Lali Panchulidze, the noblewoman of Georgia who paints her land with words
Knowing the world with its true colors, flavors, scents, shadows and magnificence, means increasing an indispensable cultural baggage able to broaden the “field of vision” of our soul, to make us internally more free and able to color our thoughts. We had the honour to meet an extraordinary woman, endowed with an unusual delicacy, kindness, privacy and so much charm to arouse our curiosity. We are talking about Lali Panchulidze, none other than the Princess of Georgia, whom we meet for an exciting interview.
Q – Lali Panchulidze who is he, where does he come from?
A – I come from the wonderful pearl of the Caucasus, from the beating heart of Eurasia, Sakartvelo, that is Georgia, the mythical Colchis of the Golden Fleece, the Middle Earth between East and West, the door of the Silk Road. My ancestors were Byzantine patricians, nobles (Aznaurs) from the principality of Tao Klarjeti and the kingdom of Imerezia, Caucasian knights Templars (Tadzrelebi), Georgian princes (Tavadashvili), generals and counts from the Russian Tsar empire. But I am simply Lali, myself, because true nobility is only personal, soulful, what you gain in the field, with work and daily commitment, culture and solidarity. If anything, I care about the title of “mandilosani” (lady, noblewoman) that has been granted to me for my patriotic fidelity to Georgia, to our tradition, to our holy Orthodox Church and to our glorious royal dynasty Bagrationi.
Q – You are passionate about art, can you introduce us to something that concerns the artistic panorama of your country?
A – Georgia is a colourful and fragrant land of synthesis between different civilizations because we are located in a strategic position of borders and passages and we have always defended our national identity, however, incorporating in it, the best examples of neighboring cultures. We still have the ruins of the Greek and Roman ports on the Black Sea, we are full of churches (in turn still full of devotees), monasteries, castles and medieval towers, our cities have developed in an eclectic and harmonious way, with the display of different architectural styles, materials and colors. The deep culture lies in our Christian orthodoxy, in the classic and rigorous iconography, but we have had and continue to have painters, writers, poets and musicians, all very attached to our land and identity. I really like the fusion between classical and post-modern antiquity, the dialogue between the different and the creation of new syntheses.
Q – Can there be a deeper cultural exchange between Europeans – Russia?
A – Your wrong question allows me to clarify a point that is absolutely fundamental for me. Georgia (Sakartvelo) is not Russia, we have a two thousand year history and a very strong identity, with our own alphabet and language, we are proudly Georgians! Having said that, we are culturally and historically linked to our great Orthodox sister Russia. We are not just neighbours but brothers who were together first in the Tsarist empire and then in the Soviet Union. Now geopolitical and economic foreign interests have destabilized the structures: Russia militarily occupies two of our historic regions (Ossetia and Abkhazia) and the U.S. is colonizing us culturally, pushing us into the arms of the wildest liberalism and the warlike NATO. Instead, we want to join the European Union, remaining militarily autonomous, friends of all, masters of our destiny and politically protagonists of the Caucasian region. I do not deal with politics in the strict sense, but I have studied history and geography: Georgia is the extreme eastern border of Europe, it is bordering Russia and it is very far from the Americas and their mentality.
Q – What economic and commercial exchanges are possible between Italy and Georgia?
A – Georgia has a formidable craftsmanship of recognized excellence (icons, jewelry, textiles, traditional clothing, carpets and accessories) and is famous for its wines, very ancient and special, is an ideal land for tourism, both for its layered history and for the different natural beauty, for the pristine landscapes, still inhabited by wild horses, bears and deer. And then we eat very well, many traditional dishes, very tasty and spicy. But between Italy and Georgia (and former USSR countries) there are already strong trade relations. Our bourgeoisie loves Italian style, fashion and design but also many of your food and wine products. With our ACIGEA (international cultural association ecumenical Christian Italy Georgia Eurasia) we develop these issues, developing projects of cultural and professional collaboration in these areas. For Italian entrepreneurs and investors there are many economic opportunities and also many tax and administrative benefits. Come to Georgia, enjoy Georgia, invest in Georgia.
A short and incisive interview that further opens the will to know better this wonderful part of the world. Therefore, between the lines of this newspaper you will find punctually some insights into new scenarios.