During the City anniversary of Rustavi, Honorary Georgian Consul Thelmo Cunanan was the guest of honor at the Georgian wrestling championship held at the city’s central park. The wrestling competition, which had fighters from different age groups coming from all over Rustavi and outlying areas, was one of the sports highlights of the city’s festivities.
Called “Chidaoba”, Georgia wrestling has been around for thousands of years, and is practiced all over the country, with each region having its own styles and techniques. In Georgia, wrestling is usually accompanied with a special piece of music called “Sachidao”. The fighters, called “Palavanis”, wrestle on open ground, whilst surrounded by group of people. The Palavanis wear traditional uniforms consisting of short trousers and vests. Grappling is allowed only above the waist. Wrestling championships are still held annually in villages throughout Georgia.
After the competition, Consul Cunanan, together with Rustavi councilor Merab Sulaberidze, awarded the winners medals and certificates. The champion in the men’s division won a medal, cash prize, and a live sheep, as per Georgian tradition.