Saturday, July 21, 2018


About four years ago, I had lunch with my director of studies at Vezzo (our local Vapiano-copy) to discuss what courses I would be teaching during my first year in Umeå. I remember feeling thrilled about the fact that I would start off the semester with an introductory course to political philosophy. Little did I know that one of my future students of that course would later go on to become a good friend and someone who I will dearly miss when he moves down to Lund for his MA in a few weeks’ time.

Today, we had lunch at the same restaurant which gave me a chance to hear first-hand about his impressions from his recent trip to Russia. In his view, the World Cup has given many ordinary Russians a chance to interact with foreigners, something which may ultimately end up undermining rather than strengthening Putin’s rule. Considering how profoundly the 2002 World Cup affected Korean society, I do not find this as far-fetched as it may first sound. As my friend is fluent in Russian, he obviously has a very different window into the society than I had during my brief visit back in March. Still, listening to him, I felt a strong urge to return to see more for myself.

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