Translated from German, Zeitgeist means "the spirit of the moment", and is the key principle underpinning AYANA's service philosophy. Here, we share our inside tips and favorite haunts to help you experience the AYANA Zeitgeist.
As a Russian Guest Relations Officer, Dhika always surprises Russian guests with his fluency in speaking their language. Dark skinned with a lean figure and friendly face who seems very approachable, Dhika has never left Bali and inevitably makes quite an impression when he breaks out in Russian. Well-Placed Insider stuck to English to snatch a moment to find out more about this young man and his passion for learning foreign languages.
Where did you learn to speak Russian?
I took a 2 year course here in Bali instead of a formal education in a university. Let alone that I have never lived in Moscow, I have never lived anywhere else but here, but that does not stop me.
What other languages do you speak?
I also speak Japanese. Not as fluent as Russian but I can hold a conversation to the end. I am starting to learn Mandarin now.
What motivates you to learn these languages, despite never having traveled outside of Bali?
I love that my skill enables me to connect more closely with guests at AYANA, I love that it makes them comfortable with me and it is easier for me to know what they like or what they do not. But I am not doing this only for the guests, to be honest. I am doing this for my life in general. The best way to approach and to understand other people is to learn their language. That way, you are building a bridge with them, you will understand them better and they will open up to you. So I will continue to learn as many languages as possible.
Can you share with us the connection you make with language?
Russian guests may seem a bit distant at first. But once you are let into their comfort area, where they feel that they can talk to you in their language, you can easily gain their confidence. The same theory applies to Japanese guests. When they trust you, they trust you wholeheartedly. I have guests who are now part of my life, they have become friends with me now and wherever I work, they are always keen to experience staying at that place.
Who inspires you to have such interest in language?
My father and my family surroundings. I cannot get rid of a memory of when I was a kid and I saw this Balinese man speaking in Japanese. I was like oh that is pretty cool, speaking in other languages than Bahasa and English.
Can you imagine yourself doing anything else than working in the hospitality industry?
Yes. Working as an interpreter.
You seem like a man with a high level of perseverance, what made you so?
I understand that competition in the workforce can be very hard these days. I may not have a degree from a reputable university nor the chance to study abroad, like many other friends of mine. But that is the thing about language. Language is one thing that can take you to reach your goal. So, ambition is the reason why.