Tuesday, February 7, 2023

War escalates to a paradise: in Bali, both sides learn to live together

BALI.- In a cafe some 10,000 kilometers from the battlefield, a Kiwi pastry shop has a counter with typical Russian kartoshka, sweet cookies, truffles made from butter and condensed milk. the cook is russian But the borscht on the menu, once described as a “Russian soup,” is now recognized as a dish of Ukrainian origin.

Inside, guests can also enjoy the sauna or the tradesman lounge, a mainstay of daily life for Russians and Ukrainians.

Ever since the war broke out in Ukraine, Parque Ubud – a mix of coworking space, apartment complex and coffee shop – shelter has become For both Russians and Ukrainians who settled on the Indonesian island of Bali. And all There has been friendship between the peoples of both sides, but for many the cost of this war waged thousands of kilometers away is irreparable.,

A farmer harvesting rice near Park Ubud. As of September, over 14,500 Russians and over 3,000 Ukrainians have entered Bali. (Photo: Nyamas Laula)

“I knew the situation was going to be inconvenientBecause one feels ashamed for what is happening”, says Polina Pushkina, a 21-year-old Russian girl and designer for a cryptocurrency startup, who came to Bali in March. ,Shame that didn’t stop things, didn’t do enough”, says Polina, who turned out to demonstrate against the war in Moscow on the first day of the invasion. “And it seems to me that the situation for Ukrainians and Russians is still awkward for everyone.”

The young woman recalls an uncomfortable conversation she had with a Ukrainian woman who worked in the office next door to her in Park Ubud. The woman, without mincing words, asked if he and his colleague were Ukrainian. ,sorry we are from moscowPolina replied.

Polina Ptushkina, Right, Hanging Out With Friends At Parq Ubud In December.  He Arrived In Bali In March After Protesting In The Streets Of Moscow On The First Day Of The Invasion Of Ukraine.  (Photo: Nyamas Laula)
Polina Ptushkina, right, hanging out with friends at Parq Ubud in December. He arrived in Bali in March after protesting in the streets of Moscow on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine. (Photo: Nyamas Laula)

The woman replied that there was no reason to apologize, and Now they both are very good friends. There are also many Russian men in their 30s and 40s who claim to have escaped conscription. They all say they are opposed to war but they are also very careful when talking about the Russian President, Vladimir Putin,

For some Ukrainians who live in or frequent the Ubud park complex, simply seeing Russians around them is a painful reminder what is happening in their homes.

Coworking Space In Parq Ubud.  (Photo: Nyamas Laula)
Coworking space in Parq Ubud. (Photo: Nyamas Laula)

“We don’t know how to communicate with the Russians,” he says paulo tarasuk, CEO of an online travel agency. “It is very difficult for us.” Tarasiuk states that he does not see the need to talk to the Russians about the war because “they have their information and we have ours,

During the first months of the war, he helped 10 Ukrainians move to Bali, and says he continues to receive calls for help from Ukraine.

a few months ago Tarasiuk hired as an assistant ihor popov, a 24-year-old from Odessa who also greets Ukrainians arriving at Bali’s main airport. “The people who come are stunned, because The cultural difference between Ukraine and Indonesia is huge”, says Tarasuk. “It’s a completely new universe for most people, especially those who have never traveled before.”

Bali was a reference point for Russians and Ukrainians even before the war. The island has long promoted itself as the so-called “Mecca”.digital nomad”, and provides long term visas to thousands of skilled professionals and technology experts.

Bali had entered by September over 14,500 Russians and over 3,000 UkrainiansAccording to Indonesian immigration data. sandiaga unoIndonesia’s tourism minister says his government will renew tourist visas for people trapped in the war. “We know this is a difficult time,” he says.

Inside Ubud Park.  Many Russian Men In Bali Have Left The Country To Avoid The Draft, But Remain Cautious When Discussing The Policies Of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.  Photos Of Putin In Make-Up Have Been Banned In Russia.  (Photo: Nyimas Lola)
Inside Ubud Park. Many Russian men in Bali have left the country to avoid the draft, but remain cautious when discussing the policies of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. Photos of Putin in make-up have been banned in Russia. (Photo: Nyimas Lola)

William WiebeThe American co-founder of Parq Ubud, says that initially the project was not aimed at Russian and Ukrainian clients, and thought it would be used more by Chinese and Australians.

vibe says there was two waves of arrival — just after the start of the war and months later, when Putin began mass conscription in Russia — and he had to work against the clock to make more departments available. Now they have a waiting list of 300 people, “Within days of the war, we were overwhelmed,” Wiebe recalls.

Kristina KuchinskayaThe sales manager of Parq Ubud says that approx. 90% of the campus’s residents are Russians and Ukrainians., although she clarifies that she was not sure “who are the Ukrainians and the Russians”. “I am not separate: for me, we are all one,” says Kunchinskaya.

But for other Russians and Ukrainians circulating through Parc Ubud, the notion of identity, which previously spanned two countries with similar customs, cuisine and languages, has been exacerbated by the war.

Alex Man, a 29-year-old investor from Kharkiv, Ukraine, fled to Bali with his three children, 7, 5 and 2. The eldest goes to school in Bali, and Alex says her son recently had a fight with his Russian classmates. which side was right in the war, Also, Alex remembers that before the war in his family they spoke Russian all the time, but now they speak Ukrainian.

Ms Pushkina Is Showing Photographs That Her Friends Had Left Her Along With The Messages.
Ms Pushkina is showing photographs that her friends had left her along with the messages. “When you’re sad, just remember,” one of the notes reads. (Photo: Nyamas Laula)

Alex donates money and raises funds for voluntary organizations in Ukraine. ,It hurts my soul not to be able to go and fight on the front lines“, he says. “A lot of our energy and our thoughts are on Ukraine.”

Bali has been a magnet for years for those looking to escape the worries of life. and to a place where a sensory isolation flotation tank promises “a significant change of consciousness” in Russian, and where bikini-clad women slurp vitamin juices by the pool, Sometimes thoughts of war fade away,

“You have to understand that everything that happens in Ukraine becomes immaterial to us,” says Boris Prayadkin, 35, a sales manager at Parc Ubud, whose parents are still in the Ukrainian city of Lugansk.

But the war is never completely forgotten, not even here.

“In daily life, the truth is I don’t even touch the subject,” he says Natalia Priadkina, 35, psychiatrist and wife of Priadkin. But every time he talks to his family in Ukraine, always urging them to leave the country as well, the reality of the war dawns on him.

“When I talk to them, I understand what they feel and what they are going through,” Natalia said with tears in her eyes. “Emotionally very difficult.”

For many Russians and Ukrainians, Bali is probably a stop before deciding where to go next, The tourism minister says Russians now stay on average more than 90 days, compared with a week or two before the war.

Arkhip Woba In Park Ubud In December.  He Has Decided That He Will Not Return To Russia.  (Photo: Nyamas Laula)
Arkhip Woba in Park Ubud in December. He has decided that he will not return to Russia. (Photo: Nyamas Laula)

Polina PushkinaThe Moscow designer, hoping to return to Europe to study art, says most of her friends are now in countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Israel, Georgia and France.

Actually, it was his friend. archip voba Which encouraged him to come to Bali to work with them on the development of the startup. Vauba is 21 and says that when he left Moscow he had a fleeting feeling that it might be the last time he would see the city. Now he has decided not to return. And life in Park Ubud? ,It’s not like there, but somehow I feel at home tooWoba says.

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