First of all: I’m really sorry I neglected this blog for such a long time! I had so much to do and so little time to write. But everything’s going to be better from now on - I promise!
Today, I did something for the very first time: I was in a radio show! If you speak German, you can hear me talking extremly expertly about the Russian rock band Splean, their single Mamma Mia and Russian culture.
In case you missed it you can listen to it here - it’s the show #100!Everyday Life Culture Clash Russia Radio Mamma Mia
The more I was treated as a woman, the more woman I became. I adapted willy-nilly. If I was assumed to be incompetent at reversing cars, or opening bottles, oddly incompetent I found myself becoming. If a case was thought too heavy for me, inexplicably I found it so myself.Jan Morris: Conundrum
I was in a cab when my mum called me on my mobile. After we finished our short conversation, the cab driver remarked with surprise:
“I would never have thought that you’re Russian! You don’t have an accent and you don’t look Russian at all!”
Story of my life, I’m not what I look like and I don’t look like who I am - but seriously, who am I? Does speaking Russian on the phone make me Russian and if not - what does?
I’ve been struggling with my national identity (or the lack of it) my whole life. I wish you could put “it’s complicated” in the nationality field on your identity card (I would totally like my own status *g*).
I was born in Moldova, but I was never Moldovan, my father being Volga German and my mother Russian and Moldova itself being part of the Soviet Union at that time. I never learned Moldovan except for a few swear words, which I quickly forgot in favor of the newer and much more exciting swear words once we moved to Germany. I don’t really have a connection to Moldovan culture, it was mostly just Soviet when I lived there. I also haven’t been there for 18 years. Still, people who know that a was born in Chișinău sometimes tell me that there is “something Moldovan” in my intonation, something “vaguely Slavic” (by the way, Moldovan isn’t Slavic). I also started looking quite Moldovan to people who know my birthplace since I dyed my hair black. Must be what they call confirmation bias. So does my birthplace and my fake hair make me Moldovan? I don’t know.
On the other hand, does my mother tongue make me Russian? I don’t know either. I can quote Pushkin, but I couldn’t name a single Russian TV show. And also, according to my Russian friends, my city of birth gets in the way.
So maybe I’m plain German after all? It says so on my identity card. There is a quote from Faust tattooed on my wrist and no one ever could make out any “Slavic intonation” without knowing about my background. But my love for Vodka jokes and melancholic drinking songs is holding me back. And also the fact that I always do math in my head in Russian.
Maybe we should just say good bye to the concept of national identity as a singular one. It clearly doesn’t keep up with the times anymore. I, for one, am ready to embrace my national trinity!
Nationality Culture Clash Everyday Life