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Svetlana Tsvetkova

Meet Svetlana

Growing up in St. Petersburg, I started learning foreign languages and I knew only one thing about myself: I love reading. Knowledge of languages helps us understand ourselves and other people. Obviously, reading books in their original languages affected my perceptions of the world, especially during the Cold War.

It all started with books in English and Italian (communication with foreigners was frowned upon, but people used to read a lot), then there was communication with tourists who were perceived as aliens from another planet and then the borders were suddenly open and it was hard to believe that even children and taxi drivers could express themselves freely in a foreign language that seemed dead and not real before, kind of like Esperanto.

I didn't even notice the exact 'I was blind but now I see' moment: I could suddenly see myself and my country from the outside, and the farther away I was from my homeland, the more pronounced its main features appeared to be. Since then I have travelled to several dozens of countries in several roles. To me, St. Petersburg is European Russia the people and culture is very unique to the rest of Russia, whilst Moscow is the door to Asia, and a way of life that piques my curiosity.

You could say that I'm greedy for life. Too me, travelling is a way of life, and I look forward discovering the world together.