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2018-02 04

[Special]What is More than Meeting the Eye

Lookism is defined as a “discriminatory treatment toward physically unattractive people.” This stereotype is spread throughout all sorts of social settings, and affects an individual in the important parts of their lives as in employment, romantic relationships, and so on. The term “lookism” was coined in the 1970s, and despite that, the word came into being quite recently, the phenomenon had been existent since human interaction. Criticism concerning appearance-oriented preference dates back to ancient and medieval records, from a wide array of scholars and religious figures. However, a new word having been coined to dedicate itself to this issue well describes how much the society has grown to become aware of it in recent times. Korea is a country that has not escaped this phenomenon. In fact, it is one of the most deeply influenced countries with lookism, being a mecca of plastic surgery and a massive consumer of cosmetic goods. Teen lookism As a fair indicator of lookism, sales of beauty products for teenagers have grown substantially in recent years. According to data provided by SK Planet, which operates a major platform for online commerce, the overall sale of beauty products increased by 29 percent in 2017. The growth percentage had recorded 251 percent rise in the previous year. One of the most dramatic rises in sales was in lip products such as lipsticks or liptints targeted towards teenagers, which rose by 549 percent. Cosmetics, as a long held subject of consumption for women, has transcended to men, and now even to young children. A result of a survey conducted by the Korea Citation Index reported that 42.4 percent of elementary school students wear makeup, and 43.4 percent of them began applying makeup in the fifth grade. Children's cosmetic usage has become so prevalent that the South Korean government is under discussion to create a new cosmetic's category to monitor and mandate children's products under stricter standards for their safety. An array of self teaching contents can be accessed on the internet (Photo courtesy of Youtube) This increased focus on beauty products and appearance has diverse contributing factors. For one, the advanced telecommunication technology provides a means of advertisement more pervasive and aggressive than ever, and the increased number of media outlets sheds light on a plethora of celebrities or Youtube stars that teenagers look up to and mimic. Furthermore, e-commerce platforms and numerous blogs and videos regarding makeup tips and recommendations lowers the entry barrier of purchasing and learning to apply makeup. This and the perennial desire of teenagers to appear as adults provides the driving force for the surge in cosmetic sales. Lookism for the 20s According to a market report done by a professional market research firm, Trendmonitor, among Korea, China, and Taiwan, Koreans in their 20s to 30s have expressed the lowest satisfaction towards their appearance. This may suggest that Koreans have a higher standard of beauty, or a somewhat higher level of inferiority. Whatever the reason may be, Korean youth spend countless hours and money on their appearance. Aside from cosmetics, plastic surgery is definitely one of the most common means that Koreans turn to for aesthetic improvement. According to the Economist, although Korea came in 7th place when it comes to the absolute number of plastic surgery done, the number of plastic surgeries in ratio to the population was by far the highest. A curious phenomenon in Korea is “employment plastic surgery,” illustrating the growing group of people going under the knife to increase their chances of getting employed. Another growing field of aesthetic consumption is hair loss treatment for men. Although the issue is not much of a problem for women, it has become a critical problem for young men. The treatment cost for hair loss targeting men in their 20s has risen by 34.2 percent during the past 5 years, surpassing that of men in their 30s and even 40s. In addition to hair treatment, Korean men have maintained the highest rate of individual cosmetic spending since 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. This suggests that Lookism affects both genders with growing intensity. An iconic image that illustrates the prevalence of plastic surgery in Korea (Photo courtesy of Allkpop) Spending for the older generations A new consumer group dubbed the “young forty” has received focus in 2017 with people in their late 30s to 40s spending more on their looks and interests. In addition to this trend, the idea of “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) has pervaded through to the late generation. Although YOLO, a term and idea that began in the United States, originally referred to the youth who take risks and adventures, the term has taken a slight turn in Korea. It has caught the attention of older people who have taken it as a reminder that the time to enjoy life is limited, and that it is “never too late" to do anything. As a result, the national spending on traveling, sports, entertainment, and of course, looks, have increased profoundly by people in their 40s. Furthermore, plastic surgery, especially those targeting the eyes, has become popular for people in their 40s to 50s. As for people in their 30s, a growing number of people invest in their looks as an outlet of their desire to stand out. As the majority of workers in their 30s live a somewhat uniform life, working in offices in similar outfits, their desire to be noticed as original and unique has led to increased spending on clothes, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. Their financial capacity allows them to indulge in their desires without too much financial pressure. Young forty is a term coined and popularized here in Korea. (Photo courtesy of Mediask) The implications of Lookism One of the things that make lookism so hard to criticize and contain is that it is deeply inherent for us to be drawn to people who possess physically desirable traits. However, in the social realm, this instinctive preference that once may have been related to survival has now become harder to defend. With increased awareness of equality and materialism, there is now a definitive breach of morals when lookism prevails in a certain social interaction. Although romantic relationships are still a large part of personal preference, opportunities of employment and education should never be hindered by lookism. The mandate of “blind recruitment,” the receiving of resumes that do not contain photos, is a recent and a rather very late change that Korea has taken to address this issue. On the other hand, another critical and complicated issue of lookism is the problem of who gets to decide the standard of beauty. So far, conglomerates of cosmetic products and media outlets have massively influenced the public ideal and standards of beauty. But then again, if being plump and healthy had been a standard of physical epitome in medieval times, is it so wrong for the standard to now be skinny and tall? Historically, it has been proven that an appearance-oriented preference has existed with or without conglomerates and businesses. Although the public and society subject lookism under a negative light, it is an issue that has been created by, and can only be solved through individual choices. One small, yet critical step that we could take is to become more aware of the choices we make even if we do indulge in lookism. Regardless of whether we believe that lookism is immoral or natural, thinking about how large of a factor physical appearance plays in our individual social interactions will eventually help us define how we want to address this issue. Lee Changhyun

2018-01 29

[Special][Op-ed] Unified Korean Women's Ice Hockey Team in PyeongChang

The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics is about to raise its curtains in 10 days. Aside from the fact that the Olympics is the quadrennial global festival, PyeongChang is drawing the world's attention because of the IOC's (International Olympic Committee) approval of a unified team of the two Koreas. Although the discussion of unified participation began back in 2011 during the foundation of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, the decision was made when the deadline for submission was way overdue due to the seemingly hasty decision to share the 22 player roster in women's hockey. South and North Korean ice hockey players are taking a photo after the 2017 IIHF Women's Ice hockey World Championship in April 6th, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Yonhap News) Ice hockey is considered ‘the game’ in winter Olympics. The South Korean National Ice Hockey Team has never made it to the Olympics because they were not qualified. Therefore, 2018 is the first year ever for Korea to play in the big game. The International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Skating Union approved Korea’s entry as part of a special favor for the hosting country. Granting entry for the hosting country was abolished in 2006, while the following Winter Olympics – Toronto and Sochi – were hosted by countries with strong ice hockey teams. Korea ranks 23rd internationally. The issue of the unified team in women’s ice hockey appeared on the table in early January after Kim Jong-un's new year's greeting speech where he expressed his positive opinion in participating in the PyeongChang Olympics. In the high-level talks in the Panmunjom, North Korea’s participation in the game was discussed, leading to related discussions such as the use of the unified flag or how many athletes and cheerleaders should go to the South. In the following vice-minister level conference, both Koreas agreed to march together under the unified flag, and the ‘fear’ of the united team for women’s ice hockey became a real concern for many people. Then, the IOC agreed to ‘the Olympic deal’ on the 21st of January to grant united entry with 22 North Korean athletes, and most symbolically, accepting the South Korean government’s request to enlarge the quota for women’s hockey. The two Koreas will participate in the game with a total of thirty-five players, with twelve of them being North Korean. The coach, Sarah Murray – now the coach for the united team – will be mandated to use three North Korean players in each game according to the Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration. South Korean president Moon Jae-in and the president of IOC Thomas Bach. Moon is assuring Bach that the Olympic Games would not be threatened by regional conflicts in September 20th, 2017. (Photo courtesy of insidethegames) The legal base for the unified team lies in the Special Act on the Support for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Game, article 85, which was established in 2011. Despite the fact that the unified team is not a news, more than 70 percent of the South Koreans seem to disapprove the government’s decision. An Instagram post from the national hockey team player Lee Minji on 20th, January raised sympathetic sentiment among the people, too. She mentioned that “a second in the field is invaluable for every player” and that she cannot understand how “the decision will have a minor impact on the athletes”, criticizing the authority. Thomas Bach, president of IOC spoke “The Olympic Games show us what the world could look like, if we were all guided by the Olympic spirit of respect and understanding,” and I agree to his point that the Olympics should be about the spirit of peace and global unification. Although many Korean people harshly criticize the Moon administration as far as to call '2018 Pyongyang Olympics', it is understandable for the president to take the international spotlight to show the world how the two Koreas are working towards peace. One of the main reasons why South Korean corporates are having a hard time receiving foreign investment is the unstable political situation in the peninsula. Although many Koreans do not foresee the war to break anytime soon, the ten-year long hostility during the Lee and Park administration and Trump sitting in the Whitehouse did not help the situation between the North and South Korea. Now that Moon struggles to thaw the relationship, the Olympics seems like a huge opportunity to alleviate the distrust. 2018 PyeongChang Olympic will be the first Olympic in history for the two Koreas playing as one. Taking the Olympic spirit; "to build a peaceful and better world" into account, peacemaking after the tensions built up due to the missiles late 2017 seems like an adequate timing. Moreover, there are several widespread misunderstanding behind the name 'Pyongyang Olympics'. One is that the South Korean flag will not be raised during the games. The unified flag will fly only after the events where the North and South Koreas have jointly participated. Another misunderstanding that shared code of 'COR' is by the request of North Korea, while in fact, the code comes from French term (IOC's official language aside from English) Corée du Sud and Corée du Nord. The North and South Korea is entering the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a unified flag. The two Koreas marched together in the opening ceramony. (Photo courtesy of Hankyoreh) There are disagreements to the decision from the general public and the politics, pointing out that South Korea and the United States have agreed to postpone the annual joint military drill for North Korea taking part in the Olympic Games. Some papers wrote that this is all part of North Korea's plan to acquire more ballistic missiles and strengthen their military power. We do not know if that allegation is true or not, but North Korea would not have agreed to take part in the games if they had nothing to benefit from. By showing the two government's will to build peace and bring security in the international society, both nations will benefit during and after the games. Kim So-yun

2018-01 28

[Special][Op-ed] Invisible and Silent, Yet Deadly

What are some of the best-selling items these days? Sanitary masks are, indeed, one of the most compelling products. There has been a 380 percent increase in nasal sanitizer product sales, with a 213 percent rise in sanitary mask sales. What is the cause of this phenomenon? The severity of the fine dust in the air seems to be the catalyst of the sales boom. With the emission of toxicant chemicals from automobiles and industrial sites being the main culprit of the fine dust pollution crisis, Korean is going through a major pollution issue and is on its way to address that problem. What’s all the fuss about? Recently, emergency text messages informing citizens that the fine dust level is particularly bad that day are sent directly from the government, not to mention the myriad of people that can be seen wearing sanitary masks outdoors. This means the situation is really getting serious now, unquestionably demanding some counteractions to be taken. Korea has the highest density of fine dust concentration among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), recording 32 micrograms of fine dust per cubic meter, while Iceland is on record for being the least polluted country, showing 2.9 micrograms of fine dust per cubic meter. The size of fine dust is about seven times smaller than the width of an average person’s hair, which can freely and effortlessly enter human bodies through the nasal cavity or through the skin, reaching deep inside and inducing various health issues such as dementia, stroke, dysrhythmia, angiosis, hair loss, nasal inflammation and much more. The biggest problem with the fine dust is that the particles are so small that they are unfilterable, meaning they can get to any part of the body and cause a wide variety of diseases. Fine dust is seven times smaller than a strand of hair. Among the developed nations in the OECD, South Korea has the worst air pollution. (Photo courtesy of It is not the thought that counts, it is the action It is not hard to figure out that there is no quick-fix solution for Korea’s situation now. In response to the deteriorating issue, the Korean Ministry took action: since the harmful emission from automobiles is a great contributor to the overall situation, the government hoped to entice people to take public transportation by making it free of charge for one day. Though it sounds reasonable, this approach received considerable criticism for several reasons. First of all, this solution is only temporary, yet very costly. Moreover, voices were heard that the money should rather have been invested in developing technologies to converting current automobiles into electronic or other non-harmful types or in developing technologies to absorb or cleanse the polluted air. This approach was one of the four emergency actions established by the government, which are to be taken as the situation gets irrevocably worse. The other actions include an odd-even license plate policy (cars with license plates that end in an odd number can only be driven on an odd number date and vice versa), the reduction of factory operation hours, and the closing of parking lots. All these approaches evidently aim to reduce the toxic emissions from automobiles but do not aim to provide an alternative direction to remove the root of the problem. Citizens express great dissatisfaction about the actions the government has taken, voicing that they are only temporarily or partially resolving the trouble. However, to remove the root cause of the whole situation would cost a lot of money and if the government raises the tax rate to do so, people will surely show hostility as well. In an individualistic society, such as the one we live in today, people would care more about their own future than their country’s. In such a case, how can the government afford to meet both the requirements of the people and this monstrous disaster? Being aware that the silent monster is growing more and more powerful everyday, both the government and citizens are nervous. What we need in this situation is not arguments and criticisms but cooperation. The current situation necessitates a multilateral approach since its scale has exceeded the moderate level. More than one solution should be carried out by more than one group of people. An unilateral solution cannot effectively address such problem, meaning the government alone cannot single-handedly resolve the tragedy. There must be a cooperation between the government and the people, at the level of both individuals and corporations. The government should provide the least burdensome and the most effective solution and the citizens should cooperate in order to maximize the effect and to defeat the common enemy. Fine dust overwhelmingly covers the city. (Photo courtesy of DBpia Report for Research) Jeon Chae-yun

2018-01 23

[Special][Op-Ed] Is Banning the Early Education Really Necessary?

Korea is known to have excessive enthusiasm towards education, and one of the very first private forms of education children receive is English. Nevertheless, the Korean government, alongside with the Ministry of Education is working hard to ban early education, which usually refers to private education for children under 8, which is when elementary school begins. As part of the effort, the Ministry of Education announced in December 2017 that they will ban after-school English classes for pre-schoolers starting March 2018. This ignited the already existing conflict of interests between the parents wanting to teach English to their child as early and as fast as possible, and the government trying to restrict such actions and protect young children’s rights. It is somewhat a norm for pre-school children to learn English. There are even English kindergartens where they intensively use English throughout the day. To provide some background information, children aging from five, or sometimes as young as two to three, go to either pre-school (what is known as yoo-chi-won in Korean) or a daycare center (which is known as uh-lin-eeh-jib in Korean). It might sound similar, but they are established under different laws and operate under different ministries. The former has its foundation under the Early Childhood Education Act, and the Ministry of Education supervises and manages 9,029 pre-schools all over the nation. On the other hand, the daycare centers are founded and are operating based on the Infant Care Act, and managed by Ministry of Health and Welfare. But the Lee Myung-bak administration contrived the Noori Curriculum (the name itself was created during the former Park Geun-hye administration) through the amendment of Enforcement Decree of the Infant Care Act, article 23 to take a step forward towards free education for children from three to five. This is how the Ministry of Education can prohibit after-school English education in the curriculums of both pre-school and daycare centers. This annunciation, as anyone can easily expect, triggered a heated debate within the nation. Many parents are against the policy and show concern on the balloon effect, which refers to a situation where the phenomena moves into another area of less resistance rather than disappearing, like when a latex balloon is squeezed: The air is moved but does not disappear. They voice out that early English education is not an option anymore, so banning it in the pre-schools and daycare centers would simply herd the children to private institutions, which are more expensive and, therefore, put more burden on families. They also argue that early education is the key to language education and that most of the after school classes for English are taught through playing, such as singing or gaming. Some even mention that the Ministry of Education has to also take back the resembling restriction for the first and second-grade elementary school students. Although they did take a step back, the government seems to remain obstinate in their position regarding early education. Announcing for the entire reexamination of the policy on the 16th of January, the Ministry of Education made it clear that there still is no change in their principle that early education should be restricted. Their argument is mainly based on recent findings in neuroscience that early education, in fact, does not help the infants or young children to learn a second language. Numerous studies, namely from the Korean Institute of Child Care and Education, have shown that children, equally at best, absorb less of a new language. Therefore, the government seems to consider after-school education as a physical and psychological burden for young minds and should be restricted by law. Korea is one of the top countries with the most private education per person. However, as an individual who speaks English through early education and without a single month abroad, I think it is a matter of ‘how’ pre-schools deliver the education than ‘if’ they should. One of the main reasons why the Ministry of Education took a step back, in this case, was because people pointed out that the way the education carried out in the field is not child-abusive as they think it is. Many children are actually having fun learning a new language in an entertaining way, and it is vastly beneficial for their future being able to speak English fluently, especially considering the quality of English education in the current school curriculum. The way they are being taught right now, the children will be ‘acquiring’ English rather than ‘learning’ it. Without significant innovation of the current school curriculum to be actually effective, banning pre-school extracurricular activity seems like a tape to a dam crack. If they truly wish to tackle the widespread enthusiasm for early education, the government should first explain thoroughly and persuade the people, strengthen public education, and then ban both public and private early education. Wishing parents to suddenly stop being thirsty for more education like a child waiting for Santa Claus does not solve the root issue. Kim So-yun

2018-01 15

[Special]Say Hello to 2018, the Year of Golden Dogs!

Another year has come to an end, and now we have started a new year with golden dogs. 2018, also known as ‘mu-sul’ year according to the Chinese zodiac, stands for the year of golden dogs. ‘Mu(戊)’, stands for a big soil mountain, which represents the color yellow and gold. ‘Sul(戌)’ represents the 11th animal of the Chinese Zodiac, a dog, which represents the image of activeness. This year, therefore, prays for an affluent, enthusiastic year for all citizens. The main character of this year, dogs, had close relationships with human beings throughout the changes in generations. 2018 is the year of golden dogs. (Photo courtesy of Woman Travellers) Dogs in the past Dogs are known to be one of the first domestic animals people have raised. They are known as creatures evolved from wolves, as wolves were tamed by human beings who hunted and collected plants. The history of man and dog started since then by mutually helping each other. Dogs were able to maintain their lives through the food people gave, and protected people and their houses from possible danger. Korea’s native dog, the Jindo dog has a strong homing instinct and intrepidity. They have an upright characteristic, never betraying the family members that looked after them. Sapsal dog, a dog fully covered with long fur, has an old saying ‘A ghost cannot even consider approaching near a Sapsal dog’, due to their ascetic-like-appearance. The Pungsan dog has been favored as a hunting dog, due to their outstanding reactiveness and endurance. They are known to be courageous and bold that there used to be a saying you can catch a tiger with two Pungsan dogs. Sapsal dogs have their unique characteristics of long furs covering their bodies. (Photo courtesy of Chosun News) However, at the same time, a lot of the dogs were utilized as a ‘health food’ in Korea. As a lot of Koreans lacked protein in their daily food, ‘dogs’ were one of their few options. Since pigs or cows were two expensive to consume as a food, most of the dogs except for the ones used for hunting were set on the table. In a record of <Dongguksesigi> containing the customs of Joseon dynasty, a written record is left that a lot of citizens ate dog-soups in Boknal (Click HERE for more information). Moreover, there is a record dog meat was placed on a royal family’s feast during the regime of King Jeong-jo. Dogs in the current society Nowadays, dogs are more familiarly called as ‘Ballyeogyeon’; ‘Ballyeo’ standing for a companion, and ‘gyeon’ standing for a dog. The awareness of dogs as a friend and a member of family is becoming higher as time passes, and now we are living in a country of 10 million pet population. Dogs have the closest relationships with human beings and are called symbols of loyalty. There are increasing research results that pets give positive influences to the health of those raising them. There are however downsides to this rapidly increasing number of pets in Korea. Sixty thousand dogs are abandoned every year in Korea, solely counting the numbers figured by animal shelters. Proper responsibility of the owners and the support of the government seems to be required. 2017 was a year dog phobia (Click HERE for more information) being a big issue, due to the lack of awareness of petiquettes. More attention should be required for the welfare of dogs. (Photo courtesy of Dream Dictionary) The increase of people embracing dogs as their family members has both its ups and downs. A brand new market has been created due to pet owners trying to provide better lifestyles for their pets. Dogs are now filling the empty spaces of people’s emotions with their unique sensation. Then or now, there is no doubt dogs are man’s best friend. On Jung-yun

2018-01 09

[Special]The Ultimate Winter Stage

It has begun. The inspirational slogans and advertisements from the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 can now be seen nearly everywhere in Korea: from television commercials to advertisements all over public transportation. With just 17 days before the initiation of the event, Korea is gradually getting into the mood for the symbolic international celebration, which revolves around the values of respect, excellence, and friendship. The Olympics also has a special meaning for Korea, as the last Olympics, held 30 years ago in 1988, succeeded in creating an economic platform on which Korea could achieve unprecedented domestic and international growth. As such, the PyeongChang Olympics had been a national victory since its announcement, and the entire country holds a sense of hope and expectation for the success of the event. The entire nation shook in joy when PyeongChang was selected to host the 2018 Winter Olympics (Photo Courtesy of Zimbio) PyeongChang 2018: a timeline July 2, 2003 – The PyeongChang Olympics came to being after three attempts. The first attempt was made in July 2nd, 2003 at the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in Prague, Czech Republic. Despite winning the most votes in the first round of voting, PyeongChang lost to Vancouver by a shortage of 3 ballots in the final round. July 5, 2007 – The second unsuccessful trial for the PyeongChang Olympic took place four years later in the next IOC session, held in Guatemala City, the Republic of Guatemala. However, Korea was handed a similar defeat as in the previous session, leading with the highest number of votes from the first round of votes and losing in the final round. 4 votes determined the outcome, designating Sochi, Russia, as the next country to hold the Winter Olympics. June 22, 2010 – Along with Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, PyeongChang was designated as a shortlist candidate by the IOC, bidding to become a hosting city for the 2018 Winter Olympics. July 6, 2011 – Finally, in the 123rd IOC session held in Durban, South Africa, PyeongChang was elected to become the host city for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Winning an overwhelming majority of 63 votes out of 95, the announcement of its victory brought about a burst of joy throughout the nation. October 19, 2011 – The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and the Paralympic Winter Games were founded, and preparations for the event officially went underway. February 9-25, 2018 – The Olympic Winter Games of PyeongChang 2018 will begin with the opening ceremonies held in Pyeong chang, located in the Gang won Province of the Republic of Korea. The majority of the snow sports will also be conducted in this city, as well as the closing ceremony. Meanwhile, alpine speed events will be held in Jeong seon, and all ice sports will be held in the city of Gang neung, both located in the same province as Pyeong chang. The symbol “ㅍ” is taken from the first consonant of the word Pyeong chang in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, and represents a harmonious abstraction of the Earth, Heaven, and Man. “ㅊ” is the first consonant of the second syllable of Pyeong chang, representing snow, ice, and the winter athletes. (Photo Courtesy of PyeongChang 2018) The slogan for the PyeongChang Olympics is “Passion. Connected.” As two symbolic words that represent the value of the event, the slogan is an abstraction of the message that everyone is connected through passion. It aims to emphasize the interconnectedness that each individual shares through their enthusiasm for winter sports, regardless of the discipline, age, and the manner in which they take part in the festivity. Tips for spectators For people interested in observing the games in real life, the experience begins with the purchase of the ticket, available on the official website of the PyeongChang Olympics 2018. Note that individual transportation will not be granted access into the venue sites of the games, and visitors will have to take a free shuttle bus from the four designated Park & Ride sites, only available for ticket holders. Another huge factor for visitors will be accommodations, and luckily there is a spectator guide provided by the official website that provides a detailed explanation of nearby cities where accommodations can be found. Not only is there a chart that indicates how far each location is from each venue in Pyeong chang, Gang neung, and Jeong seon, it also provides a link that specifies accommodation options available in each of these regions and their ratings. Furthermore, there is an additional reference through which visitors can access information regarding tourism in the area such as Temple Stay and Hanok (traditional Korean houses) Stay. A closely detailed spectator guide is provided on the offical website of PyeongChang Olympics 2018. (Photo Courtesy of PyeongChang 2018) Lee Changhyun

2018-01 01

[Special][Saranghandae] Global Stories of Hanyang University

Recently, Hanyang University is ranked 23rd place in Normalized Lens influence metric of Nature Index 2017 Innovation by Nature Publishing Group. This achievement is noteworthy in that Normalized Lens influence metric indicates that there is high connection between Hanyang’s high-quality research and the commercialization of new products and services. In other words, the higher the score, the more the paper is reflected in new technology development. Hanyang University not only takes an honor to be ranked 1st in nation, but also proves the world the pursuit of our founding principle ‘Application of Knowledge’. In 1970s, baby boomers in Korea went to overseas to financially support their families. The most widely known example is that they got jobs at mines and hospitals in Germany. This was the only international ties Korea has made with other countries at that moment. However, after Korea made economic growth, the way of interchange has changed. Human resources, the biggest power of development in the past, paved the new road for global interaction. So HYU’s scholarly recognition from different countries shows global aspect of both school itself and a nation. More and more international students from diverse countries choose to study at HYU and make their own global paths in Korea. Three international students of Hanyang University will share their stories. Be Special and Memorable “I liked that Hanyang University showed clear guidance for the application process and what students will learn at school.” said Julia Anna Nathalia Bärlund(Business Administration 16). Julia is from Finland, majoring in Business Administration in HYU and it is the second year now. Actually, this is not the first time for her to study in Korea. She went to Korean high school for one year as an exchange student in 2012 and that was when she learned her Korean language and culture. So during an interview for Hanyang International Scholarship Program (HISP) where she got the full scholarship, she could speak in Korean. She expressed her enthusiasm about her life in HYU saying, “I am part of Global Saranghandae and I am doing a project with other students to make a volunteer program in the Philippines this February.” “I am glad that there are programs that global students can take part in and hope to see more coming because 17% of HYU students are international students as far as I know,” added she. Sometimes she feels stressed with exams and the curved grading system, the one she can’t find in Finland, she is concentrating what she wants to do in the future. Julia is interested in environmental issues and thinking of being a social entrepreneur. “I got great ideas from a class about the new business environment. Every week, a different speaker form organizations or companies came and told his or her life story mostly about how he or she ended up doing the current job,” she said. She does not set her goals too specifically yet to leave the chances wide. She explained, “I even consider to become a diplomat. I am not sure what I will choose in the end but I am going to do what I want to do and make a living at the same time no matter what career path I choose.” Also, she observes the small difference in Korean society that more and more people care about their own unique life stories. Julia said, “It is very slowly and gradually changing but still it is a positive one. I think Koreans do know how to be up for themselves.” “However, I think a willingness to understand others is a key to being open. Understanding others’ opinions is more important than just having the same opinion,” she added. News Doors Open Ewout Pieter Emile de Vos(International Studies 15) is from the Netherlands and studying international relations in Department of International Studies. “As my mother was born in Korea, I wanted to know more about my Korean side. I have been really enjoying my life here and creating new opportunities,” said Emile. “When I sent an e-mail to Hanyang University, HYU was very responsive and friendly from the start. So I got a good feeling and I got accepted luckily and I am here now,” he added. Also, Emile got a full scholarship through HISP. He has had various work experience since he got into HYU in 2015. He worked in Hanyang’s Office of International Affairs and startup company and is currently doing his internship as a consultant. “If you are willing to adapt and learn, you can take a lot of opportunities. I met nice people and talking about my experience, the first impression I had towards other people was always wrong. So I think it is really important to be open-minded and have many conversations to know someone better,” said he. This is why he put emphasis on diverse discussions saying, “From an international student’s point of view, Korean students tend to form a lot of circles or friend groups and slightly feel afraid to stand out from the crowd.” He went on, “However a different individual has different qualities, so exploring yourself and focusing on what you are good at is getting really important these days.” To him being global means that people are gathering together in a harmonious way. Emile sees himself working in the consulting field after graduation because the work is suitable for him. Plus, managing a number of people and human relations is what he likes about the work. Then after five years, he hopes to do something else on his own regardless of the workplace. During his stay in Korea, however, he is going to make the most of his time. “I am used to balance my work and life since I am from the Netherlands and I try to fully spend my free time doing what I like to do. Korea is a beautiful country to go hiking and see landscapes. I can say Je-ju Island is my favorite place in Korea,” he said. Work Hard, Communicate Harder “You can call me Nina!” Nor Amanina Binti Ruslan(Industrial Engineering 15), a junior majoring in Industrial Engineering, said brightly. Nina is from Malaysia and her future goal is to become a businesswoman related to both Malaysia and Korea. Being asked why she chose Industrial Engineering as her major in HYU, she said “It is often said that engineers can do business but businessman cannot do engineering. I want to be a businesswoman who can do both so I am studying to have an insight on handling the system.” The economic and cultural growth of Korea inspired Nina with her goals. She expressed her surprise with the technology and well-organized system of Korea. “I am amazed that Korea became globally renowned country despite the geographical difficulties and lack of natural resources. Koreans are really hard-working people,” she said. She is a workaholic who feels more energetic and motivated when she is keeping herself busy. She has done a number of extracurricular activities that are directly related to communication such as Global Saranghandae, Shinhan bank ambassador, Malaysian Student Dance Crew, Malaysian Student Organization in Korea. Also, Nina could get a scholarship from Global Saranghandae and the scholarship offed by HYU for international students who get a high score from TOPIK, Test of proficiency in Korea. She said, “Studying at HYU is academically tense but I like to challenge myself and get a new experience. Going to the interviews and meeting new people taught me how to be independent.” She plans to work in Korea first and start her own business back in Malaysia. Nina sees a lot of potential in trade between Malaysia and Korea. As she set her main focus on business, she is printing some ideas on minds regarding trade plus service, specifically online service. She explained by saying, “In Malaysia, people do not really trust online service so it is not widely used yet. I want to build a platform that consumers can use without worries. Also, Malaysia is abundant with natural resources and Malaysian people love Korean products. I think I can find a network and make it productive.” Finally, Nina emphasized the importance of opening up one’s mind so that his or her capabilities can be newly found and used. “I think it is no harm to be more open-minded and speak out more. It takes courage but communicating with other people gives new thoughts and opens up new chances sometimes.” By Choi Mi-rae (Student Reporter)

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