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2018-01 01

[Special]Hampyeong Seawater Spa and Fatigue Therapy

It is the beginning of the new year, which means it is time to make the new year’s resolution and put them into action. For a lot of people, it usually includes fixing bad habits, making better plans, and making oneself a better person than the previous year. But what about the fatigue from last year? To start the new year fresh and light, the accumulation of last year’s weariness on the shoulders must be removed first. To do so, the spa is always a good option. In Hampyeong, Jeollanam-do Province, the traditional seawater spa could make the physical fatigue evaporate along with the hot steam of the sauna. Let’s greet the new year with a relieved, rejuvenated body. The secret to becoming younger Changing into the spa attire and entering the spa house, an individual can see rows of doors of small spa rooms. Each room has a wooden rectangular bath in the middle, the size of which is perfect for three to four people to fit in. Entering the room and sitting around the bath at the center, an epiploon with foremost mugwort inside floats on the water which creates the fresh scent in the room. A moment later, the door opens and a man walks in with a shovel full of red stones saying, “it’s very hot, please be careful.” Pouring the stones into the bath, the room fills full of clouds of steam coming from the hot water. An important note is that the bath is not to be entered, as the stones in it are heated to 1300 degrees Celsius, which makes the water steaming hot. The combination of natural seawater and the broiling stones provides a miraculous remedy for fatigue. Each person is given a big and small towel, for the water is not to be directly touched; rather, the towels are to be dipped in the water and drawn out to press-squeeze the water with a round bucket, then placed over the shoulders and back for a relaxing foment effect. A beneficial tip is that wiping the face with the moderately-cooled towel will make the facial skin extremely soft and look rejuvenated because of the the foremost mugwort brewed in the natural seawater. The steamy towel soaked with natural cure for knotted muscles along with the skin care effect will refresh not only the body but also the emotion, as being in the steamy room will make sweat ooze out. The hunched back and shoulders from stress and coldness will naturally unfurl. Having the effect of both a massage and skin care, the seawater spa can kill two birds with one stone. The sulfuric stones are being heated in the fire. (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization) Stones heated to 1300 degrees Celsius are being put into the bath in the middle. (Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization) 200 years of tradition The seawater spa is a remedy which has its roots in the 19th century Joseon Dynasty era. It was a widely-used folk remedy for the well being of the body. It was recorded in the Sejong chronicles that stones with sulfuric components and some medical herbs brewed in hot seawater create a great effect for relieving neuralgia, postnatal care, arthritis, and dermatitis. Especially effective for those in their mid to late adulthood, the seawater spa has been the folk therapy for various defects. Currently located in Hampyeong in Jeollanam-do Province, the 200 years of tradition has been well preserved, and now it has become a popular cultural attraction among Koreans. The way of enjoying the spa today is the same as it had been 200 years ago; thus, visitors can experience the true tradition of the precursors. It is the new year’s winter, so why not brush off the stress and fatigue from the previous year and greet the new one with a fresh, light body and mind? After the water cools, the bath can be a foot bath and the water can be poured onto the body. (Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization) Jeon Chae-yun

2017-12 27

[Special]Not Helpful, HELP

Finally, another semester has ended, and the grades are all out. For the second and third graders, A HELP score is also included in their GPA this semester. And as usual, HELP is once again at the center of confusion due to the massively miscalculated difficulty by many students. Let us look into issues related to HELP in detail. What is HELP? In order to better understand the controversies and issues, first, a reader must understand what HELP is at Hanyang University (HYU). The series, of course, was developed in 2007, in order to prepare Hanyangians to become leaders in society. Professor Song Young-su, chief officer of the Leadership Center mentioned: “The Leadership Center developed a textbook for leadership and tried to integrate such leadership processes into the culture of HYU” in the 171st issue of College Education. The HELP curriculum consists of four respective courses: HELP 1 through 4. Each course is mandated to the students in according to grade and included in the graduation requirement. Each course has its unique focal point and contents. For instance, HELP 1 is also known as ‘Value Leadership’. The course focuses on the values of Hanyang University, induce ‘Pride in Hanyang’, and the core value in the contemporary society and business. From the official description given by the school, it almost makes the curriculum look perfectly reasonable or even beneficial for Hanyang students. However, there is a wide disparity between the idea and the reality. Issue number one; HELP 4 (self-leadership) In May of 2016, two pictures that were irreverent to the lecture were shown in the ninth week of the HELP 4 lecture. The pictures were both implying that women are materialistic, which seemed to promote sexism, materialism, and lookism. The contents instantly provoked rage among Hanyangians and the General Student Council. Han-ma-di handled the issue in a quite satisfactory way. A screen capture from the 2016 HELP 4 lecture. The caption says 'steal the heart! provoke the desire! sell the dream!' (Photo courtesy of HYU Leadership Center) First, they openly required the school to instantly delete the problematic pictures and apologize with a promise that a similar incident would not happen to the students. The school did accordingly after six days, guaranteeing they would form a task force to review the whole contents and notify the student body about the revision made, if any. Second, Han-ma-di did a survey among 3443 Hanyangsians asking whether HELP should be canceled or excluded from the graduation requirement, of which 73.8% responded yes. Therefore, the General Student Council demanded the school to lift the requisite of the entire HELP curriculum. The school countermanded only the troubled course, HELP 4. Furthermore, they granted a full revision of the content along with the name of the subject starting in 2018. Although the due date has yet to come, it seems like the anti-discriminatory texts they have promised have not been realized up until today. Here are some statements provided during the lecture in lesson 13 of English HELP 2, fall semester, 2017. Before going to a meeting, check if your makeup is too thick. Do you have an extra pair of stockings? They should be in apricot or neutral color. Is your outfit or accessory too showy? The above-stated comments are bluntly discriminatory towards women, and it is a shame that in the year of 2017, Hanyang University is mandating such materials to all of the students. This was part of the guideline for final assignment of English HELP 2 this semester. Although the course is supposed to be entirely in English, some of the key information is delivered in Korean, and the website they used to explain it is also in Korean, with all the functions and buttons in Korean. Photo courtesy of Leadership Center Issue number 2, HELP in English HYU is proudly known as one of the most global schools in Korea, aiming to have 2500 full-time international students by 2020. There were 2247 international students in HYU counted until 2014, which is a substantial number. These students, because they are also full-time students like the domestic students, are also subject to the HELP requirement for graduation. Thus, they take the English version of HELP along with some domestic students who feel English is more comfortable or for some other reasons. Another problem lies in the translation of the course. Personally, I would consider it not to be done. Here are some example sentences taken from this year’s English HELP 2. I would like to mention that these are the exact words. When we usually look for a book regarding science, we only find a book written by the scientists, or a book by the philosopher of science who wrote about the scientific method, or a book written by the science historian writing about the history of science after thoroughly mastering the history of science, I shall say that his book generalized those three methods. Firstly when we think of science and technology, we don’t have any ideas about the background or any knowledge even though we are in a hurry to implement the technology such as TV media, internet, car, or trains we know the convenience. In fact, even when we drive a car, we don’t know well about the mechanism, so, like Korean, when they have to become familiar with machine civilization, people get confused, and people often face the various problems when using state-of-the-art science and technology especially when they are in pre-modern mental attitude, so in order to overcome those problems, we need to know how we get science and technology while relishing it. The translation that seems to have been done by Google rather than a person gives confusion to the course takers who cannot understand the Korean lectures given in the course. Considering that this is part of the essential courses and that they have to take a test with the materials, the situation is lamentable. As the promised deadline of the full improvement on the text is coming up, I look forward to the leap. Kim So-yun

2017-12 19

[Special]Concluding the end of 2017

With little over a week left in 2017, everyone is busy preparing to celebrate the passing of a year and the approach of a new one. Now that final exams are coming to an end, students of Hanyang are also joining in the fun, each preparing an end-of-the-year festivity of their own. Whether you are planning to go out drinking with your friends, spend time with your family, or stay home alone, here are some places worth sightseeing to help you get into the holiday spirit, and possibly make valuable memories with your loved ones. Seoul Christmas Festival (2017.12.09 – 2018.01.02) The first recommended location is the Seoul Christmas Festival. As suggested by its quite literal name, it is a festival for everyone, with no cost of admission. Beginning from the Gwanghwamun Metro Station, the festival stretches throughout the Cheonggye Stream, reaching to the streets of Jongno. The Cheonggye Stream itself is a popular visiting spot for many people, perfect for an afternoon walk for desk workers nearby or a date venue for couples. The stream path has become even more alluring, with spectacular lights and Christmas decorations adorned on the walls and even hanging in the air. Furthermore, there are numerous food vendors along the festival, selling snacks such as chicken skewers, tteok bokki and fish cake, roasted chestnuts, and warm beverages. For foreign students, Cheonggye Stream is a must-go location even if it isn’t for the festival; however, with the celebration going on, it is a wonderful opportunity to experience Christmas that captures the essence of Korean culture. For Koreans, Christmas is not as much a family-gathering occasion as it is in the West. Rather, it is usually spent with friends and lovers, enjoyed largely by the youth. Family gatherings revolve around the seasons of New Years, as marked in the lunar calendar, as well as Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok. The festival is right around the corner of Gwanghwamun Metro Station exit 5, and many visitors can be expected to be seen despite the cold weather. The Cheonggye Stream is already a popular attraction for many people. Many people were visiting the festival despite the extremely cold weather. Deoksugung Outdoor Project: Light∙Sound∙Landscape (2017.09.01 – 2017.12.28) Here is another popular sight-seeing spot for many foreigners, as well as Koreans. The Deoksugung, or Deoksu Palace, has served as the royal palace of the King from the year of 1593. It was temporarily used as a detached palace in 1623, and later returned to its royal status with the rise of King Gojong from 1897 to 1907. One of the most attractive aspects of this site is its convenient location, located in the midst of the buildings around City Hall. Not only is it easy to reach, just in front of exit 2 of the City Hall Metro Station, it is intriguing to see a cultural monument surrounded by modern infrastructure. In the same sense as the Cheonggye Stream, it is a worthwhile place to visit on its own, as a cultural asset that well captures the heritage of our nation. However, the outdoor project, a collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cultural Heritage Office of Deoksugung Palace, provides another good reason to stop by. To celebrate the 120th anniversary of Korea’s Independence, nine modern artists worked together to recreate the establishment of Korea’s independent government. By adapting modern technology related to lights, sound, and even virtual reality, the project offers an extraordinary experience. As the project is planned to end on the 28th of December, those who wish to visit may need to hurry. The Deoksugung Palace has a large number of foreign visitors as well as Koreans. Inside the antique buildings are modern, flashing lights. One of the art installations, Dream in a Dream, is in the form of virtual reality. Shinchon Christmas Street Festival (2017.12.23 – 2017.12.25) Situated near three major universities, Shinchon is a restless area with numerous students, workers, and shoppers bustling throughout the streets. Street performances, such as busking, magic shows, and dance performances can be seen on a daily basis. The streets of Shinchon also cater to a number of festivals, such as the Water Gun Festival in the summers, or the Handmade Beer Festival held this autumn. Due to the location's popularity and great exposure, festivals held there are usually a big success. The Shinchon Christmas Street Festival is no exception. Held every year, the streets are decorated with huge Christmas trees and spectacular light ornaments. Furthermore, there are carolers in the streets, which is not a common tradition enjoyed by Koreans on Christmas. Although the exact decorations and activities for this year have yet to be revealed, those seeking a Christmas experience shared by university students should definitely make a visit. Christmas time and New Year may bring about homesickness for many foreign students. For Korean students, it is a time to look back and make closure with the past year and make plans for the coming year. Wherever your minds are at in this season of celebration, reflection, and anticipation, here are some places to visit to make new memories with the few remaining days of 2017. Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Lee Chang-hyun

2017-12 11

[Special]Alert on the College Online Community (3)

Every South Korean university has an online student community to share and exchange their experiences, knowledge, and thoughts. All students and graduates have access to the community and most of the contents are published anonymously. However, a series of recent cybercrimes and unconditional, denigrating remarks online are letting down individuals with suspicion of university students’ awareness of their civil responsibility and cyber manners. It is time that administrators from all communities take appropriate actions to halt such social wickedness. Social harm is not a matter of freedom anymore There are two representative online associations in the college society: mobile application called “Everytime” and the individual autonomous student-led university community. For example, Hanyang University’s online student community is called “Weehan.” Both systems consist of online bulletin boards for opinion and experience share, helpful reference and resources for lectures and exams along with general lifestyle boards with secondhand market, room rent, and more. The composition that we have to focus on is the bulletin boards where students are allowed to share their thoughts on any social and political issues. Weehan (top) and Everytime (bottom) are two popular online community of Hanyang University students. (Photo courtesy of Weehan and Everytime) Boards of gerneral organizations are operated based on anonymity. However, the problem arises from unconditional assaults and reproach of a community’s certain people or groups. Behind the mask, some people gain confidence to directly blast at certain specific individuals. If they were to condemn political or social issues arising in the country, world, or even school, the criticism should derive from logical and rational reasons. However, there have been increasing numbers of posts and comments on the online communities that are uncouth and close to being crimes--including sexual assaults and regionalism. South Korea has experienced a rapid economic development in the last 60 years after the truce of the Korean War. Unfortunately, the social development and sense of obligation to keep civic responsibility did not increase as a parallel to the economic development. Gender equality, feminism, regionalism, and academic factionalism became sensitive topics to discuss due to the illogical segmentation between students who are extremely inclined to certain political or social opinions. Thus, the online community where students used to share their knowledge, give helping hands to each other by exchanging academic resources or lifestyle tips became a site of war where students indiscreetly assault each other, which rarely happens in face-to-face communication. Boundaries needed South Korea used to execute a restrictive identification system (also called online real-name policy) to prevent unconditional assaults and cybercrime using language by disclosing part of the name of the writer. However, the law was abolished in 2012 considering it a breach of an individual’s freedom of speech mentioned in the Constitution. However, without any proper restrictions, a few people began to insult others based on regionalism, academic factionalism, lookism, or gender equality. Then the “few” turned into “a lot” which even spread to the online college community. Online communities of universities have recently been criticized for indiscreet posts and comments on factionalism. (Photo courtesy of GettyImages) Then, what kind of regulations do these online websites or applications have? The disclosure of one’s personal information has been outlawed, and the only choices administrators have have been limited into two- warnings and forceful elimination of the posts. However, warnings are barely effectuated as people with meaningless hatred are not concerned with any advices to provoke their conscience. Thus, many online university communities like Weehan of Hanyang University or Ssodam of Sogang University forcibly remove assaultive posts and comments if they fulfill the following requirements. The post should include sexual harassment or insults to specific individuals or groups and should receive a majority of negative votes by people to eliminate it compulsorily. The problem is, even if the post includes assaults or harassments, it still can remain on the website without a majority of dislikes. The quality and contents of the post and the aim of language sword entirely depend on the individual’s rationale and conscience. However, if the online community is to be used as a place where factionalists blame all social tragedies on their disliked group of people, sexually harass others with language, and specifically target individuals and illogically insult them, then it is no more a community where intellectual students learning advanced academics share their knowledge at. The administration of online college communities must create more specific policies to regulate these problems. One solution can be to automatically discern swear words that cause factionalism regarding gender, region, looks, and personal background. Also, warnings that administrators give to a critic should be strengthened in a more severe way. For example, if a user received more than triple warnings, than the administration should consider listing him or her on their blacklist, prohibiting them to upload further posts on the platform. Suitable regulations regarding online university communities should be applied. (Photo courtesy of GettyImages) December 10 is the International Day for the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Hatred towards each other in insulting language and degrading others due to their political standard, gender, or ideas are not what human’s inherent dignity stands for. As the bright future of South Korea, university students should restore their civil responsibility and manners online, and, thus, there should be suitable regulations regarding them. Kim Ju-hyun

2017-12 10

[Special]Experience is the Best Teacher

What could be the most difficult challenge a student can face? Perhaps, it is to get all straight A’s in every class, socializing with new people, making it to graduation, or getting the degrees. Then, what if all these tasks had to be carried out in a foreign language and in a foreign country? It is easy to decide to go abroad for a short trip, but it takes considerable prudence and courage to make the decision to go abroad and reside for studying. From ordering food in a restaurant to attending Hanyang University, the international research students in Hanyang are facing daily challenges in Korea. Three international research students shared their story this week. میں کوریا میں خوش ہوں. (I’m happy in Korea) Saba Haq (Life Science, Doctoral Program) is a research student from Pakistan, whose research primarily lies in the treatment of cancer. Since her youth, Saba has always been interested in biology and not in any other subjects. After majoring in Life Science, she was determined to go abroad to get her Ph.D. The time period during which she was offered the scholarship for foreign students by the Korean government was called the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSV). After coming to Korea, she spent a year in a language school in Busan to learn Korean. Through her experience of studying Korean in Busan, she was able to familiarize herself with Korean culture. She added that staying in Busan was one of her best experiences because she became acquainted with students from all over the world and learned about their cultures as well, while learning Korean. “I also love Korean dramas such as ‘It’s Okay, It’s Love’, ‘Boys over Flowers’, and ‘Secret Garden,” smiled Saba. It has been a little more than two years since Saba came to Hanyang, and there has been many ups and downs in her life. Although she barely has any communication problems because her professor is a foreigner, and a lot of her lab mates are English speakers, she sometimes struggles with her research. “When it’s the end of the week, and I don’t have a satisfying result, I can’t motivate myself for the following week. In such a case, my friends and I encourage each other because we are in a similar situation.” She confessed that compared to her own country, the working hours in Korea are generally longer, which makes her feel exhausted, sometimes. “This could be one cultural difference. In Pakistan, we have time for family after working. But in Korea, people work until eight or later. I wonder when they spend time with their family.” Nonetheless, Saba has had no particular difficulty in adjusting to her new life in Korea. “I think I became a stronger and a more self-dependent person because I taught myself how to survive by myself.” "Hanyang is very nice and friendly. I like my professor and my lab mates. I've learned so much." "不怕慢,只怕站.” (do not fear slowness, fear stopping) Yu Chung-won was a transfer student from the Business School in Hanyang in 3rd year, heading into the graduate school after graduating. Currently researching on the relationship between the street culture and the result of the Olympics, Yu is interested in finding out the impact that street culture has on the number of medals a country could acquire in the Olympics and how the Olympics could affect the streets themselves. As Chinese is her mother tongue, doing the research in English is one of the difficulties she faces. Having to understand English and translating the knowledge into Korean requires a strenuous effort. However, this could be an inevitable aspect of studying in a foreign country. “I want to thank my Korean friend for catching the errors in my paper after writing,” grinned Yu. Her interest in Korea first sprang when she was a middle school student. Being a big fan of the K-pop group named Super Junior, her decision to come to Korea was not only fueled by an academic purpose but also partially by her love for hallyu. Even to this day, she buys albums and goes to concerts. “I went to a Korean language academy in middle school to learn Korean, which was run by a Korean couple. I always wished to live in Korea and experience the culture.” Now that she has fulfilled her dream, she has a lot to talk about her experience. Since Yu is from the southern part of China where it never snows, she was not comfortable with going to the public sauna at first, not to mention the body-scrubbing lady who continuously offered the service, both of which she is familiar with now. She tries to improve her Korean skill by trying to watch the television without subtitles, communicating with her fellow Korean students, and enjoying the culture. Yu is still not certain about her goals after graduating from Hanyang. As for now, she is enjoying her life in Hanyang. "My first impression of Korea and Hanyang was very cordial, full of kind people." ຂອບໃຈ! (thank you) Toulany Thavisay, entering Hanang as a Ph.D. student from Laos, is in his 5th semester now and has done a wide range of research so far in the field of International Management; the broad idea of which is sustainability of the economy in Korea and consumer behavior. As a research student in Hanyang, Toulany has a tight daily schedule: waking up early in the morning and studying late until the night, barely having any free time. When first coming to Hanyang, one difference he noticed was the education system. He confessed that as a foreign student, adjusting to the system was a bit challenging. In Laos, the university makes the syllabus and provides students the syllabus, whereas in Korea, students are responsible for every task from organizing the time table to registering and dropping courses. Nonetheless, he never considers such difficulty as an obstacle, but rather, a positive challenge. “When you’re living in a different country, it’s something you have to go through and learn. I try to view all the challenges that I face in a positive manner.” As a KGSP student and having studied Korean in a language school for a year, Toulany’s Korean is very fluent, going beyond just communicative. “My Korean teacher told me that if I wanted to learn Korean, I had to like Korea first.” He remarked that practice makes perfect and that being good in a language is very beneficial because the more you communicate, the more friends you make and the more things you can explore about the culture. Being fluent in Korean helped him to understand Korean culture better. “What excites me a lot in Korea is the style of living and its infrastructure, in terms of the public transportation and its accessibility and speed of the Internet.” He refused to call the cultural difference a culture shock but rather an experience. After going back to Laos, his goal is to become a professor in the university he graduated from. He is eager to contribute his knowledge and the experience back to his school and expand the educational development in his home country. "Life in a foreign country could be challenging. Keep your goals to motivate yourself." It’s all about the climb Even though taking the first step is always difficult, nothing is impossible. Through consistent effort and continuous challenges, big, hard walls can be broken down into constructive stairs. The international research students of Hanyang will always surmount any difficulties and move toward their goals. Jeon Chae-yun Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2017-12 03

[Special]Something We Unconsciously Passed by

We’ve now stepped into the midst of a weather that makes us dawn upon a pleasant, warm break-away. Only 30 minutes away from Hanyang University by bus, the D-Museum awaits with astonishing works of art in the name of ‘Plastic Fantastic: Light, Color, Fantasy’. On a wintry but sunny day, News H paid a visit to the museum and had a chance to concentrate on the infinite capability of plastic in this modern world. Plastic? Fantastic! The exhibition shows an aspect of plastic people haven't realize. (Photo courtesy of D-Museum) ‘Plastic Fantastic: Light, Color, Fantasy’, just like its name, shows the creativity within the material we thoughtlessly passed by. Plastic is a material of various household items that are made of anything from bottles to chairs. Due to their relatively low cost and ease of manufacture, plastic has been perceived as a product of an easily used consumption to citizens. Therefore, Kartell, along with 40 other creators, have put effort into creating a new identity for plastic. Through approximately 2,700 pieces of products such as furniture, illumination, graphics and pictures, they have come a step closer to making plastic a piece of art. This exhibition, which provides unpredictable enjoyment, is divided into six categories. It starts off with ‘The Beginning of a Dream, Polymer’. It shows pure whiteness, the initial stage of polymer itself, introducing plastic into the world of art. The following five categories give various perspectives on plastic, presenting our everyday household items and reflecting the change of trends in each era. Starting with familiar items, they have changed our perspectives on plastic into something unique, such as art. The last section, ‘Constantly Evolving’, has hinted on the infinite future of plastic, giving a lingering imagery as we stepped out of the exhibition. The world of plastic Throughout the exhibition, various quotes also caught our eyes along with the pieces of art. The pieces were made for all ages so that the people unfamiliar to art could also easily look around the exhibition. “Design shouldn’t be trendy. Good design should last over time, until it wears out.” -Achille Castigiloni- ”It’s not true what is useful and beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” -Anna Castelli Ferrieri- “The future is interesting because it is not a mono-directional thing. It’s an expanding thing so you can go in any direction.” -Eugeni Quitllet- “Design is a tool that allows us to reach out and inspire, to touch others and help make lives magical and wonderful.” -Marcel Wanders- “Elegance and honesty are two mandatory parameters for any human production.” -Philippe Starck- “A design career is a process of learning better and better what you now instinctively.” -Mario Bellini- A Tip for Hanyangians There were various photo zones for the people who enjoy taking photos in exhibitions. The light combined with plastic gave phenomenal sensations, giving enchantment to the eyes. I personally visited this exhibition on a weekday before noon and, therefore, enjoyed it peacefully. However, for the people visiting on the weekends, they could struggle from the sheer number of people trying to take pictures with a better background and illumination. To enjoy the exhibition quietly and to take better pictures, it might be a better idea to create some time on the weekdays. This exhibition is held from the 14th of September, 2017 to the 4th of March, 2018. Hanyangians can enter for free by showing their student ID card in the ticket office, from the 22nd of November until the 17th of December. Why don’t you make a quick visit between your classes and enjoy the leisure with the fantasy of plastic? Plastic is not a one-off material anymore! On Jung-yun Photos by On Jung-yun

2017-11 27

[Special]Keeping a Keen Eye for Uninvited Guests

“Do you support helping 3rd world countries? Sign here.” “Can you tell me how to get to the library?” “Can you help fill out a survey?” At first thought, your instinctive reaction to these questions would not be suspicion unless you have had past experiences with malicious scammers. From the straightforward cult recruiters who step up to you asking if you know “The Path” to strategic swindlers who approach you in a less conspicuous way. These widespread groups with the intent of scamming innocent people are a growing nuisance in our society. These days, the number of these malicious visitors are growing in school campuses, which is a new threat to student and school culture. Distorting people’s faith and feeding on their confusion The largest group of these malicious visitors are the self-claimed missionaries from pseudo religions. This is a completely separate realm from the controversial debates between religions that accuse each other as “not genuine.” What characterizes the pseudo religions or cults discussed here is that these groups not only distort beliefs and worship false gods, they often financially exploit their followers and in many cases leads to the destruction of families. In contrast to traditional missionaries, the major cults existence in Korea is usually distinguished by extreme persistence in dragging people into their so-called “religion”, even to the extent of direct family members. They spend an unusually large proportion of their time studying unapproved interpretations of the bible or committing their loyalty to false worship figures. Usually, these cults become the center of these followers’ lives to a point where they become detached from their family and work. A radical practice of one of the most well-known pseudo religions in Korea was the selection of spouses among young members. In terms of financial exploitation, there are a variety of schemes, from mandating a certain percentage of followers’ incomes as donations to brainwashing them into deliberately donating the majority of their assets. Often, this distorted form of faith leads to divorces and destruction of families. Many schools have started to raise student awareness on the issue of pseudo religions. (Photo courtesy of Imaeil News) So how do these cults recruit followers? Due to the widespread awareness regarding the existence and intent of these groups, cults nowadays veil their purposes behind innocent causes. Over the years, their strategies have become more intelligent, varying case by case depending on the target victims. For pseudo religions, young people are a significant target group that they can greatly benefit by recruiting. Naturally, the number of recruiters have grown in number on college campuses and their strategies have become specialized to be more effective. Here are some of the case experiences shared by Hanyang students. “I was approached by a middle-aged woman who was wearing a suit and holding some files. She told me that she was a career consultant, and that she came to the campus as a part of her research. She asked me about my career development process and some background information including name, school, and contact number saying she would help me with my career. I took this offer and visited her a number of times. The first two sessions were genuine counseling, after which she gradually began to introduce religious themes and inviting me to join group gatherings and show up to church.” (anonymous at the request of the interviewee) These types of approaches are not confined to Western religions; they are sometimes followers of Eastern religion, such as Buddhism and Taoism. In another answer from a student requesting to remain anonymous, two people claiming to be ordinary students came up and asked personal questions. One odd characteristic was that they asked how the student's name was written in Chinese and the date of birth by the Lunar calendar. They, then, requested a small amount of money, which they would use in the process of paying respects to his ancestors. This ritual was claimed to please his ancestors and bring better fortune to the family. Recruitment tactics come in different forms of strategies Other malicious intentions Aside from religious visitors, there are a number of visitors to the campus with different agendas. One common group are those who coerce charity. Although some people are genuinely working to contribute to donations for those in need, some people approach students without clarifying their intent. Rather than to clearly ask for charity or a donation, these people ask students to answer a simple question of whether they support donation. Then they vaguely ask how much the students are willing to donate. After getting a signature, they change their attitude, suddenly pressuring the donation of that amount. While it is questionable whether those donations are validly used for charity, some of their tactics are said to be quite aggressive. Aside from these "charity workers", there are also cases of encounters where personal questions are asked to students without clearly stating the motive or intention. In one form or another, personal information such as name, age, major are asked about, as well as variations, such as student's greatest worries, life mottos, and so on. In most of these cases, the students are just left confused, as they are not followed up with proper explanations, or even the request of money or membership to a cult. A Korean news article expresses concerns over foreign charity workers without clear authorization. Their membership is said to be suspected of having a relationship with an infamous Korean cult. (Photo courtesy of News Power) Keeping our campus clean On the issue of pseudo religion missonaries, it was answered on behalf of Hanyang's Buddhist club, The Buddihst Student Association explained that, “Regardless of the religion, we dislike people who nudge others to become believers even if it’s from a family member. Pseudo religion members practice a number of strategies to recruit new members, from spreading flyers to telling people that they have features of a good fortune." Furthermore, the opinion of the Christian club said that a lot of cults have appeared around campus, approaching students under the pretense of personality tests, leadership seminars, and such. Once a member, these cults are very difficult to escape from and, most of the time, destroy families. They advise students to stay wary of these malicious visitors and to reject their approaches. Aside from religous frauds, other forms of malicious visitors have contributed to confusion and have, from time to time, caused trouble inside the Hanyang campuses. Furthermore, they create an atmosphere of mistrust on campus. For instance, students who are genuinely carrying out a survey for their project could be mistaken as a cult recruiter. These effects, ultimately, create distractions and distance between students of Hanyang, derailing the learning atmosphere. On this issue, awareness is of utmost importance. Be keen to spot out scammers and do not indulge in their conversations. Some actions of the school could also help, in the form of raising awarness and increasing security and surveillance. Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Lee Jin Myung

2017-11 25

[Special]Familiar but Exotic!

Did you know that doing something you regard as hackneyed or ordinary could sometimes feel as new and interesting? As a Korean, wearing a hanbok or visiting the traditional palaces sounds trite. However, perhaps due to the lengthy interval of visiting such a place or wearing a hanbok, a visit to the Bukchon Hanok (traditional Korean house) Village combined with a hanbok experience was offbeat! Bukchon Hanok Village is close from Anguk Station, line 3. (Photo courtesy of havehalalwilltravel) Coming out of the subway station through the exit 6 and walking straight to the main road of Insa-dong, numerous Hanbok rental shops were spotted, along with some groups of tourists and Koreans strolling down the way in the attire. The street was lined with souvenir stores, displaying things that represented Korea such as the traditional masks, pots, fans and more. Those items are normally not considered extraordinarily valuable or as must-haves because Korean people tend to think they are something they can get anytime and anywhere if desired, had it not been for the fact that those items are unwanted due to their familiarity. Nonetheless, an urge to buy one of the souvenirs was felt because of being familiar does not mean including in possession! Korea-smelling souvenirs! The view of the street on the way to hanbok shop. Restaurant and cafe menus were all Korean. After renting a full hanbok set, an eye-catching sight was spotted on the way to Bukchon Hanok Village: signs of foreign stores with names written in Korean. At first, it was hard to believe what was being seen, because the names such as Baskin Robins or Starbucks is never written in Korean, but only in English in every corner of Korea except the Sejong Road (in respect to the king who created hangul, or Korean). It all looked very awkward and weird at first, but after a moment of staring, things came to make sense because of the traditional hanok that started to show themselves. The hanok village is one of the few places in the entire country that stands proud for its preservation of Korea’s tradition. Having said this, it would be ironic if the names were still written in a foreign language. More and more hanok were seen and the excitement grew and grew. Baskin Robins and Starbucks were written in Korean on the way to Hanok Village. Even souvenir shops and cafes resembeled hanok. The idea of hanok was not that novel, but what truly fascinated me was the scene of combining the past and present. The picture of hanok may always be there in a Korean’s mind, as it is too prevailing to forget. However, the traditional building amid the modern ones was a different story. There were cars and motorcycles passing by, modern constructions neighboring, and a traditional hanok standing. This mixture of present and past scenery was unprecedented. As a contemporary person of this developed society, standing in the area full of tradition wearing the traditional dress was an odd feeling. It was as if time was switching gears uncontrollably. Originally thinking that hanbok and hanok are too conventional to be interesting, today’s experience was a new lesson. One’s tradition and culture could be boring and unexciting, but do not lose the preciousness because of familiarity. Sometimes paying a visit to somewhere conventional, accustomed, and ordinary could teach some valuable lessons and awaken one to be aware of things that are buried deep in consciousness. One of the greatest aspects of Bukchon Hanok Village is perhaps that it combines the contemporary and the traditional color of Korea in one sight. It was nice to be reminded of the beauty of Korea’s tradition and the sensation derived from pondering upon the view. This hanok in isolation was fenced by a traditional wall. Going up the hill, rows of hanok were seen, with some non-traditional buildings. Wonder how it feels to live in a hanok! How about a souvenir? Time to return the hanbok! Jeon Chae-yun Photos by Jeon Chae-yun

2017-11 20

[Special]Ich hab geträumt von Manderley (I dreamt of Manderley)

On the 15th of November, News H visited Blue Square in Hannam-dong to watch the musical, Rebecca. Although there was more than an hour left until the show, the whole building was crowded with people taking tickets and pictures. The air was filled with joy and excitement. Continued from the last week’s ‘Stepping into the Life of Claude Monet’, this week’s special article would also review a cultural event. The Musical, Rebecca is performing in Interpark hall, Blue Suare. Delicate structures and highly complimented musical numbers are impressive. (Photo courtesy of EMK) Rebecca, where you may be ‘Ding ding’ the chime, commencing the start of the show, rang and all of a sudden, the 3-story full-house became quiet. The musical, Rebecca, like most of the musical pieces hitting the box office, is a translated production. This piece is also one of the renowned ‘one source multi-use’ product, originally based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca (1938). Alfred Hitchcock also made a movie based on the story. Although most of the events happen in a peaceful costal town in the United Kingdom, the whole play is written in German and made in Austria. One of the interesting parts of the story is that Rebecca is dead from the very beginning and, thus, does not come on stage until the end. Moreover, the name of the main character ‘Ich’ (‘I’ in German) is not mentioned throughout the play and is only called as ‘ Winter’. This ‘Ich’ describes and leads the entire story. 'Ich' is singing the opening number 'Ich hab geträumt von Manderley (I dreamt of Manderley)'. 'Ich' leads the entire story until the end, but nobody knows her name. (Photo courtesy of EMK) ‘Ich’ does not come from a wealthy family background, so she makes her living by being a paid friend of a rich, old lady. One day, on a vacation in Monte Carlo, ‘Ich’ meets Maxim de Winter, a famous British noble. Like most of the story goes, they instantly fall in love and get married. However, the charm of this particular musical comes from getting rid of the cliché, ‘happily ever after’ storyline. ‘Ich’, happily married, expected her life to completely turn around and the rosy atmosphere to be there forever. Her life did turn around completely but not in a way she had expected. The deceased Winter, Rebecca was unimaginably beautiful, intelligent, and also had a powerful family background. All servants and maids in the house seemed to still miss her and had a hard time accepting the new Winter. Especially Mrs. Danvers, the head housekeeper still preciously takes her old master’s belongings and even her bedroom. Mrs. Danvers is also one of the leading roles in the show. In this particular show where News H paid a visit, a former idol Ok Ju-hyun played the role. Despite the widespread belief that idols do not sing well, and they cannot settle as a musical actor, Ok is now widely acknowledged as one of the top musical actresses. She made her debut in 2005 as ‘Aida’ in a Broadway blockbuster Aida. At that time, she was harshly criticized for her acts. Nevertheless, through hard work and practice, she is now a renowned actress with more than 18 awards in the musical area. Ok passionately acted and sung as Ms. Danvers on that day, too. More Koreans in the Korean Market As the full house of this particular performance shows, the Korean musical market is rapidly growing. Namely, Rebecca itself recorded a 300 thousand audience until today. Considering that, the last shows usually draw bigger crowds, the number is expected to grow even more. In Hyung-geun, an executive director in EMK musical company mentioned that the “Korean musical market has been commercialized for only 20 years now, and many factors such as strong copyrights and existing manias show a bright future for the industry." However, there are worries regarding the long-term sustainability of the industry. Most box office hits are imported and translated. This does generate a lot of fortune and records but does not foster domestic professionals. Robert Johanson, director of Rebecca speaks during the conference call. (Photo courtesy of mydaily) A musical is not just a simple show but a complex compound of art. It requires screenwriting, songwriting, singing, acting, stage design, directing, and more. However, if the current trend of import is sustained, the market and needs for domestic production will decrease, leaving less and less professionals who can produce Korean musicals. That does not mean that all original pieces are not doing well. There are a few hits such as Hero and Seopyun-je. In order to make more original products and even export them to the international market, we, the audiences would have to pay more attention to such plays. Kim So-yun

2017-11 14

[Special][Card News] Expressing Out Confidence in Korean

▲ Click to read the English article - Expressing Out Confidence in Korean