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Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance, Freelancer
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Hey, I’m Anka!

Berlin, Germany · Member since July 2012
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Hey there,

This is by far the most awkward part of doing something, anything online! What do you tell strangers about yourself?? And what not?? How formal or informal should one be?? What's appropriate? Should I try to be funny? Entertaining? German???

Well, ok, I am German. East German, to be more precise. Why do I care to mention that?? "I don't know" would be an excuse... I do know. Sometimes, I'm not really proud to be German. I travel a lot and with all the history we folks have got, not to mention cliche behavior of Germans abroad... Anyways... being East German still means I'm German, right? So, there must be something else to it then. And there is. It matters, because East Germany had a totally different culture than West Germany (I believe, at least). And I am saying that completely free of judgment. No 'better' or 'worse'. Just different. And when the wall fell, that culture disappeared and with it, I felt for many years as if I was homeless. No easy answer to the question 'Where are you from?'. My country does no longer exist....

What else could you want to know?? Initially, ie. in East Germany and before the wall came down, I studied German & Russian languages and literature. Later, I felt I had to figure out how this ‘new world' functions, so I studied again, this time business administration. From the outside, it could seem I do a lot of things but really, there's a common thread running through my career despite all the different names my activities are published under: It's the attempt to build bridges between the private and non-profit sector, to prove that social responsibility and economic efficiency do go hand in hand and to facilitate community development in ways that are sustainable not only for the planet and the people around me but also myself ;-).

I have spent many years living in places like Australia and South America, and I continue to live part of the year in India working in rural development from my base there, the international township of Auroville. I've been hosted by countless people taking me into their home as if I was part of the family. I've grown up in a family where we did the same. Most school holidays, there was a kid or two more at our home or part of our vacations who weren't our siblings. So, an open house, hosting guests and making them feel at home are kind of coming natural these days. And if I'm around myself, I don't mind hanging out with guests or showing them the known and unknown bits and pieces of Berlin.

What else? Ask me, and you might get an answer ;-)))