Ana is 38 years old. She is a Serbian language and literature teacher and she also teaches English. Her great love is dance. She has been dancing tango for 16 years and is the tango instructor in Novi Sad.
What Ana would like to see in the future Serbia is work being profitable. “I would like the working hours to be as long as one is functional. Let it be 6 hours, or 8 hours, let it be 10 hours, but what I do at my job should be respected, valued and adequately paid, which means that I can make a nice living. I wish I had time for the hobbies and that they would never become my job. Unfortunately, I struggle to keep it that way.”
The versatility and broad interests of the people are the positive image of Serbia. “The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about the positive sides of Serbia is the broad education and interests of our people. I get the impression that in other countries, some of which are developed, many people have to be explained where I’m from, for example. When I say that I’m from Serbia, they are thinking about whether it is Europe, or Siberia, or Syria. My friends who are from Serbia know exactly what is where. I get the impression that people from Serbia want to be versatile. If a lightbulb has died, they won’t pay I don’t know how much money to someone whose only job is repairing lightbulbs, and who doesn’t know anything besides that, but they will rather try to solve the problem themselves.”
Survival instead of living that many in Serbia face on a daily basis is the negative and worrying fact. “Our daily struggle is the problem. However, I still don’t lose hope in people, ordinary people, who are currently surviving here, but who are still trying to make a life out of it, not just a mere survival. Some people don’t find a way out of the situation they are in, they don’t have the strength to fight, and then they leave. But running away from the problem is not the long-term solution.”
Ana feels comfortable in her own skin. She knows her good and bad sides. She’s not too self-critical and knows how to take care of herself anywhere. She loves to dance, and a tango community emerged from that love, one of the two largest in Serbia. She never gives up.