UNESCO publication introduces Georgian alphabet
19 January, 2018
UNESCO publication introduces Georgian alphabet
The Georgian alphabet has been featured in a new UNESCO publication aimed at introducing the world’s writing systems to the readers interested in characteristics of different alphabets throughout the world.

Writing Peace includes 22 writing systems from around the world, with Georgian writing alongside alphabets like Chinese, Greek and Roman.
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Writing Peace includes 22 writing systems from around the world

A brief introduction to the Georgian alphabet, short historical notes and explanation of the three different systems of Georgian writing
can be found in the brochure.
“According to a Georgian tradition, Georgian script is linked to a king of Iberia, Pharnavaz I, who is said to have reformed it in the third century BCE. The oldest known traces of the script date back to the fifth century. As we will see in the Workshop, there have been a number of writing systems” –The publication reads.

The section also includes several Georgian words written in Georgian letters, such as hello (gamarjoba in Georgian), peace (mshvidoba), good morning (dila mshvidobisa), etc.
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The evolution of Georgia’s written language has produced three alphabets

Writing Peace, a 39-page publication available online, was created to promote more recognition of the wealth of cultures, stimulate mutual respect and intercultural dialogue between them. According to the representatives of UNESCO, the main aim of the publication was to "make the world a little more familiar” to readers looking to learn about.

“From country to country, languages differ but the sight of the Moon is the same and the hearts of men are one! Check out 'Writing Peace', a publication that will make the world a little more familiar to you" - The official twitter page of UNESCO reads.

The Writing Peace publication was created within UNESCO Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, adopted in November 11.

It is noteworthy that Georgian alphabet was added to the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List in 2016. Living culture of three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Georgian alphabets

The evolution of Georgia’s written language has produced three alphabets – Mrgvlovani, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli – which all remain in use today.

The Mkhedruli ("secular" or "military writing) is used in daily life, and the older Asomtavruli and Nushkhuri, are used particularly for the writings by the Orthodox Church.

Mrgvlovani was the first alphabet from which Nuskhuri was derived and then Mkhedruli. The alphabets coexist thanks to their different cultural and social functions, reflecting an aspect of Georgia’s diversity and identity. Their ongoing use in a cultural sense, also gives communities a feeling of continuity. The alphabets Mrgvlovani and Nuskhuri are practiced and taught informally by the community of the Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church. For example, such alphabetare used in religious texts,psalms and hymns and on the inscriptions of the icons and frescoes.

Related stories:

The curves of the Georgian alphabet seduce UNESCO

Georgian alphabet added to the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List

Georgian Alphabet among 5 of the world’s most beautiful alphabets

The Beauty of the Georgian script
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