Embassy of Georgia: A Warm and Welcoming Party Experience!

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April 5, 2018 I had an exclusive invite to cover the “Experience Georgian Culture” party held at the Georgian Embassy (1824 R street, NW, Washington D.C).

For this party, I wore a black v-neck shirt from Macys, and a long black skirt, with intricate gold designs embroidered at the bottom from Nordstrom. The commute was long, difficult but worth it. I knew finding parking around certain embassies would be arduous so I decided to park my car at Bethesda metro station, metro to Dupont circle and just walk the rest of the way.

Tickets for this event were around $40 and this price includes authentic food, art exhibition, entertainment, and a complimentary swag bag.  The Georgian Center, in partnership with the Embassy of Georgia, sponsored this entrancing party. The embassy, itself, was crowded with a variety of folks ranging from Georgian denizens, DC wonks, and media outlets. The house had expansive floors, an ornate staircase with inscriptions, and a variety of art hung along the walls. There was a complimentary coat check, as soon as you walked through the doors.

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Photo taken by Kevin Hertle 

An extensive buffet had a hungry crowd, armed with red and white Georgian wines, and well tailored dresses and suits, forming a polite queue.  The food emanated a warm touch with the crowd, as many foodies enjoyed sweet and savory treats melded with an array of spices and herbs such as tarragon, dill, flat parsley, and coriander. Kachapuri, a warm, gooey, cheese bread, enticed and evinced a homey-nostalgia with native Georgians.  Foods such as Badrijan Nigzit which is roasted eggplant served flat with walnut paste; Pkhali, a paste made from spinach, walnuts, and garlic; and Qababi, grilled minced meat kebabs sprinkled with onion and sumac also made memorable appearance.

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The party started promptly by 6:30 p.m. Guests were welcomed by the Ambassador of Georgia, H.E. David Bakradze, who has been serving as ambassador since November 2016.

For the first half of the party, Vlad Bregvadz, president of the Georgian Center honored several individuals for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of Georgian culture abroad. The first ever Georgian stand-up comedian George Bitadze, brought much laughter into the room as he adeptly layered in stories, witticisms, and anecdotes. Mamuka Gogiberidz and Giorgi Popkhadze, performed classical Georgian folk music and the popular and highly animated Georgian Flash mob, led by the talented Maya Monroe, and staged by Veronika Metonidze and Levan Chkheidze brought down the house.

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Artwork, jewelry sales, and fashion designs by Ana Tkabladze, Tamar Mosulishvili, Nanuka Gogichaishvili, Gosha Dimitruk, Levan Mosiashvili, and Nana Chikhladze invigorated the networking and wine tasting sessions. Mixed media works such as oil paintings, acrylic portraits, clay sculptures, wood carvings, and combined metals were crafted by established and emerging artists. Proceeds from art sales benefited the Georgian Cultural Center and Bebnisi School for children. Zeg Made and Style Diplomacy dot com sponsored these talented artists as well.

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The food, people, and artwork brought me closer to a better understanding of Georgia. The food had a homemade taste, imitable to if I had a Georgian mom making this from scratch at home. The people were easy-going, warm, and wonderful conversationalists. I especially had a wonderful time getting to know the flash mob and learning more about Georgian culture from key figures from the Georgian cultural center too. The art left an indelible impression with me and I was able to see how beautiful the country side through a creative lens. Overall, I had a magical time and I look forward to attending more Georgian cultural events.

Feel free to make a charitable donation to the Georgian Cultural Center here.

About Georgian Cultural Center

The Georgian Center is a charitable 501 (c) (3) non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Georgian culture, education, and innovation in the United States of America.The Center is not financially supported by any government and relies on contributions from the diaspora and friends of Georgia.

I exclusively attended Old-New Years Masquerade Vasilica at the Embassy of Macedonia

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 *Special thank you to the Embassy of Macedonia and UMD President Metodija A. Koloski for the hospitality & background information*

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the United Macedonian Diaspora’s 12th Annual  Old-New Year’s Masquerade Vasilica celebration at the Embassy of Macedonia. The embassy was packed to the brim with 200 stylish D.C denizens who were donned in glam ensembles and baroque masks.
Vasilica is a centuries-old Macedonian holiday that commemorates both, the feast day of St. Basil the Great and the New Year’s Day according to the Julian calendar.  People from all over Macedonia and the region come to Vevcani wearing festive costumes and masks and dance throughout the two-day event. The Embassy of Macedonia was skillfully able to mold old tradition with new trends.  I remember when I walked into the embassy, I was impressed with the party layout.  The middle of the room had a bustling dance floor with a talented DJ who not only spun newer hits but meshed in 90’s jams.  Often times, Washington D.C carries a stigma for having a deadened dance floor but this particular party deactivated the stigma. There was an active dance floor, delicious all you can eat goodies, and copious amounts of authentic Macedonian wine thanks to Stobi Winery. 
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 I had the great fortune to sample delicious Macedonian delicacies such as  Macedonian kebabs, tavche gravche (a special baked bean dish), shopska salad (cucumbers, peppers, onions with some salt, vinegar, and oliver oil), as well as the popular Macedonian walnut baklava. Each dish was scrumptious, fresh, and really filling.
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Stobi Winery is well known in the D.C area for carrying special wines that use Vranec red (a special grape found in the Balkans), and for their whites and roses.  I really enjoyed sampling the rose due to the beverage’s light taste, rosy hue, and smooth yet fruit finish. I recommend this special wine for any festivity. If you want to cultivate your palates and also be more cultured with your wine selections, visit MacArthur Beverages in Georgetown to find this delicious wine or even contact Aleksandar Krsmanovic at a_krsmanovic@balkanwineproject.com from the Balkan Wine Project.
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 At the beginning of the evening, guests received a piece of bread–a welcoming token to any Macedonian household– which was baked by UMD D.C. representative Gordana Mirkoska. According to Macedonian Orthodox tradition, whomever finds the coin is blessed with luck, health, and prosperity throughout the year. One lucky guest found this coin and the crowd was overjoyed!
Later on in the evening, Ambassador of Macedonia Vasko Naumovski and UMD President Metodija A. Koloski warmly welcomed guests to the residence and invited all to eat, drink, and be merry. I definitely took their advice to heart, especially when I donned my sparkly, sapphire mask and pranced around the dance floor to every single 90’s song like I was a kid in the 90’s. I was also lucky enough to get on this super long conga line that seemed to have grabbed folks from different areas of the embassy. I will surely relish the singing faces, practical jokes (this random guy kept smacking men in the behind in a mysterious, Lothario-fashion) and overall ambiance of that moment.
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Speaking of the  Embassy of Macedonia, did you know the embassy was also known as the Moses House? It  was constructed in 1893 and is a mixture of Queen Anne and Neoclassical architecture. This house was renovated over the years and  officially opened as the Embassy of Macedonia on October 26, 2005. The architecture is both beautiful and mystifying. The curves of the roof along with the cream coffee-milk color, and the overall body of the residence is easy on the eyes. Based on this salacious yet provocative description of the house, I hope this entices you all to check this embassy out. 
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  Lastly, all proceeds from Masquerade are given to the United Macedonian Diaspora’s scholarship program which gives  grants to college students, and strengthens the internship program.
I had such a memorable time that I do hope to go back again next year!