I’m living abroad now for the third time in my life, I spent a year as an Au Pair in New York and after that one semester in Paris in student exchange. And now in Seoul, studying again in Korea University. Even though I’m pretty much 100% finnish I’ve heard about my “russian looks” countless times… In Finland random people don’t come and ask from where someone comes from, but in many other countries, oh yes!
I don’t consider myself looking finnish and even some of friends in Finland have asked if I’m really originally finnish. Pale skin with a black (dyed) hair is apparently often associated with the Eastern Europe… Not that I mind, I actually love it when nobody thinks I look like a finn as I’m not a big fan of Finland myself (winter sucks, and the people as well). But anyway, while living and traveling in the States people were constantly asking whether I was Russian or Ukrainian. Same happened in Paris. I lived close to Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur (big tourist attractions) and sometimes when I went out around my neighborhood, I heard: “Hey, русский/девушка/красивая!”
I’ve often been inspired by these experiences, I even studied a little bit of russian and whenever I’m drawing, it’s every once in a while russian dolls. I sometimes like to take elements to my style from the traditionally russian style of clothing. Now, when in Seoul people ask me from where I come from and I tell them to guess… Too often I’ve heard “Ireland, Scotland, England”… Really, my english is good, but I don’t sound american anymore. :< And here my appearance is not associated with the Eastern Europe. Although it was kind of cool that a girl from Manchester asked if I were british…
The tag says “made in Korea”, but it’s totally russian style. Ever since, without telling people to guess, they’ve always asked if I come from Russia! I met a girl from Russia about a week ago, when I was wearing the scarf. She was surprised to hear that I come from Finland and not Russia, “because your scarf is really russian style”. 🙂 It’s funny how strong association a piece of accessory can cause. I love it.