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The Debut of The South Korean Garlic Girls at The Olympics

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The South Korean Garlic Girls

Curling is one game that is rising in popularity across the world and especially in South Korea where the “Garlic Girls” have given it a whole new look. It is a game with the least resources in South Korea regarding participation and training facilities.

Nevertheless, the Southern Korean Curling Girls went out of their way to create an exemplary achievement at the Olympics in PyeongChang. Despite the heavyweights who have tasted the Olympics finals twice, like Sweden and Canada, they managed to scoop a silver medal.

The Garlic Girls (a nickname) are known to have a personality of their kind unlike many other athletes in the field. They are media evasive and hardly do they give in to the public frenzy. Their character inclines widely on their personal choice and the will of the coach.

The South Korean Garlic Girls

They cocoon from external excitement by switching off their phones. The nature of their game dictates the discipline because it is both a physically and psychologically demanding game. Being away from the public reduces the demanding pressure because of their rising popularity.

The Curling team

The first recruit in the game, Kim Eun-Jung, recruited her close friend Kim Yeong –mi. Yeong –Mi recruited her sister. The last recruit was Kim Cho-hi. Cho-hi had a dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher though Curling took it away.

She has not given up the dream, and today she partners with other organizations like World Vision to support the less fortunate children. She desires to see children who come from a less wealthy background like herself live a better life.

 

Kim-Hyuna, The Icon Of K-Pop In South Korea

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Kim-Hyuna, The Icon Of K-Pop In South Korea

Kim Hyuna is a singer, dancer, songwriter, and model based in South Korea. She was born on 6th June 1992 in the capital city of SA, Seoul. She has spent her whole life around the performing arts, and especially after her undergraduate. She is one of the most flourishing young artists in South Korea with an international outlook.

She went to Choongman Middle school and later joined Korea High School of Music and Arts. Having chosen the path of music, she enrolled at Konkok University to pursue Contemporary arts. Records have it that Hyuna received a special admission in the same school.

Kim-Hyuna, The Icon Of K-Pop In South Korea

Career

She got into the music arena in 2006 where she joined Wonder Girls, a group that is managed by JYP entertainment as the main Rapper.  She hit the platform with a mini album “The Wonder Begins” which was released in February 2007.

Following the disbandment of Wonder Girls in 2009, Hyuna joined 4 minutes in the same year shortly before she began her single career in music in 2010. She was proud of her goals in the single career path, and she branded it “Performance Oriented Music.”

One of her best performing singles is “change” which ranked second at the Gaon digital Chart in 2010. Her first extended play, “Bubble Play,” 2011, attracted more than 2.5m copies sales also making her the first K-pop female musician to click the 100 million views on YouTube in 2012.

She has collaborated in with Jong Hyun- Seung to make Trouble Maker. She’s been in the trio, Triple H, which released an Extended Play 199x. The duet that produced the hit Gangnam Style was part of her contribution as well.

 

 

 

 

Jiha Moon, The Famous Contemporary Artists

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Jiha-Moon

Jiha Moon was born in 1973 in Daegu, South Korea. She has based her international art in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is widely into the heart of painting in the world through her unique approach of using a variety of media from diverse cultural and historical backgrounds.

Ideally, Moon makes collections of the Eastern (China, Japan, and other countries in Asia), and finally, blends with the Western sources to express the in-depth composition of world’s stories. In these collections, she carefully infuses technology, racial approaches, and folklore.

Education

Jiha Moon is a scholar on matters of fine art. She graduated from Korea University with a degree in Fine Arts. She later mastered in Fine arts and Western Painting, at Ewha Womans University. Moon crowned her education with a Masters of Arts in painting at the University of Lowa in the United States.

Jiha-Moon

Work

She specializes in painting, printmaking, and sculptural ceramics objects. She uses sophisticated techniques like the acrylic prints with Korean paper to bring out the best two and three-dimensional paint finishing. Besides, she uses a variety of fabric, embroidery, and print collage to intensify perfect final products.

Jiha Moon has worked at headlands center of the Arts, Omi International art Center, Mac Dowel Colony, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion.

Exhibitions

Moon has many exhibitions on record both the solo and group exhibitions; the solo exhibitions include cheekwood Botanical Garden, “Double Welcome: Most Everyone’s Mad Here,” at Taubman Museum and Hasley Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Art in Nashville, etc, to mention a few.

Awards

Among many other honors, Jiha Moon has been awarded Trwak Prize, Joan Mitchelle Foundation, and Museum of Contemporary Artist Georgia, etc.

 

 

Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas’ First Female Prime President

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Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas' First Female Prime President

She was nominated to be the first Prime Minister of South Korea by the President, Roh Moo-hyun, following the resignation of Lee Hae-chan. She served as the Prime Minister for 11 months and resigned on April 2007. She is a graduate of Ewha Woman’s University in French Literature.

She is a vibrant woman who attempted to run for presidency though she did not succeed the presidential nominations. Before being appointed as a Prime Minister, she was a member of the United New Democratic Party. Her role in the party played a significant part in her nomination as PM.

Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas’ First Female Prime President

After she resigned from being the Prime Minister, she was elected as the chairperson of Democratic United Party. She led the DUP which was the opposition party, where she pushed for reforms for the newly formed government. She later stepped down due to political pressure and opposition.

Her role as the first female PM made her get recognized. She remains to be a key influencer to many women who are afraid to lead. She is a powerful leader and a vibrant person as illustrated by the role she played as a Prime Minister and a leader of the opposition.

Despite Hang being a great influence and fighting for women to be recognized, she was sent to prison. In 2012, she was accused of obtaining money illegally and was imprisoned for two years. She faced a major fall in her political career as she could not participate in politics for the next 10 years. Han is a great influencer who motivates women not shy away from politics, but dominate.

Shin Kyung –Sook First Korean Writer to Win The Man Asian Literary

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Kyung-Sook-Shin

“Please Look after My Mother” is the first novel to be nominated in the Man Asian Literary Prize from South Korea. Shin Kyung –Sook, the author stands to be the first Female writer and national to be named for the same prize.

The book is one deep experience of evoking emotions of sadness and almost grief and uncertainty. The skillful approach of the second person narration easily makes the reader transpose personal life to the experience in the novel.

Kyung-Sook-Shin

One would ask, do you know your mother? The rhetoric hits the children of Park So-nyo when she vanishes at the Seoul station someday on her way to see her children. The first born daughter, the eldest child too, launches the search in vain.

The book stretches your imaginations to all limits of disclosure to your inner self. It hits a rubber bullet to your conscience, and indeed, you learn that everyone has a saga within them. At the same time, you feel the extent of a mother’s love.

Through the children trying to define their mother, you learn the dynamics of the culture and customs of South Korea as the mother fends from the village to come and supplement her children in the city.

Please Look after My Mother is set for nominations in 35 countries. The book has sold 1.93 million copies so far and is yet to be published in 32 countries. The author Kyung soon- Shin is one in a million in the styles she uses and the relationship between characters that she builds in the book.

Lee Hyo-Jung –Badminton Olympic Championship

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Lee Hyo-Jung

Lee Hyo- Jung was born on 13th January 1981 at Basun South Korea. She is a renowned badminton player who began her exemplary performance at Haksan high school. Throughout her life, she has dedicated her course to the Badminton court and won many matches within and without Asia.

Back at high school, Lee won several junior championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the Germany Junior tournaments. She partnered with Woul Sik to win the Girls Doubles (bronze medal). She too partnered with Chri Min-ho and secured themselves silver medal.

Lee Hyo-Jung

In the Asian championship doubles, Lee together with Yim Kyung –Jin won a gold medal. At the age 0f 19 years, Lee took part in the Sidney Olympics where she partnered with Yim in the women’s doubles and Lee Dong-Soo in the mixed doubles. Lee and Yim were defeated in the second-round, while Dong was defeated in the first round.

She continued to win many other tournaments and championships including in 2008 where She and Lee Kyung –won bet Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen at the semi-finals and Du Jung Yu Yang at the finals of the All England Open Championship. It was her first time to grab that title.

The same year at the Beijing Summer Olympics she won a gold medal in partnership with Lee Yong- dee. In 2010, in the Russia games, Lee with Shin Boek Cheol won the women double. Lee declared her retirement for active sports the very year.

South Korean “Birth Strike”- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

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South Korean "Birth Strike"- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

While many other countries in the third world are in fear of the rapid population increase, the Government of South Korea spends more than $70 billion on unsuccessful campaigns to encourage its citizens to let the “birth strike” go and bear more children.

The chief statistician of Gangneung, Dae seong Jeong says the country is at risk of future low economic productivity because of the increase of the elderly and low birth rate. The dependency ratio on the welfare will create a strain on the working population. He adds that there is a 7.3% drop in birthrate in the past one year which is a clear indication of the looming danger.

South Korean “Birth Strike”- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

But then, where did the rains begin to beat? The 22-year-old Yun-seol Choi attributes the “birth strike” to the high cost of university cost and the housing. Generally, she says the cost of living is unfavorable and makes children a luxury like a Porsche.

From other reliable sources, men in South Korea spend very little time with their children leaving the women to task. Women end up carrying a double burden at their workplace and home. They get discouraged because of the lack of support from their spouses.

Yun- shick Chae has a contrary opinion and feels “birth strike” is an act of selfishness and negligence of civic responsibilities. He urges the women to sacrifice for the country and give birth. It irritates him to see the newly wedded shelving the idea of having children.

Single Mothers In South Korea Struggle To Remove Social Stigma

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Single Mothers In South Korea

Being a single mother in South Korea is an experience you would not wish to encounter. In the 1980s children were sent for adoption abroad; 90% of them were from the unmarried mothers. The communities in South Korea have become too conservative to accept the presence of single mothers.

Testimony from Choi Hyung –Sook is evidence enough of what you are likely to face as a single mum in South Korea. Her family cut ties with her and bonding again has not been a walk in the park. She had to quit her job because of the underground talks.

Single Mothers In South Korea

According to Shannon Heit, who was adopted by American parents after her grandmother gave her out when her mother had gone to work, she feels it is disgusting to value other parents with more money to raise your child.

The Deputy Director for the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family says the government has expanded its budget to create more awareness campaign to alleviate social prejudice against the single mothers.

Ironically, according to Heit, the government of South Korea offers twice the financial support to domestic adoptive parents than the single biological mothers.

There is a need for the cultural and government support to create a conducive environment for the single mothers to raise their children. The children need to be happy like any others in South Korea. Choi hopes that one day the society will appreciate the fact that raising the child alone is a personal choice.

Choi and Heit have taken leading roles in the awareness campaigns through rallies and celebrating the single women’s day.

Jun Ahn The Self-Portrait Photographer

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Jun Ahn

Jun Ahn is a professional photographer with a rich education background in photography. Jun has many years of experience working both in New York and South Korea.

Education

Jun acquired her first degree in Art History at the South California University in 2006. She continued to pursue her post-graduate degree at Pratt Institute where she began her project; the Self-Portrait.

2009-2011, Jun acquired a Dean’s scholarship from Parsons The New School of Design. In 2011, she acquired both the Dean’s and departmental scholarships. Parson Awarded Ahn Jun a masters in fine arts (honors) which gave her the mileage to pursue a Ph.D. in photography at Hongik University, Seoul.

Jun Ahn

She has had her introductory joint exhibition at PS 122 with Kazue Taguchi in New York.

The journey of self-portrait began in Pratt when she was still a student. She took a photo of her feet while seated at the edge of a building. It excited her, and she pushed on thereafter.

Ahns photos center on Invisible Seascape, Self-Portrait, and Float. She seeks to get legitimacy to access the buildings, and at times, it takes months. She agrees that it is dangerous to take the photos from the top buildings though she tries to play safe at the same time.

Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

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Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

The young violinist was born in 1995 in Seoul, South Korea. She is a great and renowned violinist who has gained momentum due to her aficionado in violins. She obtained the first prize as the winner in Queen Elizabeth Competition in 2005 that was held in Brussels.  She studies at the Korea National Arts University with Yun Kim.

Lim young has always become successful in numerous other competitions. After she became the second runners-up in the 2011 International Violin Competition Henri Marteau, Ji won the 2012 Japan’s Ishikawa Music Award.  She also performed exemplary in the Concerto Competition which was held at Korea’s International Great Mountains Music Festival. Similarly, she succeeded at International Eurasia Music competition in the year 2013 in Japan. She couldn’t fail to show her expertise in playing the violins at the Indianapolis music competition where she got a Mozart and MIMC prize.

Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

The professional in general has performed in Belgium, Germany, United States, Korea, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Joell Smirnoff, and Maxim Vengerov.

What happened in the 2005’s Queen Elisabeth competition was weird and amazing at the same time. At the time of prize announcements for the violinists, her name got misheard which made a fellow competitor by the name Lee Yoon to get the prize but unfortunately, for her Lim Young was the real winner hence she got the prize which was inclusive of twenty-five thousand Euros. In that same prize, she was offered a loan of four years of “Huggins” Stradivarius violins, Antonio Stradivari explicitly made that in 1708 who was a violin expert by then.

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