Moving to any foreign country is tough. Despite the challenges, the Indian community in St. Petersburg, which in itself is quite diverse, has found ways to come together and create a sense of community and belonging. Through different events, activities, and of course, food, Indians living in the city have found ways to connect with each other and celebrate their heritage. What’s more interesting is that it is not the Indians alone who enjoy such events – Russians, too, tend to join them, which makes the occasions even more wholesome.
Here are some of the ways that Indians in St. Petersburg are building and sustaining their community:
Cultural events and festivals
India is known to be the land of festivals and they are an integral part of every Indian’s life. One of the most important ways that the Indian community in St. Petersburg comes together is through these cultural events. They offer a chance for everyone to celebrate their heritage and share their traditions with others. Some of the most popular events include Diwali, Holi, Independence Day, and Republic Day, which feature traditional food, music, and dance performances. Keep an eye on the website of the Consulate of India in St. Petersburg for updates regarding such events.
Another important way in which the community connects with one another is through language classes. Many Indians in St. Petersburg are eager to maintain their language skills and share their language with others. Classes in Hindi, Tamil, Sanskrit, and other Indian languages are popular among both adults and children. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) organizes several essay-writing and poetry competitions in Hindi for Russians who are enthusiastic about Indian culture. Such initiatives provide a space for people to connect with each other and share each other’s culture.
Religion is an important part of many Indians' lives, and there are several venues in St. Petersburg that cater to the Indian religious community. These places offer space for Indians to practice their religion, meet and interact with others who share their faith, and celebrate religious holidays and traditions together. One such example is the ISKCON temple on Mineralnaya Street 13.
Many Indians living in St. Petersburg are professionals who work in a range of industries, from IT and engineering to medicine and education. Professional networks and associations such as clubs and business groups, for example, the Indian Russian Cultural Society (INRUCS) provide a space for Indians to share knowledge and expertise and build professional relationships.
Food and restaurants
Indians are foodies and, thankfully, there are several Indian restaurants in St. Petersburg that cater to the Indian community. These restaurants offer a taste of home for Indians living abroad and provide a space for them to bond with others over a shared love of food. Some of the most popular Indian restaurants in St. Petersburg include Ganesha, Oh! Mumbai, Delhi Darbar, and Kashmir.
In a nutshell, the Indian community in St. Petersburg has shown how culture, literature, faith, and food can build and sustain a strong and vibrant community.
Special mention from the author
The Hermitage, the world's second-largest museum, is undoubtedly one of the major attractions of St. Petersburg. This beautiful palace is home to over 3 million works of art and artifacts from around the world, including a vast collection of Indian art and antiquities. This includes stunning sculptures, textiles, and paintings, all of which offer a unique glimpse into the rich history and culture of India. Be sure to check out rooms 368, 369, and 370, which house beautiful Indian sculptures.
Looking for resources on how to experience other cultures in St. Petersburg? Check out our articles here.