Tbilisi table manners: Georgian officials cause controversy with etiquette lessons

Tbilisi table manners: Georgian officials cause controversy with etiquette lessons

8 December 2016

Are you in your element at formal occasions? Do you know how to avoid the worst dinner party faux pas? There might be just the job for you in the Georgian capital — the mayor’s office recently announced that it is looking for someone to train 38 members of staff in table manners.

Reported by the pro-opposition Rustavi-2 TV channel, the plans have not been universally well-received, though Natia Lataria, deputy head of the municipal services development agency, insists that the lessons will provide essential training and that the decision was taken based on the results of an employee survey.

Councillor Irakli Nadiradze of the opposition United National Movement dubbed the planned training a “misuse of budget funds”, arguing that those involved must be “held responsible”.

Many Georgians took to Facebook to express their outrage: “If you don’t know dressing and table manners, what are you doing in the mayor’s office and the city council” said one user, with another disgusted by the notion that “people are dying of hunger while they care about table manners”.

Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania has asked his staff to be “more careful” when planning courses in future, referring to training sessions or possibly to that age-old debate — which is first, cheese course or dessert?

Source: BBC News