Retirees In Georgia Compete In Annual Talent Show

Category: Society / Jan 07, 2013 5:33PM EDT
For hundreds of pensioners in the ex-Soviet country of Georgia, the Catharsis Charity Home has become a place where elderly people can relive their youth through an annual talent show crowning the top grandmother and grandfather of the year. Catharsis, which opened nine years ago as a soup kitchen, puts on the show every January. The contestants - who are all over 70 - compete for a cash prize and bragging rights, while hoping to inspire much younger generations. The 2013 contest brought together 25 participants, who could not afford proper evening gowns but had enough fantasy and courage to impress spectators with their approach to life. The contestants danced and sang on stage, many performing traditional Georgian folk dances and songs in simple costumes. Along with various gifts from contest sponsors, winners of the talent show received 300 lari (approximately $200 USD), equivalent to two months of an average pension. But many say the contest is not about money at all. Eighty-three-year-old "2013 Grandfather" title winner, who performed a Georgian folk song for the win, said the victory fulfilled a deep yearning. Catharsis Charity Home and the contest sponsors told Reuters they hope the 10th contest will draw more participants and be even more exciting next year.