Liden & Denz new student in Moscow
A little bit about myself
Hi everyone, it is a pleasure to start writing in this blog! I am Francesca, the new intern at Liden & Denz Moscow. My main task is to write interesting articles about the Russian culture and share my exciting experience of living in the capital. I am an Italian student from Pisa (the city of the Leaning Tower), but one year ago I moved to Bologna to get a Master Degree in Modern Languages, focusing on the English and Russian language. I have always loved studying foreign languages: since I was a little kid I remember having fun learning new words and put them together in a sentence like if it was a puzzle. Very soon, I discovered the pleasure of speaking a new language and of increasing the number of people to whom I could talk (I am also quite fluent in Spanish and French). Moreover, this helped me feel more confident travelling across the world and get closer to foreign cultures, respecting their customs and values.
My first experience in Moscow
From the end of July until the end of August, I have been living in Moscow. Before coming here, I had high expectations about my experience and, to be honest, I was quite scared. This is my first time in Russia and I did not know exactly what to expect from this country, even though many friends had already told me that Russian people are very welcoming and nice. So far, I cannot but totally agree! I met both youngsters and adults and they all smile very often, try to make you laugh and are always ready for a chat or to help you. What I hope to do during my time in Moscow is improving my Russian skills and overcome the difficulties of this language, but also visiting the city far and wide, discovering the peculiarities that characterise it the most.
Russian culture: not only matryoshkas
Before studying Russian and visiting Moscow, I did not know how fascinating the Russian culture could be. When I was little, I only knew the famous matryoshkas, which always attracted my attention with their bright colours and rich decorations. Then, growing up, I also discovered more interesting facts and traditions about Russia. This country has a great creative side, boasting a huge number of important painters, writers and composers, such as Kandinsky, Chagall, Goncharova, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, whose work I really admire. Moreover, a further important cultural element is Russian food. Since I am a food lover, sitting in a restaurant, bistrot or café is one of the first things I need to do when visiting a foreign city. I consider cooking as a way of expressing one’s inner personality and history, therefore, for me, eating local food is one of the most effective ways to get to know another culture. Russian food has strong flavours, enriched by spices such as dill, onion or garlic. I found out that for breakfast they have kasha (a dish that is very similar to the British porridge), at the beginning of a meal they usually eat zakuski (starters made of different kinds of salads) and you can find a great choice of soups. Those are the aspects that I appreciate the most when dealing with a foreign culture, therefore I would be glad to discover and write more about them.
To conclude…my favourite quote
Mahatma Ghandi once said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. I think this quote is perfect for my case or for any other person who intends to do this kind of experience. I have been dreaming about Russia for a long time and I have repeated to myself that one day in the future I would have visited it. Finally here I am, living in the most beautiful city I have ever been so far, where every street seems full of magic and every smile on people’s face makes me feel at home. There is nothing to be afraid of; the only thing I have to do now is to live as a real Muscovite and to be happy!