“Throughout the years I have encountered people with interesting ideas on Colombia. Some have asked about its location, most have mentioned cocaine, others have asked if we speak Portuguese… Colombian Weekend is an invitation to explore a different face of Colombia.”
During the last weeks European policymakers have been fighting with each other over the best way to respond to the current refugee crisis. However difficult the political negotiations are – they are a mess; much worse than the Greek debacle, as far as integrity of EU institutions are concerned – no refugee relocation and integration plan will be effective. The reason is that any European-only-plan ignores the source of the problem: The Syrian civil war.
The theme of this column is narrating a transnational or cross-cultural experience that has indelibly shaped one’s life. For our author today, Leipzig-based Ukrainian writer Svetlana Lavochkina, such an experience has been learning English, and the mark left by the fascinating, rambunctious character from back home who instilled that love for the language in her, a love she has carried with her to Germany and nurtured throughout her life so far. Sometimes things come full circle in the most unexpected ways…
Today, Diana wraps up her series by narrating what it has been like for her to finally meet and enter the “real life” of her penpal Genia, and also to see Russia for herself.
Good news for multicultural Leipzig. The city is looking for projects to fund.
“My sudden love affair with Aitmatov nearly made me flunk my German exam in tenth grade. ‘Heroes of Our Everyday Socialist Life’ was to be the topic of our written compositions. I wrote an essay about Aitmatov’s novel The Place of the Skull. [My German teacher] managed to save me from flunking. But Aitmatov saved me even more. I never again thought in clichés about Russians and the many other peoples in the gigantic empire that was soon to crumble.”