Being cautious about characteristics attributed to entire nations which might be more suitably attributed to individuals, I hesitated to share these observations by Steinbeck of his experience of Georgians, during a short visit of a few days or perhaps a week.

What it says about them, if such sweeping generalizations can be made at all, I don’t know. But I simply like the description of anyone, individually or collectively, in the lively terms he uses.

‘They are a people of poetry, of music and dancing, and, according to the tradition, great lovers. And surely they live in a country favored by nature, and just as surely they have had to fight for it for two thousand years …

 

In these terrific Georgians we had met more than our match. They could out-eat us, out-drink us, out-dance us, out-sing us. They had the fierce gaiety of the Italians, and the physical energy of the Burgundians.’

 

Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 146 & p. 183

Photo credit: New York Public Library at unsplash

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