When and where did you visit India for the first time?
For the first time I visited Goa which is the state in India in 2007. I was just a tourist and spent two weeks there. It was a corporative trip organized by the company where I worked as a New Year present. Having returned back home, my life went on as usual: job… home…interesting weekends with my friends… But something worried me. In a year I went for a trip around wonderful India studying its traditions, culture and history.
What were your feelings and thoughts when you returned here?
That time I got to know this country better. I met interesting people and learnt what yoga is. I soaked myself in the aura of this wonderful place and got some spiritual and physical practices. And I was near the beautiful ocean, of course! I returned home in 2009. It was my India! I really felt myself free. It’s the very feeling I failed indeed ;-).
What do you do for a living in India?
I live in Puri, Odisha. It’s on the east coast of India. I rent a small room; have an opportunity to get free food at the distributions. Moreover, seasonal fruit and vegetables are sold at a low price. I get in for yoga. In Russia I have a business of my own (http://pranafood.ru/). It includes selling cocktails made from natural plant components for balanced nutrition! They suit to those who lead a healthy life, go in for yoga and are vegetarians. It’ quite easy to control my business through the internet. I earn enough to live in India and even send presents for my nearest and dearest in Russia.
What do you like about India?
I like a lot here: warm climate, people, vegetarian food, the ocean. I feel that I am a happy and a free men – it’s inner life. For me it’s very important! 😉
What are your greatest difficulties there?
They concern mostly visa extension.
Have you ever been a victim of racism or discrimination?
I personally, haven’t. But I’ve heard much about such situations.
What language do you use for communication with locals?
I usually use gestures and few words in Hindi.
Do you feel yourself a part of India? How do Indians treat you?
I do feel myself a part of this country. Their key ideas are honesty and kindness. And it doesn’t matter to what race or ethnic group a person belongs. By and large I met different people. As a nation Indians are sociable, but it’s very important to be understandable for them. For example, one shouldn’t wear parrotlike clothes as Russian tourists usually do. Women shouln’t put on clothes that leave much of the body uncovered or naked. All in all one should become a part of this nation, obey their traditions and culture.
Do you miss anything from your country?
I often remember Russian baths and our forests! 😉 I miss my parents and sister, but we communicate through Skype and social networks.
Would you like to come back to Russia?
No. India is my love, my home, I am happy here. I have friends here both Russian and Indian, my spiritual ancestor, and a possibility to go in for yoga, to lead a healthy life, the warmth of the ocean… I am at home!
by Natalya and Anastasia