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On March 6th, the extraordinary erudite and linguist, doctor of philological sciences, professor of Korean, Mongolian and Tibetan literature and director of the Centre of Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University "St. Climent Ohridski", Alexander Fedotov, would have turned 63.

Sasha, as he was known to most, left us on October 28th, 2018.  Many, to whom he was close, still cannot quite comprehend the fact that he’s no longer among the living. It is as if he were still here with us, with his smile, with his scientific research, and his books and countless photographs from his travels all the world over. The world, which he loved so dearly…

The exhibition "A Flower For You…", which opened to the public  in the Russian Cultural and Information Centre in Sofia on his birthday, presents photographs of flowers, taken by him on some of his multitudinous journeys. The idea for the exhibit belongs to his wife Snejana Todorova, who was supported by friends of theirs.

Prof. Fedotov respected women and used to often present them on holidays with wonderful bouquets of flowers along with his open smile. He adored his wife, ever since their relationship started with a fine bouquet of flowers, more than 40 years ago in St. Petersburg where both of them pursued their studies. Snejana Todorova shared with us that the exhibition is also a beautiful floral present to all, right in the eve of March 8th, the International Women’s Day, a holiday, greatly respected in Russia. The venue, the Russian Center, was also chosen for purpose as Sasha was born in Novosibirsk. So much symbolism! With "Flower for you ..." Snezhana Todorova reminds of her husband who had left Russia to come to his love in Bulgaria, to build his career in Bulgaria and leave a lasting mark. Not surprisingly the first two photographs in the exhibition are of a breech forest and Bulgarian roses. And then come the rare and splendid flowers of the world…

At the opening Snejana Todorova shared that Prof. Fedotov’s archive is enormous and that the pictures, which he had taken around the world, are more than 30 000, from more than 160 countries! That is the reason why the selection was not easy, and we are yet to see more of them.

Aleksey Novosiolov - an adviser on cultural matters in the Russian Federation Embassy, spoke about the professor’s contribution to science.

The singer and friend of Sasha, Hristo Paskalev-Pascal, presented two Russian songs as a symbolic gift for all women at the exhibition. "Moya zhenshtina" - for Sasha’s wife, and "Millión alıh roz" - for all the ladies present.

Every woman attending the event received an exquisite card with an exotic flower, saying "Wonderful ladies, with sincere love I offer you a flower and a wish to pass happily through years full of love! Yours truly, Alexander Fedotov." The cards were a gift from the family’s friends Nina Nenova and her daughter Anthoaneta Stoyanova.

The Russian Center was full of people, who have come to pay respects to the event and Prof. Fedotov. Among them were the ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Alger, Argentina, Armenia, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Kuwait, Palestine, as well as many diplomats, with whom he worked, representatives of the academic community, colleagues and students from the Centre of Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University "St. Climent Ohridski". Sasha’s contribution to its establishment and development is immeasurable. It was not accidental that, right after his death there was an initiative to name the Centre after him.

A few days later, on March 11th, in the Sofia Press Gallery - bookstore was opened another exhibition of photographs taken by Prof. Fedotov during his last trips to India, China, South Korea, Fiji and Vanuatu. Initiated by the "Friends of India" Club, where the professor was a member of the MB, it depicts his vast professional contribution to the rapprochement of Bulgaria and The East. The unique photographs, united under the name "To The East With Love", were presented, again, by his wife. Snejana Todorova announced that the recently created by her "Prof. Alexander Fedotov" Foundation will have the mission to popularize the knowledge, works, unpublished translations, lectures and research of the exceptional scientist. Furthermore, H. E. Mr. Jeong Jinkyu – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea, emphasized on the tremendous role of Prof. Fedetov for the popularization of the Korean language and culture in Bulgaria and on his remarkable contribution in the establishment and development of the bilateral relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea.

For more information about Prof. Fedotov – click here.

Photos: Diplomatic Spectrum