An Unexpected Statue

1512472156447Last week I went to Nizhnij Novgorod for a training course for the EVS project (training which involved several volunteers, where we discussed various issues relating to the project and the volunteer’s integration in the society of the host Country from many points of view).

Coming back from “hot” Nizhnij Novgorod, I found myself again in Krasnoyarsk with an average temperature of -26°. It’s not the only surprise. On the contrary, should not even be. “Federica, you’re in Siberia. What do you expect?”

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Cultural Differences: Italy VS Russia

ImmagineIt has been more than three months that I live in Krasnoyarsk and, in the past time, I have been twice in St. Petersburg and once in Moscow. Take what follows as a personal observation, due to a variety of trips and daily life spent in the greatest Country in the world.

The first question they asked me when arrived in Krasnoyarsk: have you felt any kind of cultural shock? My answer, in general, is no. Maybe because I already lived in Russia, I know the traditions, and I know exactly what to expect and what NOT to expect. However, which are the more tangible differences?

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My first months in Krasnoyarsk

20046654_10213787890837895_4035055133037305410_nIt is two months I am in Krasnoyarsk, and I am enjoying the city, people and my work so much!

At the beginning of July, I have been with my host Aygul and her family to dacha. That was a great experience! For those who do not know, dacha is not a simple country house. Russian people go there both to escape the city, both to work. The culture of dachas is a kind of compensation to a city dweller for the cramped living conditions… There, in the embrace of nature, people enjoy fishing, swimming, picking mushrooms and growing their own vegetables. That was great for me, because I experienced a real Russian way to live and spent a weekend in a particular way. Continue reading

Siberia, here I am! 

13920857_10210473819548184_7670395924289235877_nHello everyone!

My name is Federica and I am the new EVS volunteer. I am from Valenza Po, a small town in Piedmont, in the North of Italy. Valenza is an international goldsmith centre, specialized in jewellery production, cradle of the secular handcraft tradition

I studied Foreign Languages at the University of Pavia, a town in Lombardy, not so far from Milan. I am specialized in English, French and Russian. Continue reading

Redefining “Siberia”: A Weekend in Novosibirsk

Ново1This time last year I was working at a summer school in Germany with several international colleagues and students from the USA and different European countries. I remember that as we were getting to know each other at the beginning of the summer, we started throwing a plastic globe around the room and pointing out our homes, universities, dream travel destinations. One friend from America pointed at Russia, made a sweeping gesture across the huge space on the globe and said:

“Did you know, that to the east of Moscow there’s just… nothing?Continue reading

French evening: music, poems and funny games

French1If someone had entered Pilot on Sunday 9th April at 19.30 about, he would have seen strange people playing with oranges and cones. Everything was alright, they were just playing a French game named “pétanque” with what they had on hand. The aim is to as close as possible to the “cochonnet” (the little ball) . But Interra’s French evening was not just about playing. You could also hear traditional and more recent French songs, or fly with the French poet Jacques Prévert’s birds while the group “linguistic theatre” were reading his poem. Continue reading

Estonian quest, Estonian song

Esto_1In the hall, each one prepares the last details. This Friday evening there was an event that a dynamic team had been preparing for some time already. The principle is simple but fun: the team has prepared eight stations to learn something interesting about Estonia: a dance, words, games, or discover that Skype was invented by the Swedes but that the Estonians Have appropriated the idea. Continue reading