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Marina Pop Cenić and the “Far East Society”

Publish:2015-11-19 21:42:07

Marina Pop Cenić graduated from Peking University (PKU) in 1986. She is the vice president of “Far East Society”, a non- governmental organization between China and the Republic of Serbia. Marina has contributed the past 26 years of her life to Sino-Serbia cultural exchanges and communication, and she received Li Keqiang when he visited Serbia in 2014.
Marina visited PKU and met with her old friends in Beijing and was surprised to find out that her best friend back in college is now a professor at PKU, and the little boy she knew from her host family while she was studying in Beijing already had his own little boy. She walked around the campus accompanied with the school directors and recalled her memories with her classmates and her host family. The unforgettable experience of studying at PKU is the main reason why she founded the “Far East Society”, which carries her beautiful vision and wishes.
Founded in 1989, the “Far East Society” has developed from a club into an association that contains many aspects of Chinese culture, including economics, politics, arts, and history. While aiming to introduce China to more and more Serbian people, it also works to share Serbian culture to Chinese people. Year after year, the “Far East Society” has established cooperative relationships with many Serbian and Chinese organizations, and now she is hoping to build a long-term cooperative relationship with PKU to accelerate the academic exchanges and communications between teenagers among the two countries. Currently, there are over 400 college students who are studying Chinese characters and Chinese culture at the “Far East Society”. They study Chinese songs, poems, and learn about the Spring Festival Gala.

The Spring Festival Gala is one of the most indispensable elements for Chinese to celebrate the Spring Festival—the biggest festival in China—by sitting around the TV watching the show while eating dumplings and chatting boisterously with family members. Every year, Marina and her husband prepare for a Serbian version of the Spring Festival Gala to celebrate Chinese New year with her students. All the performances are in Chinese, so the students can learn while having fun. After the Spring Festival, they will also celebrate the Lantern Festival together, which comes shortly after the Spring Festival. They will use chopsticks to enjoy delicious Chinese cuisine and sing Chinese songs at a KTV.
Though Marina has to teach from Monday to Friday, she enjoys it a lot, because everything related to China can remind her of those wonderful days she had at PKU. She also wishes her alma mater a happy 120th anniversary and promised to continue her efforts to enhance the cooperation and communication between China and Serbia, especially by enhancing relationships between PKU, the best University in China, and the best universities in Serbia.
Background Information
Marina Pop Cenić studied at the School of Foreign Languages at PKU from 1982 till 1986, and she is one of the co-founders and vice presidents of the “Far East Society”, and she was also a member of the team that received Premier Li Keqiang when he visited Serbia in 2014.
The “Far East Society” was co-founded in 1989 by scholars, diplomats, and entrepreneurs from the former Yugoslavia who were interested in East Asian issues. The main work of the “Far East Society” is to share East Asian culture, such as Chinese culture, history, and arts to Serbians and to hold large exchanges and communication activities with the assistance from the Serbian government. They invite important people, including government officials, ambassadors, and overseas Chinese to their local Spring Festival Gala.