Come to discover Upper Svaneti in Georgia. Visit remote villages at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, learn new artisan and cooking skills from the locals, explore the spectacular wild nature. Listen to the inspiring stories and share yours whilst enjoying a sense of community.
Hosted at the banks of the beautiful river Nenskra, this long weekend summer festival will fill you up with energy and unforgettable memories of authentic Svaneti.
Join us for the We Are Svaneti Festival and the Photo Essay Contest.
written by: Irakli Aprasidze
“When I entered school and learned to count, I never imagined that a digit 0 would be my life companion. I felt so sorry for my ill mother. Because of my mother’s health problems I left school at the 6th grade. I was 20 years old when I was forced to marry. I left with my husband for the Kodori Gorge. I started my life from 0. I took care of cattle. Later, for the sake of the children we chose to move to Abkhazia. I started my life from 0 again. I made cheese and sold it at the local market. I also trained my neighbors on cheese making. Then the most difficult period of my life started with the Abkhazian civil war.”
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written by: Ana Chkadua, Mamuka Chkadua, Zhana Zumadze
“I was born on May 5, 1914. I got married when I was 21 years old and lived mostly in Khaishi. I am the oldest person in the village and I have seen a lot. I have seen war, hunger, crime, robbery. All my children are dead. I don’t remember the day I was happy, but I went through happy moments when my husband was alive. Now what? Many people come to see me, but I get no attention, I am abandoned. I was very ill for a month. I can hardly walk now and my eye-sight is degraded. I am 102 years old and I am not happy with my life. I consider life unfair…”
written by: collective work from Chuberi’s School
“When it’s raining like today, the real spirit of the school is hidden inside. For most of us school is the sign of happiness, we love to be around here. It’s lovely inside and outside. We do not choose a weather, because we are so close to the nature that we respect it at all times. Hence, we are still happy it’s raining today. Here is our school on a rainy day so full of memories. We love it.”
written by: Ani Vibliani, Dato Cindeliani, Keti Cindeliani
This is the collection of work from three students from the Nakra workshop. Participants have identified the most valuable inhabitant of the village. They think she is the one who deserves the respect. She knows stories tracing back to early 20th century. She has a good memory of her childhood and describes all important local events taking place in the village. She shared old traditions and way of living with the participants. Now she is so old that can not move from her house, participants get emotional of her condition and try to show that citizens like her deserve love, warmth and appreciation from locals. ” We learned so many thing just talking to her, that we feel more knowledgeable about our land” – students noted.
written by: Giorgi Kvirikadze, Betqili Chkadua
text in progress…
written by: Zvika Nizhanadze, Luka Zumadze, Ana Nizharadze
“My name is Andria, I am seven years old and I live in Khaishi. I love judo, but I have never been fond of dogs, because they have sharp teeth and look scary. I did not like them and neither fed nor took care of my own dog.”
”One day I was walking home and our neighbors’ dog jumped at me and I was very scared. It was then when my dog jumped in to defend me. Since then I love my dog.”
written by: Tamar Otkhvani, Mariam Tsindeliani,
Tamar Vibliani, Monica Gvarmiani
Grandmother Tina Murgvliani is 84 years old. She was born in the village of Becho, in the family with 7 children. She loved math and after high school she tried twice to enter the university and study math.
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written by: Zviad Nizharadze
“One day I went with my uncle to the forest. I found a very beautiful place there that I really liked. A month later, I brought my friends to visit the spot. We collected money, bought drinks and food and headed to the place to enjoy the day. When we got there, we got very disappointed with what we saw.” Continue reading →
written by: Mari Chkadua, Giorgi Kvirikadze, Giorgi Chkadua
Mr. Nodar was born in 1948 in the village of Nakra. He studied for eight years at the Nakra secondary school. After graduating he moved to Chuberi and finished the secondary studies there. He studied pharmaceutics at the Tbilisi Medical Institute. After four years of study he was sent to work in Mestia. He worked at the Mestia central pharmacy. After that, he worked in the Svaneti villages of Becho and Chuberi. He has worked in Khaishi since 1986.
The Khaishi pharmacy belonged to the state, but after the Rose revolution Mr. Nordar managed to privatize it. Continue reading →