Milena Beran – Beograd
My name is Milena Beran. I am 24 years old, and I study Albanian language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, where I live I heard the Albanian language in Eurovision 2008 for the first time, when Olta Boka performed with the song “Zemrën e lamë peng”, and I recall that every Christmas day I sang that song at home. I did not know a single word of Albanian, I really liked the song. I started to explore Albanian music, and to fall in love more and more in that melodic language. When the enrollment time and selection of the language that I’m going to study took place, I was sure of my choice. The thing that attracted me even more was that the Albanian language is an isolate, it does not belong to any language family; and I like such languages. For the same reason my second language at the Faculty is Greek. Studying Albanian has brought many new acquaintances from all over the region, I participated in many exchanges and trainings, built my own opinion on the Balkans based on personal experience, and it mostly does not resemble what is ubiquitous in the media. Therefore I am most grateful. It helped me to see a wider picture. I’ve regretted many times the fact I was born here, but I am also very much attached to the Balkans. Wherever I went, I always missed the cordiality and warmth we have. And I feel like I belong more to the Balkans than to Serbia for example. I feel at home in Albania, in Montenegro, in Greece, and in Croatia equally. All of them are somehow our people. I love the diversity of the Balkan peoples, because in every difference, I find similarities at least. And I love that all of us here are humorous people – and I’m sorry that we are not aware of the potential that we possess. I’m sorry that people are scared of each other. At the moment I’m at the end of year of basic studies, and my wish is to enroll the master studies. Maybe I enter Tirana, or Thessaloniki universities – I’m thinking about those faculties at the moment. I am interested in Balkan linguistics and comparative linguistics, and I would like to continue in that direction.