Victory Day in Russia and Other Countries: Vocabulary and History

Victory Day is a holiday of significance in many Eurasian cultures, but particularly stands out in Russia. People pay homage to veterans and remember the sacrifices that were made for the sake of victory in WWII. While Victory Day is deeply ingrained in Russia’s national identity, its observance across Eurasia reveals nuanced changes or adaptations […]

Jewish Georgia: A Brief History and Guide

This guide to travel in Georgia is tailored for Jewish-American university students preparing to study abroad in Georgia. We navigate the historical depth and modern vibrancy of Jewish life in this culturally rich country. Discover key historical sites, engage with local Jewish communities, and find practical tips on maintaining kosher practices and observing Shabbat while […]

Dictionary of Armenian Food

Armenia, a land of ancient traditions and culinary treasures, invites you on a journey to explore its rich gastronomic heritage. Armenian food is characterized by its use of fresh herbs, succulent meats, and an array of grains and legumes, complemented by the distinctive flavors of pomegranate, lemon, apricot, and a variety of regional spices. Heavily […]

Dictionary of Georgian Food

The following dictionary is devoted to Georgian cuisine. Known for its rich flavors, diverse ingredients, and unique culinary techniques, Georgian food becomes a favorite of nearly all who try it. It is also surprisingly healthy and, overall, vegetarian-friendly. Our curated entries below outline not only well-known favorites like khachapuri, but also lesser-known desserts, a selection […]

A Guide to Georgian Dairy Products

Georgian cuisine, known for its unique flavor combinations, is also known for several unique dairy products. Like similar dairy products around the world, these originated from the same need to preserve the nutritional and caloric value of milk. With several local twists to the preparation process, however, including the use of “spontaneous starters” – or […]

Mariamoba, Svetitskhoveli, and Giorgoba: Holidays that Reflect Georgia’s Soul

Georgia’s three main autumn holidays, Mariamoba, Svetitskhoveli, and Giorgoba, are a great window to experience the soul of the Georgian people. Each of these state holidays represent a different aspect of Georgia’s unique religious tradition which has developed over the last millennia. Celebrations are well attended and important to Georgians. As a way to fully […]

Yazidi Temples in Aknalich, Armenia

While I was studying in Armenia I was able to request a trip to visit the Yazidi temples in Aknalich, Armenia. I arranged this through Hasmik, the guide that led much of the cultural portion for our SRAS study abroad program in Yerevan. I am fascinated with different religious groups, and this was a great […]

Chichilaki and Alilo: Georgia’s Unique Celebrations of Christmas

Georgia’s Christmas traditions of chichilaki and alilo reflect the deeprooted importance of tradition, sustainability, and religious expression in Georgian culture. Chichilaki are a unique, eco-friendly alternative to the Christmas tree that have been present in Georgian culture since ancient times. Meanwhile, alilo is a caroling tradition when costumed Georgian take to streets to sing religious […]

Georgian Holidays 2024: A Complete Guide

Georgian holidays strongly reflect the country’s unique traditions and its demographics. First, as more than 80% of Georgians identify with the Georgian Orthodox Church, the strong influence of the church can be felt in the preponderance of Orthodox holidays. Georgia also has several holidays celebrating its statehood and independence, which have been hard-won. We can […]

Armenian Holidays 2024: A Complete Guide

Through these holidays, you will find Armenia is filled with a rich history revolving around nationhood, family, and religious tradition. Many holidays are particularly associated with specific monuments emphasizing the importance of place in Armenian culture. Some are ancient holidays steeped in pagan symbolism, officially repressed under the Soviets, but now newly embraced by the […]

Armenian Identity: Heroes, Geography, Language, and Religion

This resource analyzes Armenian national identity through a selection of Armenian national heroes, pivotal events in Armenian history over the past century, geography in the Armenian national consciousness, and the role of religion, language, and ethnicity in the Armenian understanding of what it means to be Armenian. It will also briefly cover ethnic diversity in […]

Deportation Remembrance Day of the Chechens and Ingush

Holidays are fascinating in how they balance the traditions of the past with the reality of the present. Remembrance and memorial days are different from most holidays in mood, but similarly balance the past and present with the hope of preserving memories for future generations. This article looks specifically at the Deportation Remembrance Day of […]

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