Tbilisoba is a holiday in Georgia that celebrates something about Tbilisi. I’m not clear on exactly what.
Tbilisi was founded in the fifth century AD by Georgian King Vakhtang I Gorgasali. According to legend, Vakhtang was hunting a pheasant, and when he killed it, it fell into one of Tbilisi’s hot sulphur springs. “Tbilisi” comes from the Georgian root “tbili” meaning “warm,” or something like that.
Tbilisoba means “holiday of Tbilisi.” On Tbilisoba, there are concerts in various prominent locations and people go to them. People also drink, which is a common custom in Georgia on holidays. I myself – this being Tbilisoba – have already had three of the large Georgian beers on a completely empty stomach, so forgive me if this entry is in any way drunken.
Let me start from the beginning. I was born in November of 1981… okay, maybe not that far back. This morning I ate an egg and cheese sandwich at about 8:45. That was the last thing I ate today, and when I got home shortly after 7pm, I was hungry – however, my roommate noticed that there was loud music and decided to go check out the live show from which the noise was emanating.
You see, in Gldani, where we live, there is a big park with rides and a concert stage and a small cafe. Tweens hang out there and wander, and there are always a ton of police officers. Anywho, my roommate figured that the music must be live, and coming from the fairgrounds, and so we went to investigate.
When we arrived, it had been nearly eleven hours since I had eaten, and of course my first instinct was to get a beer. They were playing some old-timey American rock and roll – stuff like Elvis and the Beach Boys. As we watched, this music made the progression directly into hard rock/grunge/metal/nu-metal. Over the course of the night, we heard Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, ACDC, Metallica, Tool, and various other groups along the same lines. Every song was in English. Georgian tweens were doing the pogo and making metal hands. It was awesome and adorable.
I drank Argo, a Georgian beer brand that is vaguely similar to a Heineken. Georgian beer tends to come in 22s or bigger, so I had three large bottles, which, given that I now haven’t eaten in almost 13 hours, have done me quite well.
After the show was over, I went and talked to some of the organizers and band members. Apparently there is a show in Vake Park tomorrow at noon. Perhaps I shall go.
The Georgian teens were totally rocking out to the metal. Someone told me that Georgians don’t really like rock’n’roll music, so maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s yet another example of a Georgian telling me something about their country that other Georgians think is complete BS. In any case, I certainly enjoyed myself, and there were definitely kids there who were having a great time.
Looks like rock’n’roll is here to stay, even in Gldani.