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Yellow ribbon campaign spreads fast through SNS

Posted April. 23, 2014 06:11,   


“We wish for a miracle.”

As many people wish for the safe return of Sewol ferry victims online and offline, a “yellow ribbon campaign” is rapidly spreading among the public.

Many Korean people joined the yellow ribbon campaign through social network services such as Kakao Talk and Twitter on Tuesday. People can participate in the campaign by using the image of a black ribbon on yellow background as a profile photo of their SNS accounts, such as Kakao Talk, Facebook and Twitter.

The origin of yellow ribbon campaign is that people used to tie a yellow ribbon round a tree wishing for the safe return of soldiers. A member of ALT, a union club of colleges that made the yellow ribbon image and started the campaign, said that the club started this campaign “to share the sufferings of families of missing people and encourage all Korean people to wish for their return.” ALT has been distributing yellow ribbons online and offline since last Saturday in order to encourage people’s participation.

With the rapid spread of the campaign, a rumor that “the yellow ribbon is copyrighted, thus those who use the image for their profiles may be fined 5 million won (4,800 dollars)” once circulated through SNS. But ALT confirmed that “it is not true” and “the yellow ribbon image that is currently used most as a profile photo on Kakao Talk is made by its members and free to be used.” Internet users said that the campaign “offers at least some consolation to families of the victims” and they hope “aspirations of all people make a miracle.”

The campaign is conducted offline as well as online. A group of about 60 college students organized through SNS including Facebook is to run the campaign offline. They will gather in front of the Seoul City Hall at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday and march through Shinchon Station handing out yellow ribbons they made to citizens, after which they will visit Danwon High School where many of the ferry passengers are from and Korea University Hospital in Ansan where many of the rescued victims are being hospitalized to work as volunteers.

Jeong Seong-gyu, a 22-year-old college student who organized this event, said, “I prepared the event to do whatever I can do for the families of the Sewol victims who are still missing… I hope the aspirations of more people to be delivered to the families of the missing people through this campaign.”

In Ansan where Danwon High School is located, a candlelight prayer meeting is held every day in hopes of the safe return of missing people. And the “candlelight of hope” is spreading nationwide to Seoul, Daegu and Busan.