7 WAYS TO SAY RED
IN GEORGIAN NOT USING
A WORD TSITELI

by Nanuka Kakabadze

“When the eye sees a colour it is immediately excited and it is its nature, spontaneously and of necessity, at once to produce another, which with the original colour, comprehends the whole chromatic scale”.

— Goethe, “Theory of Colours”

“Red” in Georgian is TSITELI ( წითელი). The color of wine, the color of flag, the color of bravery (the color of Easter eggs, by the way). The red pigment, made of ochre, was one of the first colors used in prehistoric art, also quite common in Georgian art pieces of ancient times. Appart of the word TSITELI — there are a lot of other ways to say red in Georgian. There is one little lifehack, actually. If you add the base-word “PERI” (ფერი, meaning COLOR) to any word, you will get a new color, look:

Ghvinisperi ( ღვინის ფერი ) — the color of wine,
Brotseulisperi ( ბროწეულის ფერი ) — the color of pomegranate, 
Alisperi ( ალის ფერი ) — the color of flame,
Charkhlisperi ( ჭარხლის ფერი ) — the color of beetroots,  
Siskhlisperi ( სისხლის ფერი ) — the color of blood, 
Tsetskhlisperi ( ცეცხლის ფერი ) — the color of fire, 
Shindisperi ( შინდისფერი ) — the color of Dogwood berries 
and so on. Try, if you speak or study Georgian.

Color is a form of non verbal communication. It is not a static energy and its meaning can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on what energy they are expressing at that point in time. It has a powerful subconscious effect on every part of our lives, without even saying a word. The color red is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful energy. This color attracts the most attention and is associated with strong emotions such as love. Understanding of the red color was earliest fact and connected to the fire. And just after that it became a symbol of the strongest feelings.

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