Привет from the new intern at Liden & Denz in Moscow

Привет from the new intern at Liden & Denz in Moscow
28 August 2019

Привет всем! My name is Vera Ahtonen and I am from Sweden. I am currently doing an internship at the Liden and Denz language centre in Moscow and I will be here for the next three months. A short description of me would be “The Swede who is in love with Russia”. A longer one would be that I am 26 year old, I grew up in a small city in northern Sweden, I have a degree in Environmental Science and Spatial Planning and I am in love with Russia.

This is actually my fourth time at Liden & Denz and I will be bold and call myself a veteran. But if one decides to come back that many times, it means that the school it awesome, right? All four times I have been in Moscow and I usually refer to the city as город моей мечты (the city of my dreams). Moscow is such a beautiful, vibrant and diverse city, so full of history that you will never get bored. My all time favorite place is the Red Square. Every time I go there, I tear up.

So when did my interest in Russia start? Well, I have for as long as I can remember been drawn to Russia. I grew up with an image of this vast, beautiful and mysterious neighbor in the East. One of my favorite cartoons as a child was Anastasia from 1997 (about the princess Anastasia Romanov). About 5-6 years ago my interest increased. I read a lot of books about Russia, started taking evening courses at university (in Russian culture, economy, history, politics, geography, orthodox traditions and language. Pretty much everything) and when I was ready I went to Moscow. I quit my job, I canceled my apartment and I even sold my dog. A bit hardcore for some maybe but I was so sure about my decision. And what happened? I came, I saw and I stayed.

I have lost track of how many times people have asked me “Why Russia?” I really wish that I could give a straight answer, but I can not. I have no family here, before my first time in Moscow I had never been to Russia and hardly meet any Russians. Therefore the only answer that I can give is that it is a calling. From God, from faith, you name it. I do not know why, I only know in my heart that I should be here. My mum nowadays jokes about that maybe she unconsciously gave me a Russian name, Вера, because she somehow new that in the future I would go here.

Since this is my fourth time here, I have already done all the tourist stuff. I have started building an everyday life here and this time my main goal is to try to find a job so that I can move here more permanently. This internship at Liden and Denz I find to be an amazing opportunity to gain some work experience and maybe it can open some doors for me. I am looking forward to do this internship as a blogger, to spread my knowledge about Russia and being able to share with you all the beauty she has to offer. I hope you will be inspired to come here after reading my posts.

I want to finish off this text with one of my favorite Russian poems. For me, it wraps up Russia perfectly.

«Умом Россию не понять,
Аршином общим не измерить:
У ней особенная стать –
В Россию можно только верить.»
– Фёдор Тютчев

Who would grasp Russia with the mind?
For her no yardstick was created:
Her soul is of a special kind –
By faith alone appreciated.”

– Fyodor Tyutchev

All the best!

Posted by Vera Ahtonen

I am a 26 year old Environmental Scientist from Sweden, who is deeply in love with Russia. My dream is to be able to live and work in Russia in the future. I believe that this internship, along with my Russian studies, at Liden & Denz will be a great first step on my journey. My interest in Russia is not limited to a certain area, instead I find everything about this country interesting and this will be noticed in the wide range of topics for my articles.

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