Thursday, April 8, 2010
Trip to Svaneti offers lots of fascinating experiences like the views of the dazzling sub-alpine landscape or the chance to become a part of the centuries old cultural and religious rituals. My visit was marked by a sudden death of the locally well-known villager Torkhan, 60. This healthy man, who surprisingly left no family behind, except his very old mother, fell victim of the heart attack and was honored with the traditional moaning called Zari. A choir of dozens of local men performed in the lower baritone the ritual wordless singing that is implied to express the deepest sorrow of the family and relatives.
The funeral in Georgia is traditionally a social event that unites all the relatives and neighborhood to offer their total support to the family of the diseased person. They organize memorial services and prepare the ritual dinner called Kelekhi.
Despite this tragic event, the relatives of Torkhan readily offered to me their permission to photograph and record the sounds of the funeral service. Here on this page I tried to compile all the obtained images and audio, which I believe helps the viewer to get the experience similar to mine.