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Meet Elena, the author of Matryoshka’s Diary Blog

Welcome to this week’s edition on Matryoshka’s Diary. Today’s post is a little bit unusual, it’s devoted to the person hidden behind all these interesting facts about Russia, Russian cuisine, culture and literature. Today you will get to meet our author Elena, who will share some interesting facts about her life.

10 facts about Elena from Russia who lives in Australia and travels all over the world!

  1. Elena was born in a small provincial town on “the other side of Russia”, just right on the border with China.
  2. Growing up, she did lots of sports and art. She played table tennis competitively and got an athletic and academic scholarship to study Bachelor’s in International Economics in one of the Federal Universities in Russia. Her love to art and oil painting has grown stronger as she got older – She is now taking oil painting classes at the Royal Art School.
  3. Before moving to Australia Elena lived and worked in China, where she re-discovered her love to art and painting.
  4. In 2016 Elena moved to Australia to pursue her Master’s in Public Policy at the University of New South Wales Sydney, graduating in 2017 with a distinction.
  5. Elena was selected to represent Russia at the 2017 UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development in Ottawa, Canada to share her experience of leading community projects and peacebuilding initiatives.
  6. Elena has been practicing yoga since 2012 and is a vegetarian since 2013. In 2015 Elena set up a social project “YogaMorning@Vladivostok’ (if you are visiting Vladivostok in summer, make sure you join us for a free yoga session by the sea).
  7. In 2018, Elena was a youth delegate for Russia at the 3rd Asia Europe Foundation Young Leaders Summit which took place in Brussels.
  8. She is also a contributor for the UNESCO youth-led guide on prevention of violent extremism through education.
  9. Elena has worked, studied, and lived in Russia, China, US, Canada, Australia and Germany.
  10. Elena’s favourite Russian dishes are okroshka and borsch (Elena has to make some adjustments to the traditional recipes to make them vegetarian).

Elena’s favourite places in Russia that she suggests you consider visiting while in Russia

  • Winter – make sure you visit Kamchatka and Sakhalin to explore the beautiful nature (especially if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding) and visit local museums to learn about the rich history of the Island (Sakhalin) and Peninsula.
  • Spring – I would strongly recommend visiting St. Petersburg in spring when everything is blooming.
  • Summer – explore unusual destinations (hiking in the Altay Mountains) or visit one of the oldest cities in Russia (Pskov might be a great option – the town is located about 20 km east form the Estonian border).
  • Fall – visit Kizhi, an island in the Republic of Karelia or the Valaam Monastery.

Would you like to combine sightseeing and also learn Russian language? We are running a few courses to help you learn the language and get yourself immersed in Russian culture. Click here to find out more!