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Postcard from Russia, by Danny Hodorowski

December 19, 2012

Name: Danny Hodorowski’14

Hometown: Aurora, Ill.

Where are you studying abroad? Moscow, Russian Federation.

Postcard from Russia, by Danny Hodorowski 1 

What is the best meal you’ve had abroad? We were taken to a restaurant to eat Georgian food by our program ambassador, Irakli. He had us try about six different dishes. I ate until I wanted to cry. Then he made us eat more. 

What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad? I tutor two kids. A 5-year-old girl, Zoya, and her 8-year-old brother, Lova. I go to their house after school twice a week to teach them English. My proudest moment was teaching Zoya how to count to 10 in English and teaching Lova how to form sentences about Star Wars in English. 

What will you bring home as a souvenir? It's nice to do Christmas shopping at the big outdoor bargaining mall, called the Vernisazh. I bought my grandma a porcelain Golden Retriever (we have one at home) and some other things for the family. I also bought a vest from Red Square with fur lining and a hand-stitched face of Putin on the back. That one is for me.

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What are the three most important things you packed in your suitcase? Why? I'd say first, my slippers. I catch a lot of shade from Muscovites because I wear these everyday. They stare at me and give me dirty looks but they remind me of home so I'm okay with it. Secondly, a camera so I can document things that I've seen. I forget it at the dorm most days though. Thirdly, a dictionary. It's invaluable.

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What special project are you working on and how did you get funding for it? I received an Enhancement Grant through the OIE to study a phenomenon known as "football-hooliganism" in Moscow. I applied for the grant and am currently using that money to attend football (soccer) games in Moscow. I am conducting interviews with fans and writing a research paper trying to find a connection between the civil society and the phenomenon of football hooliganism as it relates to violence, pseudo-militarism, racism, xenophobia/nationalism, and alcoholism. It's been really rewarding so far. I'm planning on giving a presentation on it for International Symposium Day. The title of my project is The Faces Behind The Flags: The Connection Between Civil Society and Football Hooliganism in Moscow.

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