До новых встреч..
I have finished my shootings for NHK “テレビでロシア語”. My last show will be on air next week Tuesday and then they start to re-run it and will do so for another two years. It’s been a challenging half a year but so very exciting. Now, this experience is a part of my life and I am going to treasure it not only because it helped me grow as a person but also because it gave me an opportunity to meet wonderful people and make good friends.
Each one of them is so unique and talented, so full of dreams yet already achieving so much. During this half a year I was inspired again and again to try harder, to do better, to push myself to the new limit. I am so thankful to all the staff for their patience and kindness and their love for all things Russian. I felt they were better Russians than I was, always willing to learn more about my culture and language, always being so meticulous about it.
Our programs were a lot of fun. We were shooting in a huge studio against a blue background that was used as a base for computer graphics on the screen. Everything in our room was drawn, nothing but our table was real.
So if you look at the studio picture it is all blue but on TV screen it looks like we are sitting in a travel agency room. ^-^
The atmosphere during each shooting was great! Everyone was so friendly and so understanding every time I forgot my lines or mispronounced some words. They gave us time to practice and surrounded us with such care and attention. While, they shot other blocks, me and Serezha were joking around, taking pictures and just chatting. Nobody ever said anything, we had the total freedom.
The person who inspired me the most was our Russian teacher Numano Kyoko. She is undeniably talented and smart and endlessly kind. She is the one translating Akunin books into Japanese. She also teaches Russian at Tokyo university and makes such a huge contribution to the cultural exchange between Russia and Japan. During our conversations, I realized how much she knows and how unbelievably modest she is about all her achievements.
She also plays piano, write books and organizes various academical events. She is the true Russian at heart. After the last shooting, we went to Sungari – Russian restaurant in Nishi Shinjuku for uchiage. There, she gave us a traditional Georgian 10 minutes toast. She spoke about the Russian culture and it’s oversight in Japan and I could feel true passion and devotion behind her words. She said all the right things, words that make you cry, words that unite you and words that make you remember the day for many years to come. She made me feel so special and so proud to be Russian. Here, in Japan and especially in Tokyo stereotypes about Russia found their way into the consciousness of Japanese and it is very hard to escape them on an every day basis. There are times when I prefered not to reveal my nationality… But despite all the misconceptions now I am more confident and happy to be myself and to carry all the greatness of Russia into the hearts of people around me.
On the day of our last shooting, I met one of my best friends Vincent at NHK who was shooting the French show in the studio next to ours. The French TV program was starting a new season and Vincent who did it last year was invited for a special episode. This year, they have a celebrity guest – a runner-up to Miss Universe 2007. Because of her, the halls were filled with reporters and journalists waiting for her to be done.
It was also the only show where me, Serezha and Dima were together in the same scene. We ended our series with famous Russian proverbs. At that moment I felt like I could do this forever. It was so much fun, all my nerves were gone and I just enjoyed it. A little too late I guess hehe.