Population of Abkhazia
The population of Abkhazia is more than 240 thousand people.
The first settlers began to develop the territory of Abkhazia from the north-eastern outskirts of the city of Sukhumi.
The ethnic composition of the population of Abkhazia changed greatly during and after the end of the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) - the Abkhaz and other peoples of the North Caucasus began to leave their lands, as a result of which the population was reduced by half.
Today, the ethnic composition of Abkhazia is heterogeneous and is represented by:
- other nationalities (Georgians, Russians, Greeks, Armenians, Ukrainians, Estonians, Turks, Jews).
40 people live per 1 sq. Km, but the most densely populated are the territories located on the coastal plain and foothills (most of the cities are located here and most of the rural population lives).
The state language is Abkhaz, and Russian is widespread.
Large cities: Sukhumi, Gagra, Gali, Gudauta, Ochamchira, Gulripsh, Tkvarcheli, Pitsunda, Tkuarchal.
Residents of Abkhazia profess Orthodoxy, Abkhaz monotheism, Islam (Sunnism), paganism, Judaism.
On average, residents of Abkhazia live up to 73 years. But often among the Abkhazians there are centenarians who live up to 100 years or more. This is due to the fact that their diet consists of plant foods, dairy products, they practically do not eat meat products, canned meat, sausages and various smoked meats. In addition, they consume little salt (it was replaced by sauces from barberry, cherry plum and tomatoes, adjika).
Before traveling to Abkhazia, you do not need to do any special vaccinations, but you definitely need to take care of getting medical insurance.
Traditions and customs of the inhabitants of Abkhazia
Abkhazians are hospitable and cordial people who honor their elders and take good care of nature.
Traditions associated with matchmaking are interesting in Abkhazia. Previously, all the wedding nuances were discussed by the fathers of the future newlyweds, and literally after their birth. Today young people themselves are looking for their other half. But, nevertheless, the custom of asking for blessings from their parents, and not personally, but through their friend or the youngest member of the family, has been preserved to this day. Matchmaking is accompanied by an unusual ritual - having agreed on the wedding, the fathers of the bride and groom must throw bullets at each other's feet or shoot a gun into the air.
If in Abkhazia you are invited to visit, so as not to offend the owner, do not offer money or other payment for reception or services. In general, you can stay with Abkhazians at any time: they will meet any person as a dear guest, serving everything that they have in the house to the table (in every house it is customary to save something for unexpected guests - sweets, fruits, wine, cheese).
Leaving Abkhazia, you should take with you wine, local spices, honey, nuts.