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Andrijana Cvetkovik

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia

Date of birth: April 5, 1981

Hometown: Skopje

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 13 (as of August 2018)

Andrijana Cvetkovik
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I saw “Rashomon” on TV when I was five years old. The experience was overwhelming and imprinted a strong impression on my mind. The uniqueness of the Japanese visual and narrative aesthetic, as well as the philosophical mindset of the Japanese people is reflected in this movie.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

My motto is simple and it has bit of sarcasm in it. “Nema odmora dok traje obnova” (There’s no rest while we’re rebuilding) was the motto of the post-World War II Yugoslav youth that was determined through voluntary work to rebuild the country. In my life, this translates to “There is no rest while I am self-perfecting.” I believe in self-kaizen (continuous improvement) through trial and error, and learning through other people's experiences.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I am proud to be a pioneer — I got my Ph.D. at Nihon University when I was 27, the first Ph.D. in cinema studies earned in Macedonia since independence. I am the first ambassador of Macedonia in Japan and the youngest ambassador in Japan among approximately 170 others. I speak six languages and am still learning. However, most of all, I am proud to have many diverse skills and qualifications.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

My goal in life is to connect people and help them realize their full potential. As a filmmaker, I am connecting people through movies with different worldviews. As an ambassador, I am a bridge between Macedonia and Japan. As a professor, I connect fields of study so we can observe society in a more holistic way. As an entrepreneur, I offer solutions to people to identify and achieve higher social goals.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Listen, observe, immerse, accept, respect, appreciate, enjoy, learn and surrender to the beauty and wonders Japanese culture and society has to offer. It takes time to truly understand and grasp the diversity of Japanese culture, so make sure you give yourself and others that time. Japan is not only Tokyo, there are many wonderful places from Wakkanai to Okinawa, so make sure you visit at least some of them. My personal favorites are Yakushima island, the Nagasaki area and Izu Peninsula.

Last updated: Aug 27, 2018