Check out any of the ‘Top 10’ lists for things to do while visiting Georgia and you’ll find ‘attending a Georgian supra’ on just about every single one of them.
What is a Georgian supra?
A Georgian Supra is basically a feast. There are two types of Supra’s a festive one and a funeral one. You can have a Supra for any event…wedding, new child, graduation, promotion at work…you name it and you can have a Supra to celebrate it.
According to The Culture Trip, what makes a Georgian Supra special is that “the attendees will leave tipsy and full, in both body and spirit. They will feel camaraderie with the other people around the table, a connection after all the toasts, wine, songs, food, and conversation. New relationships will have been forged, new memories created.” – The Culture Trip
The First Digital Nomad Supra
When I realized just how many digital nomads were in Tbilisi this month (August 2019), I decided to organize a Supra so we could experience this Georgian Tradition. I really wanted to inspire the group to embrace local Georgian culture. For many, this was the only experience to get a peak into the Georgian Supra.
The “camaraderie with the other people around the table, a connection after all the toasts, wine, songs, food, and conversation” is precisely the feeling that I was hoping to inspire with the first ever Tbilisi Digital Nomad Supra.
In attendance were a total of 22 Digital Nomads. Although the USA was over-represented, we also had attendees from Iran, Russia, Israel, Australia, Mexico and Georgia. A total of 6 countries, 22 nomads, a freelance chef from Georgia, and a Georgian Tamada.
Everyone participated in at least one toast in the course of the night. I think everyone left feeling closer to the group, a little tipsy and inspired to get to know one another even better.
The Art of the Toast
Toasting at a supra in an ancient tradition in Georgia. It dates back well into the 1200’s with the then King Tamar who was actually a Queen. Georgians take toasting to a serious level. There are multiple rules, roles and standard toasts in a Supra.
The role of the Tamada is to lead the event. In essence, he is the one responsible for all attendees to join in and have fun. He is responsible for engaging the group, making sure that no one is being left out. I would call a Tamada an orator or a poet of sorts…although I’m certain that I’m romanticizing it a bit.
Passing the Toast
The Georgian even have a word when the Tamda wants to ass the toasting to someone else at the table. He will announce “Alaverdi with you” and select a temporary toastmaster.
Standard Toasts (you might hear) at a Georgian Supra
(1) To our acquaintance and friendship
(2) to the well-being of the guests, relatives and friends
(3) to the family of the guests
(4) to the parents and the older generation
(5) to the dead and the saints, (wine is poured onto a piece of bread for this toast)
(6) to existing and yet unborn children
(7) to the women present at the table
(8) to love
(9) to the guests’ mothers
(10) to peace on earth
(11) to the hostess
(12) to the tamada himself