Berlin is international. Everyone who walked around the city for 2 hours knows that. That is what I really love about Berlin, is that you can always meet people from different cultures speaking different languages.

 Especially the languages

Finally one has the chance to hear all the languages that one has studied in school for real. For me, those languages are English, French and Russian. But since I continued to study Russian at the HWR, that is the one language that really interest me, I always try to understand what the other people are talking about. And of course absolutely proud when I do so.

Which I found really interesting, is that only about 15 000 of the ca. 450 000 immigrants in Berlin are actually Russian, because I always have the feeling that I see and hear a lot of Russian. To really understand why we hear so much Russian is easy when you look at German and Russian History.

Where are you from?

Russia recruited Germans to work in the Volga area in the 18th century and allowed them to remain loyal to their German culture. When Nazi Germany claimed all lands on which ethnic German lived, Russia deported all the Volga Germans to labor camps, which most of them didn’t survive. After the cold war ended, these ethnic Germans and their descendants got the chance to come back to Germany. All they had to  do for this was to prove their former citizinship or expellation from German grounds or their descendance from such people. Most of the people who could do this, didn’t even speak German any more.


Of course these people had a lot of problems integrating their selves into German society and obviously this is a never ending process and we still face a lot of problems today. But my impression of Berlin is, that everyone is very open and friendly and that everybody who really wants it can be integrated, because there are just so many different people here. Last Thursday we went to a Russian restaurant with our Russian course.

The owner of the restaurant were of course Russian, but also spoke German very well. Throughout the evening it was very interesting to see who came to eat at the green lantern. Because it weren’t only Russians, but all kinds of people in all ages. I would not necessarily recommend the buffet if you want real Russian specialties, but the ambiance was very nice and I found it definitely interesting to peoplewatch.



  •  Soljanka
  • Pelmeni
  • Wareniki
  • Stroganoff
  • Borsch
  • Salads
  • Kwas
  • Vodka



When I was still at school, people always asked me why the hell I learnt three foreign languages at the same time and could never understand it when I said: because languages interest me. In my small town, everyone had the idea that a little bit of English has to be enough to get around. But I can not agree with that, because I think languages open the door to new cultures, without understanding at least the real basic words, you will probably never get the true feeling of other lifestyles. And in Berlin, you definitely get the chance to do that. Even if you only listen to others talking in the subway, like I do.



6 responses to “ПРИВЕТ!

  1. Neat post, Alex! Though I have not the slightest idea what the heading or the last line of your post mean, I really enjoyed reading it.
    As you know, I am originally from Berlin, and I have to say I share your feeling that there seem to be quite a few Russians living here. Still, I somehow never wondered if there was actually a historical reason for this fact – so I am very glad you filled me in with some insight on this matter! 🙂
    I was also exicted to see that you obviously took the advise I offered in my comment on your post ‘Be nice, please’ concerning the layout/structure to heart – the breaks and subheadings really improve the readability of your post. Good job.

  2. Hi Alex,
    I can only agree with Fenja! I honestly enjoyed reading your post! It was full of personal experience, with a touch of an history lesson and like Fenja said the subheads and paragraphs made it easy to follow.
    The headline awoke my curiousity, because I did not understand it but naturally recognized it as letters. It would have been nice though if you could have included the meaning of the words somewhere in the post and maybe in your next post you could try and intoduce some different opinions on the topic you’re talking about.
    Still a great post! And a very agreeable length 😉
    Looking forward to your next post!

  3. Спасибо, Alex for such a great post!
    I enjoyed reading through it, because I really can share your feelings! I, myself, learnt three languages at school too: English, Latin and Russian and I just love being in a different country and trying to speak its language. I am very interested in languages and different cultures the same as you and I totally agree that Berlin is the perfect place for that!
    I loved how you built up your post containing own experience and historical facts.
    You are totally right that languages open the door to new cultures and that’s why I think already in school the focus should be set on languages for a better understanding between countries and cultures.
    I think with the heading you already caught the readers’ attention, because this looks different and interesting.
    I am looking forward to read your next blog post! 🙂

  4. Hey Alexandra,
    I have just written your blog and liked it quite a lot. I have to admit that I was not so well informed about these issue between Germans and Russians before, I have heard about “Wolga Deutsche” etcetera but you displayed the topic in an interesting way. And it is cool to see that there are many people who share this attitude towards languages. By the way, I have also met various people who thought some pieces of English would be fine and anyhow I also think that this is funny.
    Your post was also well structured and nice to read. Probably I will try out these Russian specialties some day.

  5. Alex,
    your heading caught my attention immediately since you chose a Russian word which I think is quite unusual. I know a bit of Russian, some words and sentences, so therefore I knew what it meant and felt some connection to it because my mother and my grandparents speak Russian. You wrote in your post that you had the impression seeing and hearing a lot of Russians in Berlin, many more than what the numbers reveal. I think it partly depends on the district in which you live in Berlin, but in general you are right. Your digression on Russo-German history is quite suitable at that point. What I also enjoyed is the personal touch that you added to your post. I hope you will write more posts that are related to this topic. That would be great!

  6. Hey Alex,
    Honestly I have no idea what is behind your heading, as I don´t speek russian. But I just loved your post!
    That you devided your post in two parts gives the reader a nice overview when looking at your post at the first sight. So he knows what to expect from your blog – and I just can tell that he woun´t be dissapointed. 😉
    I really enjoyed that you gave your post such a personal touch and I am just with you as I also love the openminded and international flair of this city.
    Furthermore I was pleased that you concentrated on one country and didn´t write about the international flair in general. Thus I learned something from your post of the German and Russian history. After this hisorian part it is really nice that you came back to your own opinion. This shows that you know how to mix different writing styles very well.

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