SOCIETY
Lithuanian pharmacist that made Lithuanians fall in love with Georgia through a legend
20 July, 2018
Why do Lithuanians love Georgia so much? This question has been around for a long time especially in recent years as Lithuania has become an increasingly vocal defender of Georgia's interests in the various European Institutions.

Friendship between Georgian and Lithuania has existed from the beginning of the 20th century.
The reason for this may be due to a Lithuanian pharmacist and writer who depicted Georgia as some sort of fairy tale or dream-like country.

In the 1903 , a Lithuanian
pharmacist called Antanas Jacuzzus-Vienuolis visited Georgia and was astonished by the beauty of the Country. He fell in love with Georgia to the extent that he decided to share his love for the country with others. So he wrote ‘The Legend of the cursed monk" , which is recognized as an example of classical prose.

Later, “The legend” was taught in Lithuanian schools as part of their curriculum. That is how Georgia became a dream country for Lithuanian children.
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Antanas Jacuzzus-Vienuolis in a Chokha, Photo courtesy: www.kvirispalitra.ge

The story was translated in Georgian by the translator of the Lithuanian Writers' Union; Nana Devidze.
Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea, experiences a lot of rain and cold weather especially in the winter months. That is why Georgia , with its warmer weather may attract our northern friends . Many arrived, to live and settle in Georgia, after the end of the first World War.

Russia brought their troops from the Turkish front to Georgia during the war. Both Georgians and Lithuanians served in the Russian army at the time.The Lithuanians couldn’t return to their homeland and had to remain in Tbilisi for a certain period of time.

That is how the first community of Lithuanians came to live in Georgia.

However Lithuanians were encouraged to return to their homeland, but before returning they formed a Lithuanian choir who attended various cultural events in Georgia.

It was the first relationship between Lithuanians and Georgia.
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"He depicted Georgia as some sort of fairy tale", Photo courtesy: www.smithsonianmag.com

However the biggest impression of Georgia was made by Antanas Jacuzzus-Vienauolis.
In 1903 Antanas Jacuzzus was sent to work as an assistant pharmacist. in the Estonian pharmacy of Ferdinand Oten in Sololaki. Vano Bregvadze, who also worked at the same pharmacy, made friends with Antanas.

Antanas decided to take the opportunity , whilst in Georgia, to do a bit of exploring not only within Georgia but throughout the whole Caucasus Region.

Astonished by the beauty of the Country he couldn’t hold back his feelings so he decided to start writing. His first novel was "The Legend of the Cursed Monk" created on the back of a Georgian legend. This was followed by other fictional novels based on other Georgian legends such as “The Caucasian Legends", which became popular after its publication.
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Astonishing view in Georgia, Photo courtesy: www.geo.de

The first legend novels were written by of Antanas Jacuzzus between 1905-1906 .The literature was considered of such high quality that it gained instant popularity . They described the nature of Georgia, Dariali Gorge, Terg etc. The writing was so authentic that it seemed like the work of a Georgian author. In addition to describing nature, every word was filled with inner delight and the feeling of love. His works became very popular in Georgia.

Today this love expressed by Antanas Vienuolis in his novels continues in new generations of literature which still follow the footsteps of the great classics in Georgia.

The first photo courtesy: www.kvirispalitra.ge

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