“Spasiba” St. Petersburg

26/05/2015 - 11:03-0 Comments by | india flag

IMG_20150328_165618Russia had always been a distant dream. Life however had something else in store for me. Willy Brandt School organises a Spring School in Russia every year and I took that as a golden opportunity to be able to make it to Russia. Even though I was only partially sure that I would be able to crack the application process, I had a titillating feeling that I was bound for Russia. My happiness knew no bounds when I cleared the application process and was selected as one of the participants for the Haniel Spring School organised in Russia. Soon mixed feelings overcame me, I did not know what to expect from Russia. It had always remained a blind spot for me  and so many speculations around had further fogged the picture.

After a cumbersome visa process, the final day had arrived. My happiness and excitement knew no bounds when my flight landed in St. Petersburg. I was overwhelmed at the size of everything from the buildings, streets to the “Ampelmann”, it was huge. The next day kick started with the seminar on “Urban Planning”. The streets looked alike, the buildings breathed an overwhelming sense of power as if someone is trying to show how small you are.

However, I overcame that feeling in the following days. People seemed both cold and warm, that does not mean that I could have fit those perceptions into stereotypical categories because I believe that people in all parts of the world are different. For me, St. Petersburg left an indelible mark on my mind and I could in many ways collate all my experiences in constructing and de-constructing the notions I had about Russia. Everything made sense, from the architecture, people, politics to conversations when seen through the lens of my prior knowledge and impressions. May be Russia is only half understood unless we pay a visit and actually see it for ourselves. There were so many similarities that I could perceive between Russia and India.

Towards the end of my journey, I made an unforgettable experience of crossing the border on feet between Russia and Estonia. These moments pass through only once in a life time. Thanks to Germany for making that happen.

Tags: English Blog Post, Leisure Time


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