The ‘Karic Brothers’ Award Laureates in 2012


Introductory speech of Milanka Mara Karić, President of the Karic Foundation


While I was contemplating about how to make a welcome address for this year’s anniversary of the Kari} Brothers Award, I decided to read some of the thoughts and sentences stated by some of our Award laureates:

Jara Ribnikar
‘The Karic Brothers Award is an expression of understanding and respect for our great potential of our, Serbian planetary being. It is an expression of confidence in the creativity of this country. It is an expression of the faith and love amongst the people. So this award gives stimulus and creates a new, modern humanism.’
Sava Perović, academician
‘I see the Karic Brothers Award as special because its winners have been carefully chosen individuals who promoted Serbia in the world with their accomplishments. It is a great impetus to new triumphs and achievements of all of us who are fighting for our country’s progress.’
Igor Mandić, publicist
‘The Karic Brothers Award is absolutely on a par with European and international standards in its magnitude, particularly when judging by all of its previous and this year’s laureates, demonstrates that Serbia is always ready to open its arms, not only in its tradition of endowments, but also as a nation.’
Novak Djoković, tennis player
‘I am proud of my country. I feel like I am living a dream while receiving the Kari} Brothers Award. It means a great honour and pleasure, as well as an obligation to keep proving that I am worthy of it.’
Dejan Medaković, academician
‘I experience the Karic Foundation Award as a continuance and further nurture of the Serbian endowment founding, a tradition that has secured us a position of repute on a European scale.’
Peter Handke, writer
‘I regard it as great honour to receive such a high Serbian national recognition that also bears an international significance.’
Martin Luther King III
‘I recall the words of my father when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He then said that he accepted the award only as a commissioner who receives a commendation on behalf of all people that are devoted to peace and unity. I believe that I have now understood the meaning of his words.’
Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, academician
‘I see it as particularly important that the Karic Foundation does everything in its power to enhance the amity and cooperation between Serbia and Russia.’
Jean-Christophe Buisson, writer and journalist at Le Figaro
‘I am touched and happy to receive the Karic Brothers Award, just the way I was genuinely touched by Meštrović’s sculpture at Kalemegdan Park, which bears the words We love France the way she loved us inscribed on it.’
Bora Dugić, folk artist
‘This award is free of politics, ideology or any kind of abuse, and we are confident that it will survive because of these reasons and keep its purity. With its exceptional importance, this award, which is the greatest one in the region, has gained the reputation of a Serbian Nobel Prize. It also encouraged other public and private institutions to follow its path.’
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov, Nobel Prize Winner
‘The Karic Brothers Award for me is, beyond all the awards I’ve received, the unity of the Slavic world and culture.’
Nikita Mikhalkov, director and actor
‘The Karic Brothers Award is a special joy. I fully understand and feel everything through it. It is of particular importance for you, because as long as one has faith, a mother tongue that’s alive, a history, culture and tradition – you have nothing to be afraid of. And everything will be fine.’
Vladimir Veličković, academician
‘The prestigious Karic Brothers Award can dispel doubt, the faithful and persistent companion that makes you not always move – forward.’
Hamdi Jusufspahić, honorary Reis-ul-Ulema of the Islamic Community of Serbia
‘Dear Karic family, you are always the first in benevolence, and God shall undoubtedly reward it in a special way. A man should remain a man, and that is who you are. Your award is that.’
His Holiness Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Serbian Patriarch Irinej
‘Thank God, there is a man who follows the path of Serbian benefactors, the glorious path to put his possession into the service of a great mission – to support science, culture of art, and everything that is beneficial for people and essential for its existence and future. The Karic Brothers did it with their foundation.’
Svetislav Božić, composer
‘This grand award has established the Raska-Byzantine principle of merit for both the founders and the contributors. The glory of spirit and substance has been revived on our soil. The home of Makarije Sokolović in Peć is trimmed with gold. A new life was inspired to our Ljeviška home. With the Raška chanting and in ecumenical unity, we have reached out to the world, which we are part of.’
Velimir Bata Živojinović, one of the best Serbian actors
‘This social event reminds me of the Oscar gala, it truly does. This is our Serbian Oscar. There is a seat missing here, and it should remain empty until the one who conceived all this comes back.’
Bogoljub Karić, the creator and founder of the Karic Brothers Award
‘Three decades ago, I got an idea of an award whose laureates would be the golden letters of a different history of Serbia. They are the beacon of light on the map of Europe and the world. After all these years, they make a family of great people gathered together by the Karic Brothers Award.’


Sisterhood of the Patriarchate of Peć, Abbess FEVRONIJA and Mother HARITINA

For more than half a century, Abbess Fevronija and Mother Haritina together with their sisterhoods have been ministering at the Patriarchate of Peć, the seat of Serbian bishops and patriarchs.
Despite many hardships, with faith in the Risen Lord and the love that surpasses human powers, Abbess Fevronija, Mother Haritina and the sisterhood of the Patriarchate of Peć have remained and sustained on their sacred road – by spreading love for good and philanthropy through their persistent and unremitting love of God.
Their prayers, in mornings to come, will be the voice and the message of hope for all those Serb men and women who today live in the sacred Kosovo and Metohija, despite everything that makes their life more difficult and threatened, as well as for those who live far from the land of their ancestors.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘I am glad of the opportunity to be here with you tonight, and to be able to thank the Kari} brothers in a few words. First of all, I am especially thankful to the late Jani}ije, their father, and their mother Danica, who raised them in the spirit of the Orthodox faith. Ever since their early childhood, they would bring them to the Patriarchate of Peć, passing onto them the Orthodox teachings and love for the church. They have remained that way to this day. In our most difficult times, they would come to our aid, when no one else would. We especially owe gratitude to the Karić brothers for the many other good deeds they have done for us, and for which they have never received our thankfulness. I thank you on behalf of our Mother Superior and our sisterhood.’

You can watch the video here.



In front of the eyes of the global medical community, an exceptional expert coming, as she herself puts it, “from our parts”, a scientist of international renown, combats this problem with much success. This year’s laureate of the Kari} Brothers Award for scientific and research work obtained her education in Belgrade. She also studied at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
She has been living and working in the United States for more than two decades, and since 1999 she has been engaged in the research into the causes of high blood pressure in pregnant women at the Nephrology Department of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. She is the second woman professor at the Nephrology Department in nearly a century long history of Mayo Clinic..

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘It is a great honour and recognition for me to receive this prestigious award of the Kari} Foundation. It is also my great pleasure to meet this year’s laureates and to find out about their achievements in science, art and sport. I live in America in accordance with the message left by Nikola Tesla during his historic visit to Belgrade and the Great School, when he said, ‘I have remained Serb overseas where I have done some researches.’

You can watch the video here.


WALT BOGDANICH, journalist

Walt Bogdanich has won three Pulitzer Prizes. He received his first Pulitzer as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 1988, for a series of articles on substandard medical laboratories in the United States. The research took him three years and was very demanding and dangerous. Based on it, he also wrote the book The Great White Lie. The second Pulitzer came in 2005 for Walt’s investigative reporting on the accidents on American railroads, “Death on the Tracks.” That research showed that America has a very bad rail system and an even worse safety on tracks. When he received the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on exposure to toxic ingredients in Chinese-made products imported into the United States, he said that he was simply an ordinary fighter for the truth.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘I would like to thank the Kari} family and the Kari} Foundation for the kindness they showed to me by awarding me this prize. Not only that on this occasion I received this amazing prize, but again thanks to their kindness, I got to visit Serbia and to share the joy this evening for receiving this award with other winners and laureates. I’m back in Serbia, and if I knew that it was so fun and great to be here, I would not have waited fifty-five years to get back here.’



The beginnings of body art, through which she examines the limits of psychological and physical endurance, are linked to the 1973 Edinburgh Festival, when she injured her body for the first time during a performance with twenty knives. The performance Rhythm 0 from 1974 is remembered by many as the boldest step into the unknown – when you made available to the public and at your own responsibility – places seventy objects of pain and pleasure for them to do with you what they want.
Two years ago, her performance “The Artist Is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) gallery in New York was proclaimed the art event of the year by influential American media.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘I was very surprised by your invitation to receive this award. It was very important for me to accept it, because it is an award by the privately owned Karic Foundation, it is not run by the state, it is private. And I accept is a such, and of course, I have an obligation to your university where I want to meet with young people and talk to them. Because my audience has always been young and it always will be.
I don’t think that an artist should have an easy road. If an artist has an easy road, if they are always happy in life, then I think they will not create anything noteworthy. Happiness is a state that does not change us. It is important to always believe in yourself, do what you want. It is important not to compromise and to never sell your soul.’

You can watch the video here.



This year’s winners of the Kari} Brothers Award for economy and industry are a married couple, a bright, encouraging and motivating success story of our people living abroad. This married couple can above all be proud of their offspring – they have ten children and twelve grandchildren.
The “stronger” half of the married duo is also proud of the Order of Saint Sava of the First Degree, awarded to him by the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. If you ask about him in Namibia, a country where he made a true economic revolution, you’ll hear that he was among the few who realised on time that the future lied in agriculture. Today he has vineyards spanning one hundred thousand acres along the riverside of the River Orange, and our prize-winners are the largest producers of table grapes south of the Sahara.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘Vera and I are very much grateful to receive this award, especially as we are getting it as farmers and parents of ten children. Because those two things are related. For Serbia, it is vitally important to have a strong agriculture; if it had it, the standard of living would go up, and consequently, birth rate. This is our humble contribution, the ten children that my wife and I raised in the Serbian spirit.’


TEODOR VON BURG, mathematician

He is the first Serbian mathematician to obtain the title of the most successful contestant in the world of all times in the Hall of Fame of the International Mathematical Olympiad.
The statistics of his participation in international competitions puts him amongst the most awarded contestants in the world. He has participated in 54 international competitions and won 39 first, 13 second, and two third prizes.
In addition to competitions in mathematics, in which he was most prominent, he also participated in competitions in physics, computer science, technical education, history and the Serbian language.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
‘This prize for me came as a big surprise, I am very happy and proud because of it. I believe that each of the laureates can say the same about this award. Still, this award for me is something unique. For me it is primarily a promise. I am the youngest laureate to receive this great honour ever and that is why this award is for me a promise, because by accepting this award I am giving a promise that I shall continue to thrive to achieve an even greater success, and I will make Serbia proud to have me.’



Athletes have always been great ambassadors of Serbia. Their triumphs at international, European and world championships would never leave us indifferent. Each time they win a medal is an opportunity to hear the Serbian national anthem, to have the good voice of Serbia heard throughout the world.
The year when the Karic Foundation celebrates 15 years since the Karic Brothers Award was established is at the same time an Olympic year. This is the reason for the Foundation’s Managing Board to award a special prize to the winners of gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
Vanja Udovičić, athlete
‘It is my great honour to address you on behalf of all participants in the Olympic Games in London. I would like to thank the Foundation and all those who proposed us to be the winners of this prestigious award. What makes sport special is that we are sending the right message to young people, setting an example for them and showing them to turn the real values, to play sports and have a healthy life. Once again I would like to thank the Karic family for inspiring others and appreciating the true values during all these years.’



Athletes have always been great ambassadors of Serbia. Their triumphs at international, European and world championships would never leave us indifferent. Each time they win a medal is an opportunity to hear the Serbian national anthem, to have the good voice of Serbia heard throughout the world.
The year when the Karic Foundation celebrates 15 years since the Karic Brothers Award was established is at the same time an Olympic year. This is the reason for the Foundation’s Managing Board to award a special prize to the winners of gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
Borislava Perić Ranković, athlete
‘I have been given this great honour and also it is a great pleasure for me to thank you, on behalf of Paralympic athletes of Serbia, on this prestigious award, and to tell you that you have indebted us and that I hope that we will continue to justify your expectations, the expectations of this country and that we will continue to be Serbia’s great ambassadors who proudly hold this award. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us.’