Month: October 2010

Georgia’s Halloween War

It’s been a while since Celts used to celebrate the end of a summer with a harvest festival. It was called Samhain. The ritual was linked to festivals in other Celtic cultures, and continued to be celebrated in medieval times. Because of its date (October 31) the festival was linked to All Saint’s Day  (November 1) which is also referred to as All Hallows. The eve of All Hallows was called All-Hallows-Even which later transformed into Halloween.

During Samhain people walked between Bonfires which was considered as a cleansing ritual. Young men wore costumes and masks, and they were impersonating dead. Celts thought that by all these they were warding of harmful spirits.

Modern Halloween developed over time, but the idea stayed the same – people wear spooky masks and costumes to scare off evil spirits. At certain point humans began to commemorate souls by curving pumpkins into a so called jack-o’-lanterns. Pumpkins with a candle inside were placed in windows in order to ward off bad spirits.

Today, Halloween is largely celebrated in Northern America, Ireland and in the UK. In other countries, mostly young generation adopted the holiday and they celebrate it as well. People wear scary and sometimes funny costumes, kids go on a trick-or-treat and various parties are held. Just like in most of the western countries, some Georgians celebrate Halloween too. For years, Halloween party has been held in several schools, cafes and clubs. (more…)

Teach and Learn with Georgia: Reflections

Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) is a project established by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES) aiming to recruit 1,000 native English speakers who are willing to teach English at Georgian schools for 2010-2011 academic year. The first wave of teachers arrived in Georgia in the end of July; Georgian government expects that by the end of 2010 all 1,000 will be in Georgia and will start to teach. Any native English speaker who is interested in the project may register on the official website of the program tlg.gov.ge. They should provide personal information, describe why they would like to participate, send a copy of their passport and provide other necessary documents; all of these and additional information may be found on the website of TLG. Besides the fact that they will be educating Georgian schoolchildren, MES hopes that teachers will learn about Georgia and when they return to their home countries they will share stories with family and friends, therefore they will promote Georgia.

Several teachers who already began their program in Georgia started their own blogs where they share their experience with relatives, friends and others who are interested in the matter. Teachers write about everything: their students, cultural experiences, sex, Georgian cuisine and etc. Let’s take a look at some interesting entries: (more…)