The opening speech of Mrs Milankа Marа Karic president of Karic foundation.
Honourable guests, friends of our house and of this award,
I would like to welcome you all to the fourth Karic Foundation award ceremony held on this occasion under the arch of this great building which houses the pearls of our national culture and art. The selection of this place for this year’s award ceremony appears to me as a most happy and logical one, since I sincerely believe that this year’s laureates represent the pride of our nation.
I address you today in completely changed circumstances to those of last year. I would like to believe that the times which are now behind us are the times of no return, but also the times which taught our nation a lesson, making our collective mind wiser, so that times like those will never be repeated. If that wisdom has been left behind again, and I would like to believe that it has not, as the great Borislav Pekic would say, those years were really eaten by the grasshoppers. I want to believe that we are now facing times in which our children will not long to go out into the world because they have to, but because they want to. The Serbian youth has gone out into the world, it is now time for the world to come to youthful Serbia. Only then will the basic goal of founding this award acquire its full meaning. In this way, through a clearly managed national and patriotic idea, the family of which I am a member will prove that it belongs to this nation, not only through birth, but through its consciousness that it should be forever.
It is my great pleasure that this year, for the first time, we have laureates from abroad. I hope that this will enable us to prove that we are branches of the same tree “which bears fruit” in Chicago and Iowa, Toronto or Johannesburg, but is at the same time deeply rooted here, in these regions, whether it be the rocky terrain of Herzegovina or the plains of Vojvodina or perhaps the rolling hills of Sumadija. This is certainly a matter of the Serbian spiritual vertical and these fruits will without doubt grow only if connected to their roots.
Finally, let me express once again my personal pleasure and gratitude to this year’s laureates. The honourable and dear Mr Tupanjac, Mr Kostic, Mrs Lekic, Mr Glisic, Mr Vukotic and dear Mr Simovic, let me repeat what I already said at the first award ceremony: the award does not honour you as much as you honour the award.
I would like to wish personal happiness and good health to all those present as well as to your families and to invite you all to this award’s little anniversary next year, in the hope that we will all be at least slightly wiser and better individuals.