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Dating & Romance

Georgians have fairly rigid social rules, with men being very protective of their sisters and daughters, to the point of sparking blood feuds when a girl’s honour is in question. Girls don’t tend to be as relaxed in their mores as Russian women or Ukrainians, for instance, and the virgin bride is a cherished concept.

They are very passionate folk, however, and very charming with it, and relationships with foreigners are not that unusual – there was quite a lot of intermarriage with other national groups in the Soviet days (usually with other Christians).

Georgians are very effusive, and even the men kiss each other in greeting – it’s not a homosexual thing. Indeed, homosexuality is still very much a no-no here, and openly “camping it up” is risky, as one air-steward found on the Metekhi Palace hotel in the 1990s, when local mafiosi pointed a gun at his head for dancing with one of his colleagues too openly!

By all means kiss and hug, otherwise they will think you ridiculously reserved, but just remember that leering over a guy’s sister too openly might earn you a kinzhal (dagger) in your back.

Howard Gethin

Now resident in Moscow, Howard works as an editor and still makes occasional forays into places where men carry guns and mountains are nearby.