LIFE / CULTURE
New sinology department in BiH seeks to improve mutual understanding
Published: Jul 25, 2022 06:44 PM
Ljiljana Stevic gives a lecture to Chinese language lovers at the Confucius Institute in the University of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 2, 2022. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)'s second sinology department at the University of Banja Luka, scheduled to open in early October, will create an excellent platform for boosting the two countries' understanding and relations, head of the new department Ljiljana Stevic has said. Photo: Xinhua

Ljiljana Stevic gives a lecture to Chinese language lovers at the Confucius Institute in the University of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 2, 2022. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)'s second sinology department at the University of Banja Luka, scheduled to open in early October, will create an excellent platform for boosting the two countries' understanding and relations, head of the new department Ljiljana Stevic has said. Photo: Xinhua


Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)'s second sinology department at the University of Banja Luka, scheduled to open in early October, will create an excellent platform for boosting the two countries' understanding and relations, head of the new department Ljiljana Stevic has said.

In a recent interview with the Xinhua News Agency, Stevic, also a pioneer in Chinese studies in the Balkan country, spoke about the importance of learning Chinese as well as enhancing cultural and scientific exchanges between BiH and China.

"This will lead to future prosperous relations and better understanding, as well as the strengthening of international partnership," said Stevic, adding that as China becomes increasingly important on the international arena, knowledge of the Chinese language and culture means more opportunities and is a real need for anyone who wants to keep up with the times.

The idea of introducing Chinese studies to the University of Banja Luka emerged in late 2019 when Rector Radoslav Gajanin paid a visit to Beijing, during which he and Chinese officials discussed the successful cooperation over the university's Confucius Institute established in January 2018.

Stevic attributed the birth of the new sinology department to the help of the Chinese embassy here as well as the rector's firm determination amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recalling her experience of learning Chinese, Stevic, who also leads the Confucius Institute, widely seen as one of the most active institutes in Europe to promote Chinese culture, said the new sinology department at the Faculty of Philology is another step and natural extension to what she has been doing for many years.

After graduating from the Chinese Language and Literature Department at the Faculty of Philology, the University of Belgrade in Serbia in 1999, Stevic won a scholarship from the Chinese Ministry of Education and went to Beijing Language and Culture University.

"I was so grateful to the Chinese government for the opportunity and I hoped one day to give my best to pay it forward, and enable other young people to study Chinese and see China," she said, expressing the hope that both countries will benefit from the growing number of Chinese learners.

According to her, besides contemporary and classical Chinese language courses, the sinology department also offers courses covering Chinese culture, philosophy, history, geography and diplomacy.

Given the increasing demand for Chinese translators, experts and consultants in both public and private sectors, there is a promising prospect for graduates, she said, adding that the department plans to build closer relationships with more universities and companies in China.

The first sinology department in BiH was launched in 2011 by the University of East Sarajevo. On average, around 30 students complete their four-year study annually.

Xinhua