Ajarians - Marriage and Family

Domestic Unit. Georgian national characteristics are especially well retained in those social institutions connected with family life, marital relations, kinship systems, and the forms of governance within the village community. Up to the 1930s the basis of social structure in the mountainous parts of Ajaria was the extended family, characterized by common ownership of property, collective forms of production and consumption, division of labor according to age and gender, patriarchal structure of governance, etc. Extended and nuclear families in Ajaria, as forms of social Organization, served to preserve the distinctness of the ethnic group. The socionormative culture associated with domestic relationships represented, at different stages of its evolution, a single system of political, legal, moral, and religious categories, by means of which Ajarians regulated norms of behavior in traditional society. The elements of culture associated with domestic life were the basis of the social and psychological environment within the traditional community. At especially difficult stages of historical evolution they enabled the people to resist alien social and political systems. Despite the three centuries of Turkish rule, the population of Ajaria preserved and developed the typically Georgian forms of life-style and culture, as well as the primary components of national values: the Georgian language, traditional way of life, ethnic self-awareness, and psychology, which still today represent the essential conditions for the normal functioning of the Georgian ethnosocial organism.

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