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A Korean Speech Contest in Shandong

Posted November. 29, 2005 07:51,   


A total of 15 university representatives from Shandong, China majoring in Korean linguistics, and students that passed a preliminary match made up about 60 people who made the final stage of a speech competition in Shandong. Even so, they were sweating while memorizing their lines.

The stadium was brimming over with 500 or so Korean linguistics majors from Shandong who looked on.

The final selection required contestants to talk about the excellence of Korean culture and language.

“I thought that getting along with Korean friends by doing first rounds of spicy potato soup and soju, second rounds of downing beers, and third rounds of karaoke was great. Not only that, the fourth round of hot baths is left.”

The animated confessions of one student who experienced the alcohol culture of Korean university students received hearty applause. Participants could be seen decked out in traditional Korean costumes, or singing chestnut tunes and Arirang for their trump cards.

The grand prize for the two-and-a-half hour contest went to sophomore Liusha (20,•female) who chose to talk about “Small Peppers As Korea’s Excellence.”

She attested that the idiom “Small peppers are the spiciest” best befits Korea and said, “Korea is smaller than Shandong, but is the world’s biggest semiconductor-producing country, not to mention that Korea caught up with Japan’s 80-years of automobile history in just 40 years.”

She also added, “Such persistence and unity of Koreans were proved through the World Cup Games as well, and it’s something that we need to learn from ‘small pepper’ Korea.”

Liu gushed, “I’m so happy that I will be able to go to the Korea- an aspiration I’ve had,” and added, “I liked Korean television dramas and movies and was advised to learn Korean in order to get a job in a Korean company.”

The 10 prizewinners will be given a chance to tour Korea for 6 nights and 7 days. One judge of the contest, a Korean linguistics teacher at a language institute in Shandong, Lim Mi-sook, said, “In this year alone, two universities have already created a Korean linguistics major. The level of Korean proficiency of students is growing higher here due to the craze to learn Korean.”