The members of AEGEE have always been smarter than the politicians. So while there is a massive conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the members of the AEGEE antennae in both countries are great friends. No surprise therefore, that there is a pre-event in Moscow right before the Agora in Kyiv from 9th till 12 of October, called “Moscow Tea Time – a hidden part of the Russian soul”. After the event the organisers and participants will board a train in the Russian capital and will go to Kyiv together – even that alone is a great event itself. The Golden Times talked to Kateryna, main organizer of Moscow Tea Time, in AEGEE better known under her Facebook name Katty Cherry.

Katty Cherry
Katty Cherry, main organiser of Moscow Tea Time

Golden Times: Katty, your event is called “Moscow Tea Time”. At what time is usually Tea Time in Moscow?
Katty: In the Russian tradition there is no definite time for the tea ceremony, such as in England. We share tea with family and friends, and the tea acts as a bonding moment in our relations. Because it is very nice to sit harsh winter evenings with a warm cup of tea and a chat with your friends about life, ask for advice or share a happy moment.

GT: Why did you choose this name for the event?
Katty: The name of the pre-event wasn’t chosen without any reason, but was a result of a long reflection. The Russian soul is actually very wide, and Russian traditions are ancient and very varied, and in previous events we have opened them one by one. But in preparation for the pre-event, we realized that there is something what we haven’t told before, namely, a good old gatherings for tea. The decision was unanimous, as it will be a new side of the Russian soul, which you haven’t seen, and which will show that in addition to the fact that Moscow never sleeps, it also can be very hospitable, friendly, and responsive.

Russian provodnitsa
Russian provodnitsa by AEGEE-Moskva

GT: Why should no one miss your event “Moscow Tea Time”?
Katty: Russian traditions, food, dances and an express course in Russian language are included and combined with crazy Russian spirit that wouldn’t let you to be bored. And all of that provided by a very friendly, sweet but spicy team of AEGEE-Moskva organizers. It is something you cannot miss.

GT: You offer a lot of activities in just four days. Can you highlight maybe three or four daytime activities that the participants will never forget?
Katty: Moscow is a city with a fast rhythm of life, and is suitable for people with an active lifestyle. Also our event is designed for active and positive people. Four days is very little time for visiting such a big and interesting city like Moscow, that’s why we productively allocate time between different activities (such as city tours and workshops, relaxation (tea time) and fun (parties).

Moscow Transib
The first reason to apply – to see the heart of russia: Red Square

GT: What about the parties? What can you tell about them?
Katty: You want to highlight all our secrets! All I can say is that our parties are something totally opposite to the tea ceremony. Moscow is famous as a “never sleeping city,” so that’s why our participants will have the opportunity not only to see this, but also to become a part of it. And in general, the parties are not something we talk about, this is what we do, and do very well, so come and see it for yourself!

GT: It’s an Agora pre-event. But also non-Agora participants are welcome, right?
Katty: We are open to all our guests, and don’t want to put any limits to those who want to visit our event, but cannot attend the Agora for some reason.

Russians at european party
Russian AEGEE members at a European Night

GT: After the event you will go with the Agora participants to Kyiv. How? And how long is the trip?
Katty: After our pre-event we will propose our participants not to take a boring flight to Kyiv, but to take a ride on a Russian train. It wouldn’t be three days as it was during our Transsiberian Dream TSU, just a light version – only around 12 hours or one night. However, don’t think that it will be just an ordinary train ride. Before getting on the train our participants will have a short workshop about “How to survive in the Russian train”, on which they will learn some differences between Russian and other countries’ trains.

GT: Sp the train ride will be a fun night?
Katty: We are planning to shake up that train! And it would be like one more, but very special, day of the event, especially considering that we will be accompanied by local members who will also go to the Agora. To be honest, for me this is one of the most anticipated moments. So I suggest our future participants to not to miss this chance!

Transib participants train
Participants of the Transsib TSU, preparing to go with the Russian train

GT: What can you tell us about the experience of travelling on a Russian train?
Katty: In our country it is very common to travel by train and also I was in the group of organizers in the Transsiberian Dream TSU last year, so I can tell you a lot about travelling on the Russian train. You will meet different characters on the train, such as Provodnitsa, which is the major of the wagon, random people that would like to communicate with you even without knowing any other language except Russian, and what is interesting: you will understand them even without knowing Russian. And another very special thing about Russian trains: in this small closed space, almost without connection with the rest of the world – no Internet – people becomes closer to each other, have more open conversations and a better understanding from both sides. It is priceless. Everything will be unusual for our participants.

Moscow Tea Time Logo
Don’t hesitate and apply!

GT: How much is the fee and what does it include?
Katty: The fee of the event is 70 Euros and includes lodging for three nights, breakfast and one hot Russian meal per day and four days of incredible programme! Among our activities you will find not only just city tours and sightseeing, but also crazy parties and an unforgettable European night. We will organize a lot of funny and interesting activities like the Russian traditional tea ceremony, folk dances, a Russian language course and the workshop “How to Survive in the Russian Train”. Of course, there will be more surprises for our participants, but everything will be known on its time.

GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Katty: We want to tell all AEGEEans that if you want to be inspired till the next summer, have a lot of fun and mix a boring autumn with happiness and colorful memories, you won’t regret about applying for our prevent! AEGEE-Moskva is quite excited to meet you. Let’s have fun together!

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