KUANTAN - Prof Dr Tatiana A. Denisova may be born a Russian and not a native speaker of Malay language, but her passion for Jawi script enables her to be exceptionally good in reading and understanding Malay folklores and literature, which are mostly written in Jawi script.
Denisova, 57, said her passion for Jawi script began when she was studying Islamic History at the St Petersburg State University in Russia.
"One day I found a magazine on Malay Muslim history and culture, which was translated into Russian language. I found the subject very interesting to pursue because at that particular time, I have no interest whatsoever in other fields, like economy.
"After reading that magazine, I immediately set my mind that it was something that I wanted to study at university," she said when met at the closing ceremony of the two-day International Seminar on Jawi Script at Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah here today.
The ceremony was graced by Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and was also attended by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.
Denisova, 57, said the fact that most of the reference books for her course at the university were in Jawi had also helped her to become good at reading Jawi script.
"Jawi script was a must pass subject for that course," said the professor who had around 50 writings published in those areas.
Denisova is currently a guest lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science, and Civilisation.
Besides being involved in a project with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for three years, Denisova said she had previously worked with the National Library and Universiti Malaya.