Mahatma Gandhi once said: 'I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible'. Our new columnist, designer, expert in fashion and etiquette Tatiana Polyakova is reflecting about multilingualism and multicultural communication as a starting point and beginning of the Path.

Trajectory of my way came off the streets of medieval city, UNESCO World Heritage memorial, sand tracks in pine woods and even wavy sand shallows of The Gulf of Finland.
At that time a globe given by my father as a present became my favorite toy. I was always dreaming of it. It was a big size perfectly typed and glued object, a visual tutorial. For me it became a symbol of my Way and my journeys. It turned and swiveled adorning my bedroom and as I found out later became a life defining trophy. Something belonging to my family, childhood and perhaps something I'd like to carry throughout all of my life. What a shame and so wrong that my father's present disappeared. It was given to someone, some youngster of a family by my parents. I had no cherished globe under my hand but image and picture stayed. Then a strong desire to f ly to the other side of the globe appeared and I organized a trip to New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Thailand. I wanted to see other countries, continents, cultures and find something of myself there.

I carry different and at first sight incompatible cultures inside of myself since my childhood. Here comes the reason of silence and introversion of the first years of my life. Kind of a watchfulness with my eyes down. How can a child live in the fireworks of intercultural explosions and sparks of emotions? Happy on the surface communications in several but all — mother — tongues simultaneously was accompanied by cobwebs and puzzles of traditions and national properties of human characters and cultural worlds. My father and I liked to play the city and country names game. This bouquet of rare and beautiful names never repeated itself and could stay for so long in the vase of my destiny. But I already had my virtual globe. And everything took its place: countries and continents. Thus, I marked cities, constellations, names and events on my horizon. Family and everyday life stories, school and in my first solo visit to Artek I stayed for several tours. Flowers became stars and two friends from Artek are still in my life today.

I live easily in Europe and Asia. My classmates from Kalmykia, girls from Norway Department, Vietnamese friends studying Swedish the six of us lived in a room in the Leningrad University's dormitory with the view of Dvortsovaya and four other quays. The smoking place for the two faculties — Oriental and Philology studies — were a form that sometimes was too much and sometimes not enough. Best in the world museums and libraries added to daily lessons escape locations and theatres and stages to the nightlife.
And as wise as majestically handsome historian, ethnographer, one of the most influential teachers of my life explained it to me, by the time that all of my childhood impressions, excitements and worries one day indicate the direction of my life. I happened to multiply these impressions by the experience of multicultural professional life tens of years later without him and in my independent life in far from Petersburg cities, capitals and countries.

I found myself on a wave many years later far in Hawaii. I caught it and was not scared to lose it and fall. I felt air under the wave.
Surfing is one of the best images for my international exercising — work in the best world holdings' offices. And my air is experience of cultures and of close people sweeping at a high speed past me experience. I had nothing to do but sharpen it and learn to keep balance and flexibility. Synthesis of speed and pleasure which turns into gliding if speed is high. Unforgettable route.
There are different crossroads on my way. Etiquette is one of my favorite roads. You can teach anything like Traffic Laws, first aid and it is about exams, theory, lectures. On the contrary etiquette topics are not discussed. There's no theory and life becomes an eternal practice and endless work on mistakes. I was taught many different things by my aunt who brought me up  Amalia Rütjberg. She warned that all advice, skills and demands of public behavior are first necessary for myself. I didn't realize her wisdom while being a child but appreciated her system of advices much later, I remembered them in many different countries and languages. I managed to turn my hobbies into the business project dedicated to etiquette and multicultural communication. To tell the public that etiquette is a set of useful rules, that it is good to know it to be able to break it, to know how to make a joke or just turn a usual dialogue into the courteous conversation. In my opinion the perfect formula is to talk about everything not inserting personal details into communication, starting from selfrespect turning to reverence to others and eternal values. I learnt through years to rise up my eyes and smile with them. I accept compliments about beautiful eyes with gratefulness. In one syllable with dignity. By the way aunt didn't tell me that and I am grateful to her. I smile to her for it — with my eyes, I thank her!

I always question myself if I was bored in Monaco or here in Tallinn? No, I wasn't. What is important — I do have a globe now. I found it in some second hand shop. It was hard to deliver but it didn't stop me, my professional skills in international logistics helped once again — 'spend money and enjoy'. I can't let myself say something like 'job', so, say, my hobbies businesses are like 'Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life'. So it happened. This is how my way appeared to be. A Way in 'present continuous tense'. And hopefully it will be continued. In my audience and my students.