Author Topic: Dining with the Dead: Georgian families' graveyard feasts  (Read 3856 times)

Jessie Fong

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Dining with the Dead: Georgian families' graveyard feasts
« on: May 14, 2013, 08:44:43 AM »

Here is a BBC Report ....

In many Western countries graveyards are seen as sinister or even frightening but not so in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

As with other eastern Orthodox countries, it is common for Georgians to honour their deceased relatives by taking food and wine to cemeteries, and having feasts beside the graves.

Although practised throughout the year, Orthodox Easter is one of the busiest times for the tradition.


Do you know of any similar practise in any other countries?


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Re: Dining with the Dead: Georgian families' graveyard feasts
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 02:46:31 PM »
Wow.. I think the Georgians are amazing in such a way that they celebrate their loved ones even after their passing... on top of that they're all Christians. I have not heard of this before, such practices like leaving food on the grave etc is more common in Asian traditions such as the Koreans, Japanese and Chinese.

What amazed me most is how they have taken death as a part of life... you would see that they're not really attached to the notion of being alive, but rather they find that death is part and parcel of life and has learnt to let go... it's difficult, but they seem to manage it pretty well.

Good for them... people that pass usually worry about the loved ones they left behind... it is a good culture to know that your family will be ok once you're dead.

hope rainbow

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Re: Dining with the Dead: Georgian families' graveyard feasts
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »
That is indeed a tradition that I did not know of...
How death is most often something we deal with in tears and grief comes in contrast with this tradition.
Though tears were there too, we can see a mother with tears in her eyes over the resting place of her son.

We all have had to walk through the difficult bridge that we must cross at the loss of a loved one, and it got me thinking a great deal, especially as I see others grieving allows me to maybe get a bit closer to understanding how I have experienced loss before.

I see three things in the grieving emotions in myself and others:
1. regrets
2. attachment
3. compassion

1. regret
If I have NOT done my best for someone I love, and that person dies, I feel like I did not say enough, I did not resolve enough, I did not care enough for that person and now it's too late, nothing can be done, nothing, and I tear of regret.
Sometimes I see friends fighting, I see a couple fighting and saying very harsh words and slamming the door and then a few hours later I see them making peace, we all have done that, right?
When I see that, I can't help but to think, what if you say stupid harsh words to someone you love, you slam the door and then that person dies before you could "fix" it? What then? Yours tears will be flowing again and again forever with regret of letting a loved one go with hurt in his heart.
And I think to myself, that is something I must not do, hurt someone, let him bleed a little and then come back and heal the wound... What if I can;t heal the wound? Then I have to live the rest of my life with that very wound... Uuuuhhhh...

2. attachment
We do get attached to those we love, we think this is a good emotion because it makes us feel secure when we "have" what we are attached to, that is: many material things, but also beings, mother, father, friends, spouses, dogs, even sometimes a movie star.
We can't deal with even the idea that this will not be forever, that they will die, that I will die, and we don't, most often, speak about it. Some people even think that to talk about it is "bad luck" or something.
Attachment is bias, love with attachment is bias, even though it is love and it is beautiful.
Love without attachment is pretty pretty hard, but it is still love, in fact it is a better love, it is a love for the interest of the person we love, much stronger results arise from that kind of love.
But do we cry when we loose someone that we love without attachment?

3. compassion
Well, yes we do cry for someone that we love without attachment, we cry of compassion.
I am saying this intellectually for I am not that person that loves without attachment, but I speak of this from an intellectual understanding.
If I love without attachment, I cry when a person close to me dies, i cry because I think of the things that person could have done and did not, of the positive things that person could have done.
I cry maybe because I am worried about where that mind is now, I am worried for that person.
I cry because I remember the good things that person did, and i cry of sorrow, a joyous sorrow for it was such a beautiful person that just left us.
I cry because i see others crying of regret and attachment and I can feel the pain and I cry with empathy and compassion.
But then the tears are not about me, they are about that person and about others around...
Doesn't mean there is no sadness, but it is not not a sadness of misery and despair, it is simply sadness.

My thoughts...