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HOW TO KEIPI

The Keipi is a special tradition from the Republic of Georgia that takes experiential dinning to new heights.

Imagine a long table filled with delicious food and wine, bustling with the conversation of friends, family, and strangers. This is the fusion of a dinner party and poetry. Here's your starter guide to the Keipi. Don't hold back, make a toast!

 

The Keipi has a structure to it, but no worries, we’ll explain how it all works.

 

 

  1. Fill the table: A Keipi is a celebration. What kind of celebration doesn’t involve eating and drinking? Before you start toasting, make sure you at least have something you can drink and people to toast with.

  2. Pick the Tamada: The Tamada is the toastmaster, the one who leads the Keipi. This can be the oldest and wisest person at the table, or maybe just whoever has the most gusto.     

  3. The Tamada makes the first toast: The theme of the first toast should be to something sublime that unites everyone gathered (Love? Courage?). In Georgia, a very traditional Christian country, the first toast is always offered to God. A toast spans anywhere from a few words to ten or fifteen minutes.

  4. Everyone says gagimarjos: Gagimarjos means “to you the victory” in Georgian. The old tradition in Georgia is to finish an entire glass of wine with every toast. But don’t worry, just a sip of water will do (or anything else).

  5. Someone gives a Sadgegrdzelo: A Sadgegrdzelo is a toast given to the same theme. If the toasting theme is “life” for example, one might make a toast to a newborn child, or something that makes them feel alive. This is everyone’s chance to be a poet by adding words to the toasting theme.

  6. The Tamada makes the second toast: When it feels right, the Tamada introduces the next toasting theme. Perhaps it’s "family," or "humor" -- it’s the Tamada’s call. And then, more Sadgegrdzelos to the new theme. The process is repeated again for the third toast, fourth, etc.

  7. That’s the Keipi in a nutshell: In Georgia a Keipi usually goes through 16 toasting themes. Feel free to improvise, the Keipi is a creative thing! There’s only one rule you cannot break: toast five must honor “the departed”. In Georgia you can’t actually have a Keipi without making it to at least toast five.

 

Consider getting a group together for a private Keipi, or sign up for a seat at a community Keipi. Ask one of us more about the Keipi and we’ll be happy to give you a rundown, and maybe even a toast as well. Gagimarjos!