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Monday, October 5, 2009

A Wonderful Story!

A good friend of mine translated and summarized the following poem for me.  It perfectly illustrates the famous hospitality of the Georgians but doesn't come close to portraying the amazing hospitality I've received in my short time here.


"The Guest and the Host" by Vaja Pshavela


This story happened in the mountains of Georgia:

One night two hunters met each other. One of (Jokhola was the name of the host) them proposed his house and invited the other to stay that night. He said that he would treat him with delicious food and offered a warm, home environment away from the cold winter night. The man who was the guest was one of the enemies of the host tribe, (though a very brave guy) so he hid his real name and did not say who he was. The host treated him as a brother. When they came to the man’s house, there was an old man sitting near the fire;
 he was also a guest in Jokhola’s house and immediately recognized the enemy but did not say anything because he did not want to break an old Georgian custom: not to offend the guest, and also, not to offend the household you are visiting (as I mentioned the old man was also a guest in Jokhola’s house). So he got up and left the house. The old man went to the villagers and told them that their enemy was at Jokhola’s. The entire village decided to take revenge and went directly to Jokhola’s house. They seized the enemy. When Jokhola saw this, he became furious because he was his guest. The villagers told him that he was the enemy, he was the one who killed lots of their villagers, he even murdered Jokhola’s brother. When Jokhola heard that he was very disappointed, but even so. he kept saying that that day he was his guest and they should respect his guest. He told the leader of the tribe that when he left his house then they could do with him whatever they liked. But they hit Jokhola and took the enemy by force and killed him. After that the enemy side decided to take revenge and a real war began amongst the villages. In that battle, Jokhola died.

The author finished his poem when he met Jokhola and his visitor in the heavens and heard their conversation about the hospitality.

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