We believe that pursuing education and being open to other cultures are crucial steps towards reconciliation. Our #RCT podcasts are an excellent example of how we strive to promote these values. Through our podcasts, we aim to bring together individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to share their stories, experiences, and ideas. By listening to each other and learning from one another, we can build bridges of understanding and create a more inclusive and peaceful society. Together, we can create a better future for all.
Suzana Marić, she was born and raised in Novi Sad, AP Vojvodina, Serbia. Her family is originally from Bosnia and Dalmatia. She studied at the Faculty of Law in the Internal Affairs department at the University of Novi Sad, but she was not interested in studies as she started to travel, she was more interested in culture, so she decided to not finish Law and to change a faculty to the one I am really interested about to study. She moved to Kosovo in September last year, mainly for my studies, she started to study at the Faculty of Philology in the Balkanology program. She was always interested in culture, history, ethnology, and languages, and always wanted to go wider into the world to learn about, eager to know more about her culture and the cultures that surround her.
She started her journey when she started studying law in Novi Sad, for internal work, but gave up after the second year because she didn’t find herself in that field. It took her a while to find the right course of study to fulfils her interests. She initially considered anthropology, as she had a strong fascination for the world, urbanism, and societal studies of diverse cultures. However, the field seemed too broad for her, and she soon realised her passion was for Albanian language and culture. Although Belgrade offered a branch of Albanology, it only focused on a single culture and language, which didn’t fulfill her desire for a more comprehensive Balkan perspective. The Balkans, being a crossroads of varied cultures, civilizations, and religious influences, including Slavic, Persian, Turkish, Arab, and Italian, held a profound interest for her. Thus, when she discovered the Balkan Studies program at Pristina, she was thrilled. However, she faced a different issue, as with any Balkan Studies program.
She advices young people to step out of their comfort zones and expand their horizons. While acknowledging the challenges and fears that come with it, she encourages young people to interact with individuals from other communities and ethnic groups. By doing so, they can discover that people are not fundamentally different and that they share many commonalities. Even when encountering beliefs that contradict their own, she advises young people to approach these situations with open-mindedness and curiosity. While it may be challenging to understand certain individuals on a personal level, she emphasises the importance of avoiding generalizations about entire ethnic groups, as it is impossible to do so with any group. Ultimately, she strongly urges young people to take the initiative to socialize and form connections with those from different communities and ethnic groups.
This was the first podcast for this year 2023, as part of the Storytelling component.This event was a part of the Reconciliation & Conflict Transformation Activity, implemented by Community Building Mitrovica and partners from New Social Initiative and Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo, and supported by the American people through USAID Kosovo.
VIDEO TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVOK0ot0w0
FULL EPISODE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugnGCahyLsA&t=1s