Cuttino's Georgian Life

A journal of my Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia, 2006-2008.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Biliki's Holiday Productions

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is ready for the new year! I returned from a Christmas vacation in a skiing village and will work until New Year's Eve. The holiday decorations are just coming out here. Gori has been decorated in lights and a 30-foot fake Christmas--err...New Year's--tree is in Stalin Square. At Biliki, the children participated in a New Years pageant. Santa (or Tovis Papa) showed up and gave all the children gift bags. I've posted a bunch of pictures from the celebration on Flickr.

On a different note, Biliki presented a play to Gori youth about life on the streets. It was written and performed by a theater company from Tbilisi and was sponsored by UNICEF, the British Council and BP. I was surprised at the frank portrayal of poverty, prostitution, drug use, and AIDS. Georgians tend to view these topics as taboo, especially for teenagers. The second half of the play was the most interesting, when the audience participated by making decisions on behalf of the characters in hopes of avoiding a tragic ending. Here are some pictures from our production:

The basic premise of the play involved three teenagers living on the streets who were being exploited by some sort of gangster (the guy who looks like Tyler Durden) and his girlfriend. There was a subplot with a crazy TV reporter (the woman locked in the cage); I didn't really understand that one, but it did provide some comic relief. The first half ended like a Greek tragedy--one of our heroes found out he had AIDS and went crazy, the second died of an overdose, and the heroine sells herself off. Fortunately, with the audience participation, things turned out a little better the second time around.

Tomorrow will be the last day of work before the New Year's holiday. I'll be heading off to have an authentic Georgian celebration with my old host family in Khashuri. Should be a good time...Happy New Year!


  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey cuttino...s novim godom and all that...just wanted to drop you a quick line and say hey and to say that eleonora wishes you a good year and health. she was really excited to hear about your time in georgia the last time that i saw her.

    talk to you soon,



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