Sophomore Olga Dimic has roots spanning four countries on two continents, though you would never know it.
Dimic was born in Kraljevo, Serbia, and at age 3, her family moved to Toronto, Canada. Despite having such a wide cultural range in her past, Dimic is anything but wistful. She embraces Geneseo.
In 1992, war exploded between Serbia and neighboring Bosnia. According to Reuters, 176,000 people were killed within the five ensuing years. Predicting the horrors that were to take place, Dimic's parents took her and her older sister to Canada, where they have resided since.
Dimic said the war still haunts her family. The hometowns of both of her parents were bombed during the war. Dimic's relatives, who stayed behind, had to take shelter during air raids. "Every time [my aunt] sees an airplane she gets scared," Dimic said.
Since the end of the war, however, Serbia has become more inviting. Dimic occasionally makes summer excursions to her parents' Montenegro apartment on the Adriatic Sea or to Belgrade, Serbia's capital. She said she enjoys the diversity of the city, which she also experiences in Toronto.
"I just like to walk around and shop … there's so much more to try over there," Dimic said. "Toronto is a very multicultural city." She added that one of her favorite things to do is sample the Thai cuisine downtown.
Despite growing up in the city, Dimic said she enjoys Geneseo's country living. "I like that it's small," she said. "It feels homey." Her friends, however, never let her forget she's not from around here. "If I ever say the word 'eh' they have to point it out," she said. This is the drawback of being from several different places. Dimic described how when she visits Serbia, she is viewed as Canadian, but in Canada she is considered Serbian.
In her family, however, the cultures blend together. Dimic speaks Serbian with her parents, celebrates Christian holidays according to the Serbian Orthodox calendar (Christmas in is January) and enjoys ethnic food.
Stateside, Dimic said she immerses herself in the tennis team and plans to join the Slavic Club. She is a psychology major and intends to take on a business minor. After graduating from Geneseo in 2012, Dimic said her plans are up in the air. She said graduate school is a possibility, or she may move to a city and pursue a career in her field.
Whatever the future holds, Dimic's multicultural background will surely take her far. She said it gives her good rapport with other foreign-born students and allows her to quickly pick up new languages. In an increasingly interdependent world, these skills give her an edge. But this is all in the future; today, Olga Dimic is content with Geneseo.