a widespread demand to authenticate my Georgian heritage first, relegated to tracking down importers of Georgian bread (tonis puri). Now where on earth am I supposed to find Georgian Bread to import to Atlanta? Anyone know Vera Kobalia’s baker father’s information? I am not kidding. I need bread.

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