February28 , 2024
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[:en]Georgian grape varieties to be planted in China[:]

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[:en]Unique Georgian grape varieties will be planted in China’s province of Ningxia that will raise awareness about Georgian grape varieties in the country.

For this reason a delegation from Ningxia is visiting Georgia’s wine region of Kakheti to learn more about Georgian winemaking traditions.

They also visited different wine producing companies in Kakheti and were introduced to qvevri (a large, ancient Georgian winemaking vessel) wine-making technology. Later the Chinese delegation also visited several vineyards in Kakheti.

Recently the volume of investments made by China in Georgia has increased significantly, especially in the field of agriculture. Georgia has huge experience in winemaking and that’s why it is interesting for China to learn from the Georgian experience. It is also important that Georgian wine exports to China are on the rise”, said deputy Minister of Agriculture Iuri Nozadze.

The Chinese delegation visited different wine producing companies in Kakheti and were introduced to qvevri wine-making technology. Photo by SRCA.

The Chinese delegation noted that Georgia was one of the most important partner countries for China in terms of winemaking.

China is one of the largest importers of Georgian wine.

The latest figures show that between January and March 2017 about 1,794,200 bottles of Georgian wine were exported to China. This was a 383 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

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[:en]Innovative Reforms to Increase Education Quality in Georgia[:]

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The four stage reform plan initiated by the Government of Georgia foresees education as one of its top priorities, meaning revolutionary changes to be applied in the secondary, higher, science and professional education spheres. The reforms to be realized by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia are set within both short and long term perspectives and aim for the professional self-realization of individuals, notwithstanding their age, nationality or religion.

The short term perspective changes planned by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia are ongoing, and we think that by the end of 2017, as a result of improving services, the motivation of both teachers and students will be up. There will be free lessons in schools, oriented towards developing analytical, critical, logical and creative thinking in students. At the same time, educational services for individuals left behind in schools will be set. School management will be improved, work related study programs will be taught in professional colleges, the number of foreign students willing to acquire an education in Georgia will rise, the work of research institutions will be better and all this I just the tip of the iceberg of our planned reforms.

In terms of general education, school programs will be aligned to the contemporary sciences, based on the age development of school children and their abilities. That’s why the first stages of school education will be based on the learning through play principle. The now existing subject programs at the basic and middle levels will get easier, with schools giving enough education to students to enable them to enter higher education institutions without the help of private tutors. To achieve that goal, school text books will be improved both in terms of their content and technicality, new resources will be used, as will electronic text books.

With the diverse non-class programs and activities, school life will become much more interesting. Through implementing free lessons, distance learning and other methods, schools will have more possibilities to use more alternative approaches, whereas teachers will have more room for their professional self- realization.
Schools will be divided in accordance to their conditions and needs into small and leading categories. Programs to support private schools will also be launched.

As to secondary education, the government takes the responsibility

to make sports activities popular among young children as the best possibility for them to be acquainted with team-playing principles, and in acquiring skills for healthy living. Schools will regularly hold sports competitions, and phys-ed teachers will be retrained. At the same time, school children will have a chance to express their talents in different art forms through art lessons.

Due to cultural specifics and history, every country has its own literary heroes loved by children and which play a crucial role in their development, their way of thinking and vision. Unfortunately, after the demise of the Soviet Union, there were no new heroes added to Georgian children’s resources. It is vital for modern children and teens to have new heroes whose patriotism, friendship, diligence and loyalty will be replicated by them. In this form, attention will be paid to the skills that are important for the development of a system of values in children from a very early age.

There are also significant novelties planned in the higher education sphere. An effective system of financing, oriented on the quality of education, will be set. The State will again finance those priority professions in high demand from employers. Specialists needed in the manufacturing, production, construction, business, agriculture, politics, civil, sports, arts and culture, and academic and science spheres will be trained. Successful students will be given a chance to study at the world’s leading universities with state financing, although getting higher education in Georgian and English languages will be available in Georgia.

It’s our ambition to make Georgia a leader in education in the Eastern European and CIS countries. By 2020, Georgia expects to have the status of Regional Center for Higher Education. With consultations held between state organizations, a package of legislative changes will be carried out enabling foreign citizens to obtain student visas and other necessary documentation in Georgia through a simplified procedure. An internet portal will be launched with all necessary information available for students who intend to come to our country to study. Foreign students will have a chance to study 1+4 BA programs in the Georgian language. Those who express their willingness to study in Georgia will receive stipends.

After the revolutionary dual education implementation, there will be more reforms carried out in the professional education sphere. Apart from professional colleges in the regions, new programs complying with employment market needs will be launched. The list of professions will become more diverse and the same goes for innovative approaches.

The different study programs in colleges will be tailored to the needs of individuals of all age groups, offering students a chance to continue secondary or higher education while studying at college simultaneously. There will be a change in legislation: within professional education, a student will be able to obtain a full cycle general education with the possibility to enter a higher educational institution upon finishing professional college.

In terms of science, our mission is to generate new intellectual product that will develop the areas necessary for the country’s economic growth. Cooperation with leading international science and research institutions, foundations and organizations will continue and deepen. Every professor and scientist will have access to modern science-electronic bases and, in order to improve the quality of education, scientific research will be integrated into the educational process. Science-research institutions and scientists will have access to science infrastructure, bringing them new possibilities of scientific development. More Georgian scientists and professors will participate in exchange programs. Programs to support young Georgian scientists and those working abroad will be launched. A united scientific – informational system will be created where all the works from scientists and professors, their researches and achievements, will be stored.

University and scientific projects will be financed. Collaboration with Horizon 2020 and different international foundations will deepen and continue. Young inventors and scientists will have an opportunity to present their discoveries in commercially interesting proposals. As I mentioned, these are just few of the plans. In order to make the Georgian language accessible for national minorities and foreigners, electronic study methods are to be implemented. The Ministry of Education and Science offers Georgian language courses in a non-stop regime for anyone interested, fully financed by the State, while, for the raising of awareness on the Abkhaz culture, educational resources are to be prepared and offered.

Together with international partners, a world class electronic study platform will be launched and implemented at every stage of education. School children and university students will have access to high level education resources, virtual laboratories, video lectures by distinguished teachers and professors, to the programs of foreign language learning, and more.

Mobile phones, computers, virtual and mixed reality will be used for electronic education, which will help to deepen knowledge in each subject and an increase of interest towards learning overall.

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[:en]China samples Georgian wine at influential food and drinks fair[:]

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Georgia, a country famous for its rich wine-making history and traditions, is steadily gaining recognition in China.

This week 27 Georgian wine companies participated in the 96th China Food & Drinks Fair, which was held in the city of Sichuan province, Chengdu, China.

Georgian wines were greatly appreciated at the fair. Representatives of Georgian wine companies met existing partners as well as potential importers. During the fair, new deals were made. The fair is a perfect opportunity to make Georgian wine more popular and notable on the south-east Asian market,” said the deputy head of marketing and PR department of National Wine Agency Tamta Kvelaidze.

This year, the following Georgian Wine companies were represented at the fair: Kindzamarauli Ltd, Besini, Telavi Wine Cellar/Marani, Tbilvino, Teliani Valley, Georgian Wine House, Twins Wine Cellar, Château Mukhrani, Shalvino, Winery Khareba, Tiflis Wine Cellar, Vaziani Company, Kakhuri, Maranuli, Sarakishvili, Shilda, Batono, Bagrationi 1882, Wineman, Schuchmann Wines, Tigishvili Wine Company, Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking, Guremani, Mildiani, Kakhuri Gvinis Marani, Dugladze Wine&Spirits Georgian Wines&Spirits.

Tigishvili Wine Company and Besini were among the Georgian wine companies which participated in the wine fair in China. Photo by Wines of Georgia.

China is one of the largest importers of Georgian wine.

Between January and February 2017 about 832,552 bottles of Georgian wine were exported to China, the latest figures showed. This was a 280 percent increase than the same time in 2016.

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[:en]Georgia-EU visa-free travel takes effect[:]

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Visa-free travel for Georgian citizens with the EU has already taken effect. Those having biometric passports will enjoy visa-free travel in Schengen countries for 90 days in an 180-day period.

Visa-free travel implies free travel in the Schengen zone that includes 22 EU member countries, as well as 4 non-member countries and 4 Schengen-candidate states.

Great Britain and Ireland are only exceptions as they maintain visa regime.

Negotiations over Georgia-EU visa-free travel were launched on June 4, 2012.

On February 25, 2013, Georgia was given a visa liberalisation action plan including benchmarks to be met by the Georgian side. In December 2015 the European Commission assessed Georgia’s actions positively and published a positive recommendation. Afterwards, the EU Parliament and Council of Europe approved Georgia’s visa liberalisation.

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[:en]Chinese street food[:]

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If you are a great food lover you must visit street food areas in China. Chinese street food are different from ordinary meals. Frequently, that food are more delicious and cooks faster than dishes in restaurant. As we know, Chinese have very busy schedule and that way of eating is very popular and convenient there.

In those streets are many stalls where vendors make diverse dishes such as baozi (steamed buns with different fillings: meat, mushrooms, cabbage and etc.), different kinds of Chinese spice noodles (with all kinds of meat, prawns, mushrooms, plural greens, tomatoes), and many other things. You can also checkout different traditional foods. In addition, street foods include Chinese Kebabs (chuans’r 串 meats and vegetables are used to prepare kebabs), Cifantuan or Ci Faan (it is fried dough with glutinous rice), Chinese version of American hamburger- Rou Ji Mo, Bing Tanghulu (candied hawthorns covered with many coats of sugar syrup and skewered onto long thin sticks). It is a short list of dishes which you can taste in the streets of China.

So, if you visit China you do not miss a chance to checkout those unusual meals. You will enjoy with exotic taste of Chinese traditional foods. They are very delicious and extraordinary.

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[:en]Georgian Sour milk – Matsoni[:]

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Matsoni (მაწონი) is delicious Georgian traditional product. In general, it is made from cow’s milk, but also we use sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, buffalo’s milk or mix of them. Matsoni is the easiest homemade health food. It is very similar to yogurt. Everything you must to do is to boil a milk, mix hot milk with one spoon of Matsoni, put mixture in a jar then wrap it with warm material and in 3 to 4 hours it’s done.

As we know, tradition of Matsoni comes from Antique Georgia and since then has spread in Caucasus. Now delicious Georgian yogurt is very popular all over the world. In addition, it is used to make soup and drink of Matsoni. Beside that Matsoni is very healthy. Scientists say Matsoni has preventive properties from serious diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or congenital heart disease are. Also, it reduces gastric acid secretion, and at the same time, Matsoni has dietary and medical effect.

Well, at least, Matsoni is very useful product in Georgia and everyone can buy it in the supermarket. But if you want to taste real, healthy Matsoni you must do it by yourself with natural milk. In addition, it is very easy to prepare.

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[:en]Chinese steamed buns – Baozi[:]

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Now, I will talk about other dish of Chinese cuisine – Baozi (包子). They are steamed buns filled with different mixture. Essentially, fillings are made from meat, spices, mushrooms and thinly chopped cabbage, but sometimes steam buns are made from various vegetarian and seafood fillings.Image result for baozi It’s a bit looks like the Georgian traditional meat dumplings – Khinkali (ხინკალი). Difference between these two traditional food is fillings (when we prepare khinkali we do not add cabbage and mushrooms with meat), but what both of them have in common is that the juices of the meat are trapped inside of it. Image result for ხინკალი In China, baozi is most commonly eaten for a breakfast with sesame oil, conger (it is rice porridge and the main ingredients are rice and water), worm soy milk, garlic paste and other flavorings.Image result for baozi

Baozi like other dishes of china has history. According to legend, they were invented during the Three Kingdom period (AD 220–280) by Zhuge Liang who was Chinese scholar and strategist. Other legend say that Mongols brought the form from the Turkic court to China in the Yuan Dynasty.Image result for baozi

In China these buns are very popular and widely available. Everyone can prepare this delicious bun at home. It takes some time, but the result will be surprised everyone and all members of family will be satisfied.

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[:en]Tangyuan – delicious Chinese dessert[:]

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Now I want to introduce traditional Chinese dessert Tangyuan. It is made from glutinous rice flour mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and after that  they are cooked and served in boiling water. These balls can be filled with various ingredients such as: red bean and chocolate paste, fruit preserves, sesame seeds and ground peanuts mixed with sugar.

Image result for tangyuan

According to some facts in history, Tangyuan has been a popular snack in China since Sung dynasty. They are traditionally eaten during Yuanxiao (Tangyuan) or Lantern Festival. Tangyuan was named as Yuanxiao (袁 曉 according to legend, this name was changed, because it sounded like that „remove Yuan“) and the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese calendar was considered to be Yuanxiao Festival.Related image

Also, Chinese serve them as a dessert on wedding days, Dōng zhi – Winter Solstice Festival (冬 至 dong means „winter“ and zhi- „arrival“) and just for family gatherings. Tang yuan is a symbol of the family togetherness, because of round shape of the balls and the bowls where they are served.

Image result for tangyuan

To sum up, you can also buy this product in supermarkets in the frozen section, but it is very easy to make. It would be more delicious if you make them by yourself.

riceball? by lara06

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[:en]Georgian candy – Churchkhela[:]

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Churchkhela is a type of Georgian candy, shaped like a candle made from natural grape juice hazel-nut or other nuts inside it. Churchkhela is a homemade Georgian product. This candy is usually prepared in autumn when the primary ingredients, grapes and nuts, are harvested and then served for Christmas holidays. Churchkhela is extremely delicious and energizing. It is a well-known fact that Georgian soldiers used to consume them when they went to the battle. It is very delicious and nutritious and often called the Georgian „Snickers“ in China!

Churchkhela is also served as a dessert during the New Year and Christmas celebrations, but for other times it is just a snack. It is the one of the main meals of New year and Christmas table.
It is a string of walnut halves that have been dipped in grape juice called Tatara or Phelamushi (grape juice thickened with flour), and dried in the sun. No sugar is added to make real Churchkhela. Instead of walnuts, sometimes nuts or almonds are used in the regions of west Georgia. The shape of Churchkhela looks like a candle, but some people say it looks like a sausage. Georgian warriors carried Churchkhelas with them because they contain many calories. The best Churchkhela is made in Kakheti region, which is renowned as the motherland of wine.
Beside that churchkhela is very healthy. Tatara is rich in potassium and helps the heart muscle, while the nuts have a beneficial effect on the bone marrow and the spleen. In addition, nuts have been recognized by scientists as the best “medicine” for the brain. Also, Tatara, which is made from grape juice, is a natural cure for insomnia.
If you want to taste this unusual product you just need to visit grocery and sweets shops. Also you can buy them in tourist places. So it is available for everyone to checkup churchkhela.

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