Serbia. “The Russian House” in Belgrade. Year 2012. That was the place and the time where and when Adam Petrovich started to learn the Russian language.
He got his first impressions of Russia in childhood when his mother told him about the biggest country in the world with love and respect. “I guess from that moment I started to feel deep connection of our peoples. Anything Russian is very close to me. I think I am a Russophile” – confesses the young man.
Now Adam is a post-graduate student of the sport and physical education faculty of the oldest educational institution in Serbia – the University of Belgrade. His thesis work deals with the theory of sportsmen training and, as Adam says, the Russian practical scientists and methodologists (Lev Matveyev, Juri Verhoshanskii, Vladimir Platonov, and others) made a valuable contribution to this theory. “I need to know the Russian language to understand their thoughts and methods correctly” – says the young man. – “And besides, my scientific advisor, professor Vladimir Coprivitsa, who studied at a post-graduate training program in Russia, told me that Russian is the language of the XXI century. That was another reason to learn it”. And it was the reason to come to Russia to the Summer University on the Russian language of PetrSU in 2014. Here Adam keeps mastering his knowledge in the Russian language and learning everyday life of the Russian people and traditions, the history and culture of our country.
He lives in a host family which he speaks thankfully of. Along with it, Adam communicates with one of the professors of Petrozavodsk State University in the framework of the “Tandem” program. “I was greeted very warmly and kindly. I don’t feel being a foreign here. We communicate on equal terms. These people have become very significant to me, and I feel like home. They turned my leisure into little adventures,” - says Adam. In Karelia he took a steam-bath for the first time after which he jumped into cool lake water, tried smoked trout and kvass and saw plains training flights in Besovets. “I’m at a loss for words to express everything I experienced each time. Everything here makes me glad: the people, the nature and the weather with anomaly high temperatures,” - confesses Adam.
As the young man puts it, our country can not only make people glad but also amuse them, and this is what happened to him when he just got to St. Petersburg. “I felt strength of Russia at the moment I heard confident and still voice of a speaker saying: “Stand clear of the closing door. Downstream station – Park Pobedy”.
There are things Adam can’t understand and explain. For instance, why such tasty food is served in so small portions? How is it possible that there are so many lakes in such a small territory of Karelia? Why foreign students who are studying together with him at the Summer University, don’t feel embarrassed speaking Russian and making mistakes (while Adam feels uncomfortable when he mispronounces words… “I guess it happens because there are no cases in their native languages in contrast to Russian and Serbian”, - thinks the foreigner. He evaluates his skills in language learning pretty humbly: “I know I have no gift for languages, but I’m eager to learn them, especially the Russian language. That’s why I speak Russian more fluently than English”.
During the interview Adam not only told us about what amazed him in Russia, but he himself surprised us saying that his favorite author and philosopher is Nikolai Berdyaev. “I like his thoughts about Russia’s mission. When I read his works I understand the Russian spirit, the essence of your country more deeply,” – commented the young man. The “Rossiiskaia gazeta”, which he reads every day, helps him to deal with the modern situation and events in our country.
At the end of August Adam came back home. He planned to buy a T-shirt with the Karelian national emblem or the Russian flag as a souvenir. In the nearest future he plans to finish and defend his dissertation and find a lecturer position at the university or become a coach. But the most important thing according to Adam is starting a family. “I do not plan to leave Serbia, but if it happens, the only country I want to live in is Russia.”