Sunday, November 29, 2009

Special Topics:November in Seoul National University

There are many activities inside the school every month. Since the school is also composed of a diverse population, oh well in a Korean standard, there are also many student clubs that conduct many acvtivities like performances, sales (normally with matching makkoli, a Korean liquor aside from soju), talks etc. Here are some of the activities I think notable^^

University Election: the posters are quite intriguing since it's like a national election with a spin of creativity through an "entertainment industry type" of poses of the candidates. These posters are seen all-over the campus. The Miting de Avance was very poor though. The students seem to be not interested in knowing what the candidates wanna say plus the weather was quite cold at that time so the candidates were also freezing. kkk
Club/Class posters- I would have to admit that the posters of SNU's student clubs are very interesting. Only that everything's written in Korean which barred me from understadning everything due to my limited Korean. ^^; there are many winter vacation activities related posters all over the campus starting November. This is in preparation to the upcoming winter season. There are also some activities related to Philippines. These are volunteering/outreach programs, study English or travel. There's also a poster here regarding the ski/boarding camp on January, which I will be joining ^^

Pepero vs Garaetok Day-everyone may know that Nov 11 is Pepero Day but the Korean government officially announced this day as Garaetok Day 2-3 years ago. If you tried to roam around the campus it was like a competition of this two elements. Based on my observation, Pepero's definitely winning since most students especially the couples were into it. Many of my friends even bought boxes of peperos and gave it to their girlfriends. Even the stores inside the campus took the opportunity of selling it. On the other hand the Garaetok was given for free in some cafeterias and a student club, SNU Student Ambassadors held an activity promoting the day as Garaetok Day. There was even a TV coverage for the activity. Although it was more of taking videos on foreigners (by foreigners I mean caucasian looking or anything but not southeast asian definitely) eating the rice cake.So do you think Garaetok would totally replace Pepero with this kind of mentality?

FC Mitchers Odeng and Hopang booth-I tried to support my friends by selling odeng and hopang to students in front of the student center. ^^ 2 of my friends in the dorm are members of the said club. As far as I know it's the official soccer club under the College of Human Ecology. My friends Econ and Seong Ho were the ones selling.


1. Theater (엄마 어디가? Mother where are you going?) This one was really good. It was not an ordinary theater performance, it was more of criticizing the society for "supressing" the women's rights. A scene not so common in Korea, probably only in SNU. The students were also good.
2. HIS or Hoofers in SNU. I watched this because of my friend since they're part of the club. I had so much fun watching it. It's the official streetdance club in SNU so breakdancing and all sorts of streetdancing genres were performed. Another dance group, Morphine, which is a Jazz dance club also peformed. My friend also performed.

3. SNU Jazz Festival- my friend invited me to watch his performance in a Jazz concert. I didn't know he was that good. ^^ They had 2 performances this month and was glad I managed to watch both despite my hectic schedule.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Issues 101: I was born in US...

I just read this news days ago. The news is about an ex-KBS (KBS=Korea Broadcasting Network) anchor Roh Hyun-jung who gave birth in US. It's her second child and both children were born in US. She left the country for like 2 months before she gave birth.
Issue: giving birth in US would mean that her baby is automatically or elligible for a US citizenship. and if it's a boy, the child won't have to go to the military, which is mandatory in Korea.
According to sources "industry insiders estimated that about 5,000 births by Korean visitors occurred in 2002, and another 8,000 as of August 2003. A two-month trip costs roughly $20,000." With the benefits you get as a "US" citizen for a low cost is nothing. It is said that most of the mothers come back to Korea after giving birth which is pretty much obvious. Roh's case created a stir in Korea not just because she's famous (well, being an anchor and a wife of Hyundai Aluminum former chairman) but it's her second baby born in US and seems that US is not doing anything with her case. It must be noted there are many cases wherein ladies doubted to be pregnants got rejections when they apply for tourist visa to US, Koreans who go to US as even "real" tourists were also quarantined and questioned inside the airports (this was the case of my Korean teacher).
I think Korea should do something about this. The fact that these mothers wanna give birth to another place especially US as log as not in Korea, is a proof that there must be a problem in the system.
I was born in US.....err so what's the point? lol
What do you think?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Special Topics: Africa in Korea

Entry tidbits ^^
Category: Korea and the World
Keywords: Africa, Lotte Seoul Hotel

I just attended the 2nd Korea Africa Forum yesterday at Lotte Seoul Hotel. Lotte Seoul Hotel by the way is probably the best hotel in Seoul. The location is perfect since it's in the center of Seoul where everything's (shops, tourists' spots, restaurants etc.) almost a walk away from the hotel. The hotel staffs are gorgeous and definitely know their work. However, if you're in a tight budget this is not your place. I was shocked to see a wine that cost 30,000,000 won (around US$26,000) on its wine display. Well, you can always drop by and take pictures ^^v and experience being "rich" for awhile.

Anyway back to the main topic, before going to the forum I just wanted to know how Korea's partnership with the African region is going since recenlty Korea has been very active in forging partnerships with almost all organizations/countries in the world. As we know there are Korea-ASEAN, Korea-Arab, Korea-EU probably Korea+ the 202 other listed sovereign states in the world ^^ well this is an exaggeration. It is quite obvious that Korea is trying to prove something. I'm fully supporting Korea's efforts for these partnerships. It always feels good to know that wealthy countries like Korea are extending there hands to countries in need.

Once I entered the hotel I suddenly felt the gravity of the event. Men in suits were all over the place and the press people were horribly plenty. The security was also tight, with the scanners and all.
Then inside the hall, the emcees were practicing the script which was written in 3 languages, Korean, English and French. One of the emcees was really beautiful by the way...kkk So I was like, what is this? It was to lavish for a forum.
Then when I check the program I was amazed with the list of participants who were all ministers of African countries and Korea with the Prime Minister of Korea and the President of Senegal. This explains why the forum was jampacked with people.
However, I personally don't like conferences with the presence of government officials. They usually say nothing but good things so we don't see the "real" situation. I was expecting a low profile forum that would discuss the partnership seriously and practically. I was however impressed with the President of Senegal's (Pres. Abdoulaye Wade) speech since he was very honest in talking about the situation in Africa and as to which areas Korea could contribute unlike the other speakers who only said hifaluting words to create beautiful speeches.
For the Korean side, I hope this would not just be another strategy to get alliance to support the country's political agenda. I hope a genuine partnership would be forged.