Ideal option

Farewell monologue head of Goethe-Institute in Novosibirsk Julia Hanscom

The first director of the Goethe Institute in Novosibirsk Julia Hanscom shut down in Siberia — and it is not known whether the returns.


Since the end of 2000s, she oversaw dozens of exhibitions, workshops, conferences and festivals, and the region visited the eminent figures of the cultural and scientific areas of Europe. On the last working day of the khan publishes her thoughts about life in the snow and cold, the long-suffering Russian, local and national circus roots.

I was eight years old when I went to a Russian school and started to learn Russian. In 2001, I arrived in Moscow — it was my first contact with Russia. Four years later, I came back to Moscow, the Goethe Institute, and began studying the language in earnest. At the time I first heard of Novosibirsk. At that time, my work was linked to the project of distance education, through which Russian German teachers could improve their qualifications.

For a couple of years, I have toured many cities — from Blagoveshchensk to Omsk, was everywhere, except in Novosibirsk.

Finally, in 2007, when the trip was planned, I was transferred to Beijing. A year passed, and I have already resigned that Novosibirsk in my life does not appear, offered to run a third office in Russia Goethe Institute. I immediately agreed.

It was easy to imagine the Novosibirsk before arrival, I saw it in the pictures. He looked very green, modern, bright, friendly. I was under the impression that this is a very energetic, big city — any other in Siberia, I would, perhaps, not considered. And if I were asked today, where there should be an office of Goethe Institute, I would have said that only in Novosibirsk: anywhere east of the Urals is no such educational and cultural potential.

real Siberians

I came in a frosty February of 2009, and in March we opened office with colleagues in Moscow. February — any green thing, but I remember how beautiful everything looked. All around there was snow, which is why the city seemed very bright and very clean. I'm so inspired by this white-looking as suddenly come March and April — the most difficult times. It takes a lot of patience to just survive them. And not only in Novosibirsk, and in general in Russia. I am still in Moscow said that as soon as the snow melts, everything comes out and lying on the street. Then something unexpected comes spring, lighter earlier and earlier — and not so bad. Strength to live come from the fact that the change in the weather, and, therefore, difficult winter behind. We Siberians have is patience, I admire him enormously. People here do not complain, but, for example, go and flood the bath.

Our family motto in Novosibirsk was: "We will live here as real live Siberians." That is to do everything as local, live for the season, with an eye on the time of year and the cycles of nature. I remember in the same March we brought home boxes, poured into their land and planted the seeds. And so a few years, the seedlings were planted, weeded beds, watered, harvested, canned vegetables, making jam. I still kept a few cans of "reserves". In summer, all the collected mushrooms and bathed. Far away, by the way, we do not call in, do not want to run into bears. The Germans, as you know, people are cautious, it is important not to overdo it.

And this is natural: the differences in the cultural code of the Germans and Russian are not that big as, say, the Germans and the Chinese. I can speak Chinese, conduct business negotiations, but to integrate and become "their own" — is almost impossible. Beijing — is a giant metropolis, with no place to another rhythm and perception of the world, and in Novosibirsk have the opportunity to live the country life — in the best sense of the word. In summer, many are leaving the city, on the house, and no matter how big and furnished. All are invited to his guests and neighbors together make kebabs. If you have the room — the better.

My family and I have been so often in Russian bathhouses, now it's my dream — to build a sauna. And not to be confused with a sauna! It should be a wood burning stove and a broom, not the other way.

Therefore, those Germans who prefer exclusively urban life, Novosibirsk will not work. This is a place for those who feel affection for nature and haunting the woods with a compass in hand. Here is a paradise for them. In Siberia, a lot of wild forest, where you will not meet a single person. In Germany, with its developed to detail the routes and special signs, it's different. And I as a fan of these "forest paths" with the cafe and enjoy it, to be honest, is not enough. There is simply no such infrastructure. But if you do not like and need a clear routes untouched forest near the town — then Siberia for you, and Novosibirsk and altogether perfect.

In the four years I realized that to understand and truly discover Novosibirsk, it takes time.

All in the same Beijing you get information about the city very quickly, but here it is accumulated gradually, hang out with friends,'re conversation, you get advertisement distribution. On many cool things for a long time just do not know.

I'm so sorry that I just recently heard about your cedar barrels (phytosaunas, warming up the body in a cedar barrel of a camera — approx.! Every year we discover something new. In winter, I did not stop to wonder how many people of all ages to ski in the park Zaeltsovsky as they are vigorous and athletic. We were the slowest!

search for identity

In the local daily that upsets me a little. Is that traffic. And the inability to pay attention to others. In a narrow circle of friends do not, but in the public space is usually the case. On the street you can swear words, the latest people who see you the first time in my life. Social motivation to do with it: so can do and businessman, and a bum. And then you stand and think how not human it looks. Here, all focused on themselves and pay little attention to the world around us. For the most part, they just care about it. Probably, it is connected with the search for identity: the city is only 120 years old, from where it can have roots and traditions? So fast, they do not appear.

Most Novosibirsk me sad circus. I have to visit it quite often because my kids love the circus, but every time I strongly angry because of the high cost of tickets and low-level representations. I miss the aesthetics. You sit in a chair and watch the crumbling like hitting animals. In my childhood, the circus was a place of magic, I loved him very much.

I remember when I was in Amsterdam, we visited the Circus Festival, held in one of the parks. There were broken up small tents, and not every something incredible happened, not all were acrobats and animals. But there were prepared according to old recipes of different tasty things that could be there and try. It was a celebration of the soul, a beautiful vacation.

In Novosibirsk,
very good ballet. Dancers brilliant technique at the highest level. Who knows, maybe my oldest daughter in 10-15 years will be on stage the opera.

In his four years, she willingly goes to ballet school, and I must say, great school. There's a right balance of discipline and freedom. Novosibirsk generally offers many forms of children's education, and this, by the way, one more thing, which we will miss.

Opera impresses me less, but I'm not a fan of opera itself. Favorite place in town? Perhaps the cinema "Victory".

Hope Novosibirsk

thousand euros was the maximum grant The Goethe Institute in the framework of the Year of Germany in Russia

It is difficult to make a portrait of a typical from Novosibirsk, all the people are very diverse. Even from the ethnic point of view: a lot of visitors, many families scholars or exiles. As far as I know, most are mixed ethnic roots — the Ukrainians, Belarusians, Yakuts, Tatars, Kazakhs. For this reason alone any averaging is doubtful. If anything unites locals are patience and optimism. And enterprise — there is little lazy. Many, however, can be a little hard-nosed, they say, we have always done and will do. But it seems to me, those who seychas20-25, more open, they — the hope of Novosibirsk. I often see them, they are really good.

I am very interested in how to develop Novosibirsk in the next ten years. Something tells me that the changes in this part of the world will be faster and more intense than all the rest. It's so typical of Siberia. Well, look!

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