Dannon: “In Soviet Georgia…”

From 1973 to 1978, the Dannon yogurt company ran a series of successful commercials featuring centenarians from “Soviet Georgia“. Here is a transcript of one of the TV commercials (with captions in brackets):

In Soviet Georgia, there are two curious things about the people [Tarkuk Lasuria, age 96]: a large part of their diet is yogurt [Temur Vanacha, age 105], and a large number of them live past 100. Of course, many things affect longevity [Kasteh Tanya, age 101], and we’re not saying Dannon yogurt will help you live longer. But Dannon is a natural, wholesome food that does supply many nutrients [Shadat Marcholia, age 103]. By the way, 89-year-old Bagrat Tabagua liked Dannon so much, he ate two cups. That pleased his mother very much.

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In Bloom (2013 Georgian film)

In Bloom is a 2013 film directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross. Set in Tbilisi in 1992, the movie depicts the lives of two teenage girls, Eka and Natia, as they deal with typical teen problems: boys, bullies, teachers, domestic violence, food shortages, armed gangs in the streets, and abduction and forced marriage.

In Bloom was the Georgian submission for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2014 Academy Awards.

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Corn Island (2014 Georgian film)

Corn Island (Georgian: სიმინდის კუნძული, Simindis Kundzuli) is a 2014 Georgian film directed by George Ovashvili. It depicts a summer in the lives of two Abkhazian peasants who grow corn on a small seasonally-formed island in the middle of the river that separates Georgia and Abkhazia. It was the Georgian submission for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards.

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Tangerines (2013 Georgian-Estonian film)

Tangerines (Georgian: მანდარინები; Estonian: Mandariinid; Russian: Мандарины) is a 2013 film co-produced in Georgia and Estonia. Directed by Zaza Urushadze, the film deals with the 1992-1993 War in Abkhazia. It does so, however, from an unusual perspective, namely, that of an Estonian living in Abkhazia. Tangerines was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards, but it lost to the Polish film Ida.

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Flags of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, etc

Here are some flags from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and associated places in the South Caucasus. I won’t go into the details of the symbolism because I don’t care — white symbolizes purity or loyalty or something, red symbolizes blood spilled, blah blah blah, whatever. I’ll just list the flags along with historical remarks.

Note to readers: This will be a dry, picture-heavy post, but there will be a couple of decent jokes, so it is recommended that you read the whole thing.

  • Georgia

Georgia‘s current flag consists of a red St. George cross on a white background (like the flag of England) with a red Bolnisi cross on each of the four white patches.

georgian flag design

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Notes on Terminology

I’m working on some posts dealing the wars Georgia has fought in post-Soviet times, and the terminology involved in these conflicts is hotly contested. So rather than repeatedly adding disclaimers and footnotes, I’ll lay out my terminology guidelines here. (Much of this post is based on George Hewitt‘s new book Discordant Neighbours.)

  • Abkhazia
Georgian: Apkhazeti (აფხაზეთი)
Abkhaz: Apsni (Аҧсны)
Mingrelian: Saapkhazo (სააფხაზო)
Russian: Abkhaziya (Абхазия).

Also: Afxazeti, the Georgian keyboard transcription of აფხაზეთი.

afxazeti graffiti

Graffiti in Tbilisi

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Sochi, Georgia, Abkhazia

Sochi, the city in which the 2014 Winter Olympics are being held, used to be part of Georgia and Abkhaziakinda. It belongs to a region which is occasionally called Lesser Abkhazia (Russian: Малая Абхазия), Jiketi (Georgian: ჯიქეთი), or Sadzen, after the Sadz Abkhazians who used to live there. They don’t live there anymore, because they, along with most of the Northwest Caucasian peoples, were exterminated or expelled to Turkey by the Russian Empire about 150 years ago. Indeed, Sochi was originally built as a fort during Russia’s initial incursion into then-independent Circassia (or Cherkessia).

circassia cherkessia

Note that Sochi is listed in parentheses as a guardpost

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