I was acquainted with this woman in 2009 when I was carrying out my field work. Her name is Asher, age 85. She is ethnic Khundz (one of the Dagestan ethnic groups). For a long time she has been living in the village Tivi in Georgia.
Asher’s curved back, wrinkled face, callous hands are reflecting her hard life. Asher is Moslem woman; it is seen by rosary hung on her neck. If we peruse we will see light, multicolored clothes. She tied her headscarf in rather peculiar way. It is in a good harmony with the orange rosary hung on her neck and the orange fabric as well tied around her waist as a belt. It is evident that this woman has the sense of beauty and esthetics.
This photo almost completely reflects one of the Asher’s ordinary days which she spends in prayers or working in the orchard.
Despite her age and health (she has asthma), she works in the orchard every day. She has the working tool in her hand which is called “nittle” in Khundzi language and in Georgian is “Namgali” (though Georgian “namgali” and Khundzi “nittle” are differing from each other by their form).
Asher has got 35$ pension monthly, which is spent for medicines, therefore she has to conduct daily labor in her small orchard.
Asher’s children live in Makhachkala (the capital of Dagestan).Because of the indigence and contemporary political situation (Russian- Georgian Border is closed and it is impossible to cross the border from Georgia to Dagestan) she has not seen her children for about 5 years. In order to arrive in Makhachkala she has to go to Azerbaijan and continue her way to Dagestan by coach. She needs an amount of money which is equal to her 2-3 years pension completely.
Despite the poverty, Asher is very cordial woman, at the moment displayed on the photo she has gone to the orchard in order to treat me (she does it free while in the Caucasus is said: “The Guest comes from the God”).
Despite all above mentioned, Asher is optimist and she believes that till she dies she will see her children.

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Comment by Giorgi Meurmishvili on November 27, 2012 at 5:33am

someone translate this, but I don't know who? but thank you for it! http://avarvas.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/asa-hunzib-kadini/

Comment by Giorgi Meurmishvili on August 22, 2010 at 7:15pm
It's truth "to create beauty is also a gesture towards God that says I am human".
She is real very beauty and very kindness woman, I want to hug her.
Comment by Hulya Sakarya on August 22, 2010 at 6:22pm
You describe this woman so beautifully Giorgi. You're so right to note her clothes, how they show the human spirit. In the midst of the everyday tasks of our lives and this woman's life which seems to dreary without her children and so little money, that she would carefully choose the color and structure of how she adorns herself. There are perhaps many ways to be redeemed in life, to do good deeds, to work hard, perhaps to pray. But to create beauty is also a gesture towards God that says I am human, isn't it?


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