Belarus in agony

Since a few weeks, there have been numerous protests rolling from one city to another in Belarus. This is quite an extraordinary development as last time people went on the streets was during the president elections in 2010. People were fearless and determined but they achieved absolutely nothing (they actually harmed themselves instead). It took…

A Tale about pronouns, friendships and cultures

Lately, I’ve noticed how my collectivistic self shines through the language I use, to be precise through the pronouns. No doubt, the German culture is influencing me softly but steadily as one’s identity is a fluid concept which is  always a subject to change.  I do notice these tiny changes happening to my personality, moreover, I am…

How does it feel like to leave your home country?

It has been almost 5 years since I left my home country and today I want to finally tell how it feels like. A lot of people connect going abroad with permanent adventure, happiness and satisfaction. This might be the case if we talk about travelling pure for the purpose of discovering new countries and gaining  exciting experiences. The…

Got a present – pay taxes!

New taxes in Belarus! Again! If withing a year you got a present or presents the overall cost of wich exceeds 2,083 €, you have to pay a 13% tax on the summ that remains when you deduct this 2,083 €. I have two questions here 1. How on earth do they want to control this? 2. Is it…

“There is no Aleppo anymore.”

Yesterday I was sitting on a tram with one of the Syrian refugees who I am teaching German to. He was showing me some pictures on his phone: Mother in Turkey, sister in Sweden, another sister in Bremen – his whole big, once united family is now just ripped apart and spread all around Europe. This is not the…

This seemingly innocent question ‘Where are you from?’

Normally, I have been very easy-going with this question and haven’t seen any double meaning in it or ignorant tries to put me in a box as one of my friends does. Yesterday, however, my attitude shifted. For the hundredth time, I heard this so familiar question but instead of giving a friendly answer with a smile on my face, I…

Second-Generation Immigrants: What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?!

The term second-generation immigrant has been widely used by the English press and, thus, seems to have firmly anchored in the minds of ordinary people. * The Guardian wrote on 23 May 2001: “Of all British nationals, young second-generation immigrants would seem the most likely to sympathise with the plight of asylum seekers.” * Daily Mail wrote on 27 May 2012 (as…