His words: "The Whole of Asia is in my Heart" are inscribed on the plaque.

Those were the words that we chose, in June 2015, with Prof. Fedotov as the title of the interview he gave for the Diplomatic Spectrum. One of the few interviews with Sasha...

On the 25th of November, at the Center for Eastern Languages ​​and Studies of the Sofia University, a commemorative plaque and bust of Prof. Alexander Fedotov (1956-2018) were opened. The honorable ceremony, which took place just on the holiday of the patron saint of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", was attended by the Rector of the University Prof. Anastas Gerdzhikov, the Dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology Prof. Madlen Danova, the wife of Prof. Fedotov - Mrs. Snezhana Todorova, ambassadors, teachers, students, relatives, and friends.

When entering the central lobby, one can immediately look at the commemorative plaque, saying "The Whole of Asia is in my Heart". Above it, back in the stairs, is the bust of Professor Fedotov, which was donated to the Center by his spouse. When we interviewed Professor Fedotov in 2015, our question "Apart from Korean Studies, you are dealing with Mongolic Studies, Tibetology and Altaistics. Which one is closer to your heart?" He replied, "All Asia is in my heart. Of course, I deal with Korea, Tibet and Mongolia in particular - the three areas where I do my research because they are related to the languages ​​I speak. But as an orientalist and a specialist of the Eastern Studies, the whole of Asia is in my heart. This is the truth. First, because I was born in Asia - in Novosibirsk /Russia/, which is located in southwestern Siberia. Second, because Asia has always interested me much more than Europe, as it remains unexplored. We need to learn step by step how to absorb it..." At the end of the interview, I suggested to him that "The Whole of Asia is in my Heart" becomes the title of our publication... And he agreed.

You can read the full interview with Prof. Fedotov HERE.

At the opening of the commemorative plaque, the dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology - Prof. Dr. Madlen Danova, recalled that Ph.D. Prof. Alexander Fedotov had been the director of the Centre for Eastern Languages ​​and Studies for 20 years - from 1998 to 2018 - and had worked at the development of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology. That he is one of the engines behind the creation of the latest specialty of the Faculty of African Studies and that his merits cannot be listed. She emphasized that the opening day of the plaque and bust was not chosen by accident. Because for all his colleagues and students, Professor Fedotov was just like the Patron Master of Alma Mater. She then read an excerpt from the commendable word that St. Clement of Ohrid wrote about St. Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher, an analogy that was stunning to all who knew Prof. Fedotov. The Dean acknowledged that the other reason to choose this opening date was that on the 23rd of November the memory of St. Alexander Nevski was also celebrated, the qualities of which can also be attributed to Prof. Fedotov. Finally, Prof. Madlen Danova said: "For us, he will remain Sasha – a giving man, who did even the impossible in our Alma Mater."

The Rector of the Sofia University Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov also spoke about the great merits of Prof. Fedotov for the development of Alma Mater. "He helped for the development mainly through the international relations. Through his work at the Center for Eastern Languages and Studies, he had always maintained extensive international contacts and thanks to this, the University of Sofia has warm ties and agreements with many countries". He also shared personal memories of his travels with the professor around the world.

Here, we will recall that Professor Fedotov's credit is the founding of the Department of Korean Studies at Sofia University and the specialties of African Studies and Korean Studies. It is well deserved that the Center for Korean Studies now bears his name. This outstanding erudite and polyglot, Doctor of Philology, professor of Korean, Mongolian and Tibetan literature, had devoted his life to studying the languages ​​and cultures of the countries of the East. He had specialized and lectured in the Republic of Korea, China, Mongolia, India, Thailand, Hungary, Romania, and Russia. He was a member of the Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Altayistic Studies’ Associations. But he was also a traveler who had visited more than 120 countries, both a philatelist and a numismatist.

At the event, his wife Snezhana Todorova spoke with gratitude to the professor's colleagues, students, and friends for what they had done in his memory: "I believe that everything that Professor Fedotov gave to the Bulgarian science, to Alma Mater, to the Eastern Studies will continue to evolve through his students who will continue his path. Thank you! With great gratitude to all of you for remembering him."      

Photo above: Diplomatic Spectrum. Ph. D. Prof. Alexander Fedotov receiving the highest award of Mongolia – the Polar Star Order, at the Mongolian Embassy in Sofia, May 2015.

Photos below: Foundation Ph. D. Prof. Alexander Fedotov. At the ceremonial opening of the commemorative plaque and bust at the Center for Eastern Languages and Studies, 25th of November 2019 attended by the Rector of Sofia University Prof. Anastas Gerdzhikov, Dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology Prof. Madlen Danova, the spouse of Prof. Fedotov - Ms. Snezhana Todorova, ambassadors, teachers, students, family, and friends.