Representations of Traditions Against Infectious Diseases in the Texts of the Nineteenth Century Georgian Writers and the Epoch Socio-Political Context

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T. Tsitsishvili
N. Ghambashidze


Our interest in this issue has arisen from main global problem - the Corona virus pandemic. We wondered how the nineteenth century is represented in the texts of Georgian writers, how Georgian folk rituals and beliefs against infectious diseases are presented in the texts of the nineteenth century Georgian writers: Nikoloz Natidze-Melania, Niko Lomouri, Anastasia Eristavi-Khoshtaria. The research aims to find out whether the reflection of rituals and beliefs in the stories of the above-mentioned writers is their artistic means, or the way to show the spirit of the epoch and the worldview of the time – serious socio-cultural changes taking place in the nineteenth century Georgia, the desire to show their position about these changes or innovations. The texts of the writers we have selected are important from the standpoint that Anastasia Eristavi-Khoshtaria is a woman writer standing at the forefront of Georgian gender writing, Nikoloz Natidze– a clergyman, and Niko Lomouri, a well-known teacher. Therefore, important are the events seen and appreciated through the eyes of a clergyman, woman writer and teacher. All three stories, especially Lomouri’s and Eristavi-Khoshtaria’s, pose the issue of women's rights, and are the best examples of Georgian children's writing. This interdis­ciplinary research, based on archival materials and scientific literature, showed that all three texts depict the customs related to infectious diseases as an artistic way of expressing current significant socio-cultural and, consequently, mental changes. By using the beliefs related to infectious diseases, the authors inform readers of their position on the most important, current epoch-making events. The Georgian experience of fighting epidemics, seen by the three mentioned authors, conveys socio-cultural processes that are generally characteristic of European context.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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