Discover Georgia
The oldest citizen of Tbilisi tells how people lived decades ago
13 August, 2018
Tbilisi has always been a city with a specific culture and life style. Today this is not as evident as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the main reasons for this difference: was the huge gulf between the capital city and rural areas. Lifestyle, fashion, traditions – everything was different in Tbilisi.

Alexander Bibilashvili is one of the oldest citizens of Tbilisi. He recounts how people used to live decades ago in the capital of Georgia.
Nowadays, Tbilisi residents have fun in clubs and cafes. Alexander’s contemporaries used to gather at a bathhouse for entertainment. They would have a feast, drink and have fun till dawn.
geotv.ge
Bath-house masseur making massage to a client

Women also used to visit the bathhouse, wash, bathe and chat together on Saturdays. Boxing was another entertainment for the citizens of Tbilisi. They used to have fist fight and launch stones with catapults. When people were injured the government banned them. Carnivals were common in the past. At one of the performances, actors would disguise as the king and queen. Together with the “army” would give performances, and fight with wooden swords. The performance would finish with the king being thrown into the river Mtkvari. The whole city would attend and have fun at the show.
geotv.ge
Kinto is ready to sell food products

In the 18th century, Italian operas were very common. Italian operas were those operas performed only by Italians. Later on, Georgian operas emerged. Its founder Vano Sarajishvili had a lot of female fans.

The old streets of Tbilisi had kintos, traders who would buy fruits and vegetables early in the morning and then sell them for double the price. They used to cheat people to make more money and so, had a bad reputation in Tbilisi.
geotv.ge
Georgian Karachokhelis feasting together

Georgian Karachokhelis were ordinary workers and craftsmen in Tbilisi. They used to take out a cloth from inside their silver belts, spread it on the ground, have a feast and drink a lot of wine. Their strong friendship and mutual support was known to everyone in Tbilisi.

There was a woman in Tbilisi named Khanuma Piruliani who was a very successful matchmaker. In the past, marriages were quite often arranged by match-makers. Due to Khanuma Piruliani’s popularity, Georgian match-makers were called Khanumas. The main feature of arranged marriages was not the appearance of the prospective bride and groom but the expected dowry.
geotv.ge
An old man walking in the Tbilisian streets

Photo courtesy: kvirispalitra.ge

Related stories:

Rediscovery of Tusheti through Georgian artist’s mythical conception

What to take for a trip to Tbilisi – Tips from New York Times

Discovery of the largest and oldest Basilica in Georgia

Archeological artifacts found during rehabilitation works of Gudiashvili Square, Tbilisi
Print