RinRin Yamamura is 36 years old Japanese who lives in Sofia for 15 years. She graduated in “Scenography” at NATFA. Rin has several nominations and awards Ikar and Askeer for her works at the theatre. Recently, she has devoted her time to draw paintings for children books.

- Name your favorite places in Sofia?

- I find the details which remains from the communist period very interesting. Mainly I like to visit the small ateliers, the shoemakers in the neighborhood and the antique shops. - All those unique places where you can travel through different time periods. When somebody from Japan comes on a visit I always show him the church St. Paraskeva. There is a time labyrinth under the church.

- How you find Sofia as a city to live in?

- When I first came here it seemed to me that everything in the city was grey. Nowadays I feel it cozy. I am not an expert in history and architecture but I would like to know more about the city. 15 years ago I didn’t even thought about this. Here I feel already at home. My daughter is in 1st grade and the school is in our neighborhood.

-  What did you know about Bulgaria before you came here?

- I didn’t know anything at all. I’ve heard about the Bulgarian yogurt because we have similar products in Japan. I didn’t know anything about Bulgarian borders and neighbors. I had no idea where it is situated. I had no clue to the alphabet. I was in complete mist about the country. Now that fact has changed.

- What was the reason to come to live in Bulgaria? Why have you decided to stay here?

- There wasn’t any special reason, it just happened. My daughter, the people that I’ve met and my work kept me here. Nothing of this was planned. I live in the presence and I do not make any plans for the future because I had this bad habit before.

- How have you learned to speak Bulgarian?

- I took my first year as a preparation to apply at NATFA. During this year I attended language course and my teacher didn’t speak any other language but only Bulgarian. Later I studied at NATFA and step by step I’ve learned it with practice.

- What is your Bulgarian favorite word?

- I receive this question often but I always find it hard to answer. 15 years ago I’ve asked myself: “Why should the Bulgarian and Japanese languages have to be so different?”. Now Bulgarian language is quite simple for me. I have to learn a bit more when it comes to Japanese language, because even for me it is still a very difficult one. I don’t have any favorite word but I like the alphabet. I think that Cyrillic is unique.

- What have you discovered as unique feature in Bulgarian character?

- Bulgarians often speak like they don’t care about anything but at the same time they care a lot. Frequently they try to go beyond their potential. Nevertheless sometimes they do not succeed they couldn’t realize it and keep trying. Those are some features which I discovered while working with local people. Another thing that I’ve faced is the hospitality. The people help each other. This is why I feel like home because of the attitude and the warmth of the people. In Japan, particularly in Tokyo, this doesn’t exist. The people here live as one community in togetherness. This is a huge difference for me.

Autor: Lyubina Panayotova