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A fight for the right against the wrong

Posted December. 19, 2017 08:32,   

Updated December. 19, 2017 09:09


University professors have chosen “pa-sa-hyeon-jeong” as the four-character idiom of the year, which means a fight for the right against the wrong. According to a survey conducted by University News Network of 1,000 professors nationwide, 34 percent of the respondents chose this idiom. It portrays all the ups and downs of this year including the candlelight vigil of citizens who were enraged by the Choi Soon-sil scandal and the first impeachment of a president in the history of constitutional government.

Each year since 2001, the University News Network designates a four-character idiom that can illustrate the Korean society. “I-hap-jip-san (meeting and parting)” was selected for the year 2002, when political parties repeated getting together and dispersing, and “dang-dong-beol-i (groups uniting to attack others)” was chosen for 2004, when there was extreme political tension over transferring the administrative capital. From 2006, the newspaper announced four-character idioms at the beginning and the end of the year, which demonstrates the hopes of the new year and the reflections of the entire year, respectively. As life does not always turn out the way one plans, a four-character idiom that fell short of the expectations at the beginning of year 2017 was selected.

When comparing the four-character idiom that implies the hopes of the new year and one that ruminates the whole year shows how much the Korean society had gone through. “Hon-yong-mu-do (a chaotic world with no order)” was selected for 2015, when the Korean society seemed to be covered in darkness due to an incompetent president, and “gun-ju-min-su” was chosen for last year, which means that citizens are able to overturn a boat they set afloat for the king.

Coincidentally, “pa-sa-hyeon-jeong” had been selected as the four-character idiom for the new year at the end of 2012, which was after the 18th presidential election. This idiom was selected in hopes for the new president to uncover a series of alleged corruption, which broke out at the end of former President Lee Myung-bak’s administration. Now, the idiom reappeared again in five years. Indeed, the history repeats itself but a sense of bitterness is inevitable as it appears that the Korean society has not changed much.