SOKO-GRAD – Jelena Mandic, from Chicago, USA, listened stories about Serbs, Orthodox Christianity and her glorious ancestor Nikola Tesla, since her early age. When the first opportunity emerged to visit Serbia, she came to learn about her roots.
Jelena resembles a lot to Nikola Tesla, her great-grandfather with a sharp look in her eyes. Reporters of Serbian daily ”Vesti” met her at Soko-Grad, where she came to search for her roots. There, at the Orthodox monastery of Saint Nikolai, she realized the essence of Orthodox Christianity, she told the daily.
Jelena was born in Chicago, same as her sister Vukosava, who two years is older than her, and brother Nebojsa, who is one year older than Jelena. Milos Mandic and Helen Popovic, her parents, were also born in USA. Jelena, because of this, has the same problem as her sister and brother – she does not speak Serbian. So she decided to learn it as soon as possible.
”I am about ten days in Serbia. Everything is much clearer now, I’m not surprised any more of the genius of my grand-grandfather, who lit the planet. In Serbia, people are quite different from those I meet in America. Serbs are open, close, warm and welcoming”, said Jelena for the Serbian daily.
She also stated that general education is much better in Serbia than in the USA and that she was afraid of her first encounter with Serbia.
”I do not blame negative propaganda for that, but simply the fear of the unknown. It is fortunate that I came here and saw all oh this with my own your eyes and ears, all the beauty and attractiveness of Serbia. Honestly, this visit explained some of my intuitive reactions and emotions I have when I meet the customs and tradition, for which, because of the way and pace of life, many Americans have no understanding”, says Jelena.
”My father told me how important faith is and now I’m in it for myself. I like Serbia, I will come again next year, and I hope that I will master the Serbian language by then”, added Jelena.