Meet Me in a Minute: Teodora Simic


By Grace Geraghty

Ever since she was a little girl, sophomore Teodora Simic has been visiting her extended family in the town of Sremska Mitrovic in Serbia, even spending her first birthday there.

“I’m really lucky that my parents take me to see the rest of my family in Serbia so I get to experience the culture there,” Simic said. “I can’t image being from anywhere else.”

Simic, her two younger brothers, and her parents have visited Serbia several times over the past few years, and are planning a trip for the upcoming summer break. Last summer, both of Simic’s brothers lived in Serbia for two months, something she is looking forward to experiencing this summer, when she will spend a month staying with her paternal grandparents.

“I’m so excited to stay in Serbia for a few weeks this summer,” Simic said. “My parents are going to send me to stay with family, so I’ll get to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles that live there.”

Simic, who is a member of the Niles West Serbian Club, said her favorite aspect of Serbian culture is the food, specifically cevape, a grilled meat dish.

“Serbian food is so different from what we eat in America. It has a much more home-grown feel,” Simic said.

She also loves visiting Serbian cities; Belgrade, the country’s capital, is only about a half-hour drive from her grandparents’ home, and is known for its elaborate history. The city was once conquered by the Roman emperor Augustus, whose men gave it its name, which means “white city”. More recently, it was the capital of Yugoslavia, from its founding in 1918 to it’s official dissolution in 2006.

“My favorite place to visit [in Belgrade] is the Monastery of Saint Sava. It’s such a beautiful, relaxing place to be. When you’re there, you feel really connected with everything because of its calm atmosphere,” Simic said.

Simic is already preparing for her stay in Serbia this summer.

“It’s such a beautiful country,” she said. “I always look forward to my time there, and I’m sure that will never change.”