By Jeff Crawley, Fort SillMarch 28, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. (March 28, 2013) -- For those who enjoy the opportunity to learn about other countries in a family friendly environment, the Fort Sill International Student Division hosts the Know Your World program monthly. International students here for training are given the opportunity to speak about their respective countries in a multimedia presentation for about 40 minutes.
The spotlight country March 21 was Georgia, and the presentation was hosted by Georgian Army Capt. David Gabedava, a student in the Field Artillery Captains Career Course.
About 175 people, including many international students and their sponsor families, U.S. service members, and friends attended the presentation at the Patriot Club. At the end of the briefing guests mingled over a sampling of Georgian food.
"I wanted to let people know about the Georgian customs, culture and history," said Gabedava, who has attended training before at Fort Sill.
After standing for the Georgian national anthem, the crowd heard from Gabedava, who explained Georgia's location -- south of Russia, northeast of Azerbaijan, north of Armenia and northwest of Turkey.
The country's motto is "Strength is in Unity," said Gabedava, who went on to speak about Georgia's population, arts, architecture, major cities, geography and much more.
During the briefing, Gabedava showed a video of how traditional Georgian dance moves have been incorporated into modern dance.
Gabedava spoke briefly about the Georgian military, and he noted that of all the non-NATO countries, Georgia has the largest presence in Afghanistan, with two battalions there.
The presentation included a video clip of "Gurians in America" which showed Georgian horse riders performing as part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
Gabedava also mentioned prominent Georgian-Americans, including Gen. John Shalikashvili, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993-97.
As part of each Know Your World presentation some cuisine from the featured country is served.
Gabedava said he spoke to his grandmother Mary in Georgia to get traditional recipes. He gave the recipes to Danny Mayberry, Patriot Club executive chef.
Mayberry and his assistants prepared kababi (beef kabobs), ojakhuri (chicken), imeretian khachapuri (cheese cake), and cornbread.
"I tasted it and it was great," Gabedava said. "They made a miracle."
This was the second Know Your World program that Capt. Nick Carbaugh, FA CCC student, has attended. He said he came to show support of his classmate, Gabedava, and to learn about a country.
"You get to talk to them (international students) everyday, but you don't always get to hear about their country because you're so involved in classwork, Carbaugh said.
"I honestly didn't know anything about Georgia, so everything he said was new for me," Carbaugh said. "It was a good presentation."
Brenda Moore, International Student Division Field Studies Program manager, said the Know Your World series is cultural diversity training.
"When students come here they may have a misconception of the United States, and we, as well, may have a misconception of other countries. So this gives us a chance to understand one another a little better," she said.
The next Know Your World program will feature Israel, April 18 at 7 p.m. at the Patriot Club. The presentation is open to the public. For more information, call the International Student Division at 442-3554.