Voronezh

Mary Dejevsky recalls her time at the Soviet university

The World Today Updated 9 November 2020 Published 27 September 2018 2 minute READ

Mary Dejevsky

Columnist, The Independent

If you know the meaning of the words tazik, venik and sankomissiya and the phrase dush ne rabotaet prompts a sense of inevitability rather than irritation, then you are probably one of around 1,000 British exchange students who have spent a few months of your life at the then Soviet, now Russian, State University of Voronezh. This September, around a dozen of us returned to the city – in the Central Black Earth region of Russia – to take part in festivities for the university’s centenary and briefly relive the youthful semesters we had spent as exotic creatures from the kapstrany – capitalist countries – at a time when the Cold War really was very chilly.

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