Visiting Georgia is always wonderful for me: To meet with long term friends, to meet with family, to enjoy great foods and wine, to exchange ideas, views and philosophies about the world.
Besides these, I enjoy looking around in areas I am well aquainted with, to compare and see the development. On my last walk yesterday I took some pictures of people and corners which somehow seemed meaningful.
Georgian society is changing. Families with strong ties between all were the backbone of society, taking a great share of time every day. This seems to change. The new generation has quite a different outlook on life than their parents. While this seems normal for western societies, it was not so in Georgia. Traditions are important in Georgia. But a different life style has taken over for young families. Earning money has become more important, time has become precious and scarce.
New shopping malls have opened their doors. New products, fashion, latest styles and home deco are attracting those, who did not have this choice ten years ago, and before. Fast food restaurants are the place to go. Compared to local wages, prices seem enormous. But life style is what counts.
From what I see, society in Tbilisi is changing, split between those who can afford the new way, and those who cannot. By far not all can take part in the new way. There are old people sitting by the side walk selling nuts and chutchella to earn a few Lari. They are not the only ones left out. And since time has become scarce, families do not share the ties they used to. How much time is left to care for the family, when you want to buy all the attractive things that shops offer?
Sharing time with family was an old tradition in Georgia. Sharing time with children, sharing time with the old. Is it still? At least in Tbilisi you see this tradition disappearing. Western lifestyle has arrived in Tbilisi.
A few impressions:
Global capital has reached Tbilisi – whoever wants to build – builds! There seem to be no restrictions.