In The Light of The Oil Lamp

By Londa Beria

A 3 hour ride from Tbilisi will get you to Tkemlovana - a village, where life is still frozen in time,   like it was in the 1990s. The village lacks any electricity, internet, water, gas, roads or transportation. The items which we saved in our attics and basements a long time ago are still used daily here.  


Just 3 people live in the village, except for the monks. Murad moved to the village from Gori at the end of the 1990s. The days can go by without saying any word to other human being, and, as he said, he grew out of the habit of talking.


Lia is also from Gori. She worked in the police and procurement service for a long time, but then came to the village with her husband. Unlike Mister Murad, he loves Tkemlovana very much. She says that when her husband leaves for the city, she talks with the cattle and dogs. The only mean of communication is a radio here.  


Sometimes Murad startles the generator and watches old movies, but this is a random luxury, which happens only when his children visit the village and bring kerosene with them. Both families cook their dinner over a wooden stove or gas container, they bathe with water from the spring, which is warmed in the buckets, and sometimes, if it’s very important, they light up an oil lamp.


Tkemlovana had to be provided with electricity in September of 2015. The Ministry of Energy of Georgia told us, that the village is high-mountainous and unreachable, so the work is very expensive.

3 other villages, which have not had electricity for 20 years, were waiting for electricity in September. The State still thinks that providing these villages with electricity is important, but the date to start working on this subject is still not set.

Lia and her spouse plan to move to Kareli in the nearest future, to live with their daughters. Murad doesn’t want to be a burden for his sons, so he’s planning on staying in the village.



Generation of the 1990s