AEGEE-Tbilisi: Caucasian local with European plans

This local is considered as one of the most hospitable locals in AEGEE, their brand drink is wine, their surnames are simply non-pronounceable for most AEGEE people. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud to announce our new Local of the Month – AEGEE-Tbilisi!

In December AEGEE-Tbilisi successfully organised the very first Network Meeting in Caucasus “Lights, Camera, Action!” and hosted 35 participants from 11 locals from 7 different countries. Hosting a Network Meeting with locals from so much challenging region was a huge achievement for this area. Tika Kukhianidze, former President of AEGEE-Tbilisi and coordinator of NWM Tbilisi, and Salome Machavariani, current President of AEGEE-Tbilisi, were interviewed on this occasion by the AEGEEan.

Dear girls, can you please tell us which first emotions you had when you heard that AEGEE-Tbilisi is nominated as Local of the Month in AEGEE?

Salome:  I couldn’t believe it was real! I was surprised when we were nominated as local of the month in our area and now in the whole AEGEE, it was even more exciting -unbelievable and unexpected. This is an amazing feeling that your work is so much appreciated.

Tika: The big splash of emotions! – It goes without saying. I totally forgot that I had high temperature and was supposed to stay in bed. Looking back to the past year, I realised that AEGEE-Tbilisi has done a big step forward. And I am extremely proud and happy to be a part of it.

You were elected as Local of the Month for hosting the first Network Meeting in Caucasian area. Tell us how was it to host such an event? Anything particular which made it different from all other events you organised? 

– Salome: The excitement about organising such an event was felt among all members of AEGEE-Tbilisi. The team was formed already in September and put a lot of effort in the event.

-Tika: We felt extra responsibility, as it was the first NWM in Caucasus. It meant a lot for the locals in the region, for their future partnership and friendship among them, for involvement of their members in AEGEE.

Organising such an event was challenging also because of the conflict issues in the region. It created certain tension for organisers, as we already tackled such situation while organising RTC “Youth for Peace”. But fortunately the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, thanks to excellent participants we had.

Salome: Also this NWM can become a starting point for the future tradition – annual NWMs organised in Tbilisi, as this is the most convenient place to gather Azeri and Armenian locals together.

As local with long history you organised many events and lots of activities, do you have any tradition now in AEGEE-Tbilisi which you follow from year to year?

Tika: We love traditions. The one we are planning to launch is meeting participants of our international events at the airport with wine and give them the very first insights into Georgian culture – teaching them how to drink it in our way. As from the ancient times Georgians were meeting guests with wine symbolizing hospitality and respect.

Salome: We have done this for the first time at our last TSU that was organised in cooperation with CWG. It was even broadcasted on the local news.
As for the other traditions – maybe letting our guests stealing the flag?.. :)

[Remark from the author – during NWM Tbilisi the flag of AEGEE-Tbilisi was stolen by me, NetCom Olga Iatsyna, and the President of AEGEE-Europe Alfredo Sellitt. See picture on the left]





Tell us if there is a funny fact about your local?

Tika: Well, I don’t know whether they are funny, but here are some facts that we prepared earlier:

  • AEGEE-Tbilisi has 3 twin members;
  • AEGEE-Tbilisi has had 8 boards and only 1 male president;
  • AEGEE-Tbilisi was the first local established in Caucasus;
  • In average around 30 litres of wine is drunk during AEGEE-Tbilisi parties.

Which are further plans of AEGEE-Tbilisi? Any big events planned?

Tika: maybe EBM… (laughing)

Salome: just kidding… or maybe not? :)

Tika: Upcoming Traveling Summer University “Gandagana” is the one we are focusing on for now, as the program we are working out is totally exceptional, full of adventures and new insights.

Salome: And of course the constant development process in the organization especially in HR and PR part.

Congratulations, AEGEE-Tbilisi – our Local of the Month!  We wish you lots of adventurous events, awesome participants and endless AEGEE Spirit!

Written by Olga Iatsyna, AEGEE-Dnipropetrovsk