SAKOM Scholarship Awardee Jovana Ristic

As a student who is currently attending the second year of Turkish language, literature and culture at the Department of Oriental Studies at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, I study Azerbaijani language and culture at the same faculty along with Turkish.

Even in my childhood, through movies, TV shows, music and social networks, I began to get to know the Turkish language and culture. As this interest and connection with the language grew over the years, so did my desire to learn languages ​​related to Turkish, including Azerbaijani. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Azerbaijani language is very underrepresented in Serbia, and therefore insufficiently studied, I did not succeed in studying this language and culture on my own. When I enrolled at the Faculty of Philology in 2019, the Center for the Azerbaijani Language was opened, and I immediately enrolled in the course. With the great help of dedicated and wonderful professors, my knowledge of the Azerbaijani language, culture and history, as well as the knowledge of my colleagues with whom I attend the course, is getting wider and more thorough. Also, over time, I realized how similar the Serbian and Azerbaijani nations are, although they do not share the same origin and history. Love for the homeland, a tradition that is deeply rooted in society and a cheerful character are just some of the qualities we share.

So far, I have not had the opportunity to visit Azerbaijan, but I hope that one day I will go and visit as many different parts of this country as possible. Certainly, the place that is first on my wish list is the Palace of the Shaki Khans, as well as the city of Shaki itself, where this palace is located.

From the very beginning, receiving a SAKOM scholarship for me was a great motivation for further work and improvement. The Serbian-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce helps and supports young people in their education by providing scholarships to students studying the Azerbaijani language. That is why it is a great honor for me to be one of the scholarship holders and I feel great motivation for further progress.

In the future, I will, first of all, try to complete my undergraduate studies as successfully as possible and one day, after graduating, to do translation work. My goal is to, along with Turkish, master the Azerbaijani language and, thus, directly participate in bringing the two cultures closer. I would like to try to translate and bring the rich Azerbaijani literature, traditional and unique music, as well as Azerbaijani cinematography closer to the Serbian people.

Jovana Ristić