“I recall my trip to the Far North of Russia with pleasure. First, I did not believe that I would go to Siberia. To be honest, this trip was not included in my plans for the near future. It happened completely by accident, and I could not refuse such an adventure. The organizers of the cross-cultural project Follow Up Siberia gathered seven bloggers from different countries, and I was among them. I confess that for the first few days I thought it was a joke and didn’t tell anyone. On one hand, because I did not believe that I would really go on this journey. On the other hand, I wanted to surprise my friends. And I did it: the reaction was: wow!
Siberia is the coolest point I’ve been to: industrial production next to houses painted in bright colors, polar day, the taste of raw fish (food is a separate story), friendly Russians who do not know English, but try to help in everything – I will remember it forever.
When we arrived in Norilsk in the end of May, it was -2 outside, there was snow all around – as if I found myself in our Serbian winter, somewhere in January. Fortunately, it was not very cold and I felt comfortable, which could not be said about Mahmoud from Egypt and Vikram from India – also participants of that tour. We were told that it was a polar day in Norilsk at the time. I could not fit it in my head: even at 2 am it was as bright outside as at 11 am – difficult to fall asleep. Fortunately, the hotel room had blackout curtains.
We visited the Medvezhy Ruchey mine and the copper plant. The north of Siberia is full of minerals. The Russians built the city in the middle of the tundra in 1935. This reminds me very much of the story of my native Bor – the center of the copper ore and copper smelting industry in Serbia.
I also felt that we were very close spiritually with the local people. I remember when in Dudinka, between the curling competitions, together with the organizers we were going to the store to buy the most delicious yukola. We compared Russian and Serbian languages: there are many similar words in them. Chatted about everyday life, about proper nutrition, sports, traditions. And it was so simple and good – such moments are always remembered with warmth”.
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Text: Natalia Popova, Photo: personal archive of Milosh Petrovich