Moscow-born 35-year-old artist Dmitry Yagodin arrived in Bulgaria in 1997. He graduated animation directing in the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, in Sofia, and now draws and makes animations and music. He is a part of the internationally recognised and awarded animation studio Compote Collective.

Have you experienced special treatment in Bulgaria because you are a foreigner?

It has been rarely negative, the Bulgarians are very warm and hospitable people. It could be, because I am Russian. We share many common traits – both good and bad.

Is there a typical Bulgarian feature?

Many people here are sour, they always find reasons to grumble and be dissatisfied, no matter if they are in their country or not. The Prostotiya, the mix between ignorance and vulgarity, but I am not sure if it is a national trait. It’s more probably the result of bad government and lack of education. On the positive side, the Bulgarians are warm and joyous people, they love to party.

How did life in Bulgaria surprise you?

It is not exactly a surprise, but an impression: life here is calmer than in Russia and other countries.

Do you celebrate Bulgarian feasts?

I do, as far as the traditions go, with my Bulgarian friends and my family: sitting at a table, overeating salad and overdrinking Rakiya. Generally, I don’t care about holidays unless they are personal.

Describe Bulgaria in three words.

If we talk about the country: fairy-tale, fertile, mysterious. If we talk about the state: indifferent, sleepy, confused.

Do you plan to stay in Bulgaria?

I have been here for quite a long time, I don’t know whether I should stay. The country and the people are generally okay, but the state is in bad shape and many things don’t go the way I would like them to.

What in your opinion is to be a Bulgarian?

A human being like everyone else, with some strong points, vices, and shortcomings.

Do you feel Bulgarian?

I don’t feel either Russian, or Bulgarian.

Do you want to be Bulgarian?

I am probably already a Bulgarian, I don’t feel a stranger here.