During my first trip to Russia six years ago, I stayed in a mid-sized provincial city called Lipetsk. When I got off the train I immediately felt as if I had landed on another p
Two years later I rented a flat in another city, and on the first
In Russia, I’ve always been amazed by people’s generosity. Some don’t have much to offer, but they give food and presents from their heart and without hesitation. Even if locals say that nowadays such a trait tends to be on the wane, solidarity still occupies an important place, a vestige of the Soviet period when
For example, I spent a year in Nizhny Novgorod where I studied at the local linguistics university. For Catholic
Russia taught me to become more human, to consider other people differently and to be undeniably more open. Here, I had the chance to rub shoulders with people of all ages, styles, social classes and origins: from a homeless man to an army parachutist instructor; from a group of Belarusian miners to a former museum director; from a Siberian fitness teacher to a babushka who worked in Uzbek cotton fields.
Russia taught me a lot because this land is a real mosaic of peoples and personalities. Indeed, some regions have, for example, a Muslim majority while others have a Buddhist majority, and that alone is, in my opinion, fantastic.
Nevertheless, my most significant personal development is that Russia has helped me to see and understand the world differently. I realized that unfortunately in France we eclipse, consciously and unconsciously, a part of things, as if one of our eyes is closed. And this hinders us from seeing the world in its totality on political, historical and diplomatic levels, and also in the complexity of cultural and moral divergences. I had long and deep conversations with many people from all over the country about important subjects, and even if I can’t agree with everything they said, today I better understand the Russian point of view on global issues.
In addition to that, thanks to this country I developed a certain taste for adventure. In Russia, you always run the ‘risk’ of a colorful encounter or an astonishing event. Here, the slightest exit from your room can quickly and suddenly turn into a real saga. So, you can imagine what might happen when you decide to go to another region or city several
After a trip through Russia, I always have a myriad of surprising or funny anecdotes to tell. One thing is sure – this is a country where it’s impossible to get bored. Here, there is a powerful dynamic: cities are in a state of perpetual metamorphosis; and the population shares a strong sense of effort, merit
In conclusion, I’d like to add that in the
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