Milena Beran: "Albanians need to know..."

Milena Beran, speaking in The Balkan Forum's studio in Pristina, tells us how Olta Boka with her song “Zemren e lame peng” inspired here to learn the Albanian language. She speaks about her plans for post-graduate studies, perhaps in Tirana or Greece.

Milena speaks about a record set by the faculty of Albanian language and literature in Belgrade with 30 enrolled students 2 years ago; about Albanians studying the Albanian language and literature in Belgrade and how they feel there; that many of Albanian language students from Belgrade come every year to Pristina to attend annual Seminar of Albanian Language and Culture; that Serbs are the largest national group of students to attend the seminar, which she thinks is a paradox.

She believes that there are opportunities for Serbian students to find a job in Kosovo, as translators, as there are opportunities for Albanians to find a job in Serbia, which she thinks with the progress to EU integration such opportunities are likely to increase.

Milena speaks about her experience while she is in Kosovo and how people in Serbia and Kosovo react to her studying Albanian, including her family members and friends; how she herself, but also family, friends and people are changing and learning something new; and that Albanians need to know that the department of Albanian language in Belgrade is one of the oldest in the world, and is something that connects people, not something that divides; that there are good things and initiatives that can be promoted and connect people even more; and be a good example for the future.

She stresses that people that know her usually react very positively, but that this is not so much the case with those that do not know her personally.

Milena is a very active person and has been involved in a number of projects together with her friends, one such project supported by the OSCE that aims to bring closer people from the region.

A question that she rightly asks in conclusion of this interview is “why it is strange for a Serb to study Albanian language, or the other way round?

This is a question we all have to ask ourselves, and create an environment in which this is praised, it is not strange and definitely not an exception.   

 

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