Ia Topalashvili
Kotoklo, Azerbaijan

Ia lives in Azerbaijan, a mere twenty-five kilometers from the border of Georgia. Ia’s village of Kotoklo is inhabited by Georgians and is referred to as an Ingilo1 village. She grew up singing and learning songs from her older sister Tsitsino, who taught panduri2 locally. During Ia's childhood, when Georgia and Azerbaijan were states within the Soviet Union, it was easy to travel back and forth for festivities or studies.  Since the mid 1990's however, with new borders drawn and visas mandatory, traveling has become harder.

 

Today, Ia has two young children and a beautiful backyard full of flowers.

 

1A territory in western Azerbaijan, historically linked to Georgia by way of politics and culture. The territory was disputed between 1918-1920, when both Azerbaijan and Georgia claimed it. Under Soviet rule the territory was allocated to Azerbaijan, but as borders were fluid, travel and cultural exchange were possible. Since the mid 1990’s, many points along the border have closed and passing across has become much more difficult.  The district of K’akh which borders Georgia has a rich Christian inheritance from the Middle Ages.  Today there are many people, like Ia in Saingilo, who identify with Georgia culturally and religiously. 

 

2A three-stringed, fretted lute common in all regions of northeastern Georgia. The instrument is most frequently used to accompany ballad singing.  Read more about the panduri here.  

Ia Topalashvili - Ingiluri Simghera
+ Song Info

A love song sung between a girl and a boy.  This song is in Ingiloan1 dialect.

 

1Saingilo: A territory in western Azerbaijan, historically linked to Georgia by way of politics and culture. The territory was disputed between 1918-1920, with both Azerbaijan and Georgia claiming it. Under Soviet rule, the territory was allocated to Azerbaijan, but as borders were fluid, travel and cultural exchange were possible. Since the mid 1990’s, many points along the border have closed, and passing across has become much more difficult.  The district of K’akh, which borders Georgia, has a rich Christian inheritance from the Middle Ages.  Today there are many people like Ia living in Saingilo, who identify with Georgia culturally and religiously.

+ Lyrics

Ingiluri Simghera

* In Ingiloan dialect of Georgian * 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Ar minakhi shenzhur kal

Ver demeghts’ev chem gulsh khar

Ha zhikhara kalo sakhlsh

Tsot’a khnibe gomoi k’arsh

 

Ar minakhi shenzhur kal

Gulqivashi gamichnda

Ra zhikhara kalo sakhlsh

P’its’a khnibe gomoi k’arsh

 

Gadai k’ai zhughab gebneb

Me shentan veghar davdgeb

Ra bevria sopelshia kaleb

Nu mekhvets’eb ts’ai gebneb

 

Ar minakhi shenzhur kal

Gulqivashi gamichnda

Sak’otsnela maints gamish

Tu dadgomai aghar gind

 

Translation:

 

An Ingiloi Song

 

(boy)

I’ve never seen a woman like you  

I can’t help it – You are in my heart

Why are you sitting at home?

Come out for a little bit!

 

I’ve never seen a woman like you

You have fallen into my heart

Why are you sitting at home?

Come out for a little bit!

 

(girl)

Boy, I’m telling you the truth

I will no longer be with you

There are many beautiful women in the village

Stop pleading with me, I’m telling you to go

 

(boy)

I’ve never seen a woman like you

You have fallen into my heart

Just allow me one last kiss

If you no longer want to be with me!

Ia Topalashvili - Sheqvarebulze Dardebi
+ Song Info

A song of unrequited love.

 

+ Lyrics

Sheqvarebulze Dardebi  

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Mtashi iebi movk’ripe

Chamovit’ane damch’k’nrebi

Ui ra dzneli qopila

Sheqvarebulze dardebi

 

Mal-mal nu mitsker tolebshi

Siqvaruls shagvat’qobeno

Dagvashoreben ertmanets

Tovlivit dagvadnobeno

 

Kalo iseti tetri khar

Rogorts saqdarshi k’irio

Mal-male momagondebi

Chamovjdebi da vst’irio

 

Translation:

 

A Lover’s Sorrows

 

I picked violets in the mountains

By the time I returned, they had faded

Oh, how hard it is

To sorrow over a lover

 

Don’t stare at me so often

For others will learn of our romance

They will separate us

And we will melt like the snow

 

Woman, you are so white

As white as the limestone of the church

When I am reminded of you often

I will need to sit down and cry