People of the World

When southern Europe falls in love with northern Europe- meet Can and Jaana!

Jaana, Can, tell us a bit about yourself.
Can: We are an exotic couple. Jaana is from Estonia and I am from Turkey, and in Jaana’s words “we theoretically are a completely incompatible couple”. Hot vs Cold blooded, Extroverted vs. Introverted, Muslim vs. Non-religious, Meat-addicted vs. Vegetarian… but we have managed 7 years together so far. We met while we were in University, thanks to a cultural exchange program and we managed to constantly see each other and even live together for certain period of time, before finally move in together in Germany.

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October 11, 2013 Comments disabled

When a personal need turns into a business idea- the story of Anish and his app.


Hi Anish, tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m 23 years old, born and brought up in India. I got my Bachelor at Northwestern University and then got a Master from Stanford University. I’m currently working on MochaMeet in Palo Alto, California, which I started up as my own business.

What is your business about?

MochaMeet is a service that helps organize meet-ups with your friends when you are traveling. It shows you which cities your friends are in on an interactive world map and then it helps you coordinate meet-ups with them. This is a great tool for frequent travelers who want a frictionless way to find and connect with their old friends.

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July 25, 2013 1 comment

Meet Kateryna, who started her own business from scratch in Turkey

The latest in our local business interview series is Kateryna, who moved from her home in Ukraine to be with her Turkish husband. She built a business which uses her knowledge of the Russian market to connect local Turkish manufacturers with new customers, and here she tells us how she did it.

Kateryna, tell us a bit about yourself

I am from Kiev, I moved to Turkey three years ago. I married a Turkish man and I am a journalist.

When I moved to Bursa, where I live with my husband, I started to think about what I could do. I knew that to continue with my profession, I had to learn the language very well – and that it would have taken time to achieve fluency.

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June 13, 2013 Comments disabled

Zuwaina, sharing Oman’s seafaring traditions

Please tell us a bit about yourself

I am a qualified accounting technician working during the day as an Investment Analyst for Fund For Development of Youth Projects. It’s a company that has helped me enhance my skills on projects and encouraged me to be my own boss. In the evenings I am the Managing Partner of my own dhow cruise company – Star Of The Sea Tourism.

What is your business?

We are a small amazingly cultural Omani dhow cruise company established with the mission of entertaining, educating and preserving Oman’s unique sea history. We run various dhow cruise packages for our guests, for example the sensational sunset cruise, the fun day cruise including kayaking and snorkelling etc. (more…)

June 6, 2013 Comments disabled

Marcel, writing and discovering his own heritage

Today we’re talking to an author among our own contributors, and following last week’s interview with Alexey, today we also have a Russian connection. Marcel (PocketCultures contributor in Berlin, Germany) is currently writing a book about his grandmother, who spent five years in a Soviet labour camp before settling in West Germany.

To research the book Marcel traced his grandmother’s journey from Poland to Russia by train. Although his first language is German, Marcel writes in English, blaming his proficiency on several years of small talk with the Irish whilst living in Dublin.

Marcel slightly confused in Russian traffic

Why did you decide to write a book about your grandmother? Can you tell us a bit about her?

I’m carrying the idea of writing about my grandmother Cäcilie, short ‘Cilly’, with me for quite a while now. Mostly because her story is an extraordinary one: in 1945, when she was 23, she was taken by the Red Army from her parents’ farm in East Prussia (a former part of Germany that is now Polish) and spent five years in a Soviet labour camp in the Urals before she returned to West Germany where she met my grandfather, and never returned to her home country. She died in 2009 at the age of 86. But I also wanted to learn more about her native country as part of my own heritage – when I was a child, she always kept telling stories about East Prussia, of wolves in the woods and sleigh rides in the snow and deep cold lakes, so I traveled there myself last year.

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May 27, 2013 3 comments

Alexey’s amazing adventures in Russia and abroad

We’re talking about books this month on PocketCultures, so here on People of the World we’ve got some interviews with authors for you.

Today’s interview is with Alexey Subbotin, whose novella A few hours in the life of a young man describes life in contemporary Russia. Alexey had a pretty eventful life so far; here he tells us about surviving the breakup of the Soviet Union, studying and working abroad, selling a telecoms company and writing on the Moscow-St Petersburg railroad (phew!).

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in 1975, in Nyandoma – a small district center in Northern Russia. Both my parents worked for the local railroad. In 1977, we moved to Arkhangelsk – the capital of the Russian North, a place with lots of history and traditions. Then in late 90’s the whole world around me collapsed – whatever people may say nowadays about the break up of the Soviet Union, it was rather unmerciful and unpleasant experience. Luckily for me my parents kept sanity and raised me and my brother in spite of all the challenges stemming from a failed economy and disintegrating society. My father was unemployed for a number of years doing some dull temporary jobs despite his excellent engineering background.

In 1992, I graduated from middle school and began to study management at the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. In my third year there I got an opportunity to study in Germany at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Bernburg. DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) recognized me as the Best Foreign Student in 1997. Upon graduation I started to work as an auditor in the St. Petersburg office of Arthur Andersen.

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May 23, 2013 2 comments