Lights before Christmas on Rustaveli Avenue

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Susanna Melo writes again.

Decorative lights string the main avenues in Tbilisi making for a bright and festive holiday season. The freezing cold weather is a reminder that we are closer to the North Pole.  But we have not yet seen crowds of shoppers in stores or too many people walking down these commercial streets with shopping bags.

We know that people are still going through hard financial times here, but Georgians still take to the streets to have some fun.  Children skip or run on the sidewalks to and from school, youth walk arm in arm independent of their gender, families stroll along closely knit, while the elderly also make their presence sitting on the benches and watching the passersby. Popcorn and cotton candy stands attract business, as do men or women selling flowers or balloons.  Life seems less complicated and less commercial here.

I have enjoyed the beauty of the Christmas lights, but I have mostly enjoyed observing all the human interactions that take place on the many streets I walk each day with thousands of Georgians.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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