People with Different Nationalities and Cultures Communicate in Korean
- The 18th Korean UCC Festival for Foreigners was held.
- Li Chengcheng’s “I Like It,” a humorous take on his experience
when he first came to Korea, won first prize.
The 18th Korean UCC Festival for Foreigners, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the King Sejong Institute Foundation and hosted by the Korean Language Center (KLC) of KU Institute of Foreign Language Studies, was held on October 11th (Friday) in Inchon Memorial Hall on campus. This annual festival is a contest where foreigners or overseas Koreans make videos in Korean on a given theme and compete for prizes based on the artistry and creativity of their videos. This year, the contest received 62 entries from 28 countries. Seven finalists from the Philippines, China, Germany, Thailand, Canada, and India were selected and screened as part of the festival.
The festival kicked off with a beautiful performance by K-pera Lin, a fusion Korean traditional music group. In his speech, Song-Chol Park, a Korea University professor and the director of the Institute of Foreign Language Studies, said: “This event is an opportunity for us to share videos in Korean made by creators all over the world and to commemorate Hangul Proclamation Day. Thanks to 62 entries sent from 28 countries, we have an abundance of stories to share.”
Hyun-Hwa Kang, the president of the King Sejong Institute Foundation, celebrated the event by saying, “Now we live in a world where you can easily communicate with people living on the other side of the globe. The videos made in Korean by people from countries that do not speak Korean will help us better understand the diversity of culture and the importance of communication.” Kyongjun Chang, the Director of the Korean Language Center, said, “The Korean UCC Festival for Foreigners is an annual event that offers people from different countries who speak Korean a chance to share their culture and communicate with others no matter where they live. The festival will gain in stature as an important and meaningful event that connects Korea to the world.”
The judges for finalists included President Kang of the King Sejong Institute Foundation, producer Geon-Sik Park at MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation), professor Ji-Hoon Park of the School of Media at Korea University, KLC Director Chang, and TV personality Terris Brown. After the judges were introduced, the finalists were screened.
The permanent theme for the competition was “Let Me Introduce Where I Live!” and this year’s theme was “I like it,” a phrase so familiar to today’s social media users. The participants chose one of the two themes. Each of the 7 finalists were showcased to the audience, who gave each entry a big hand.
The first video was “I like It” by Jeremiah Magoncia, a Filipino student at K-Arts. In his video, Magoncia asked various people what they like and filmed their answers to talk about the I-like-it culture, in which you can acknowledge and compliment others’ preferences even when those are different from your own preferences.
The second video was “I like being a Joseonjok (an ethnic Korean descendant in China)” by Zuipeng Yu, who works at the Cultural Center of the Consulate of South Korea in Shanghai, China. This video follows a three-day journey into Joseonjok communities in China, exploring their customs and culture.
The third video “I like It” by Andreas Schmitt at Korean Centre “Sejong” in Germany is about his skateboard trip in Germany. This video delivers the message that skateboarding is similar to our life.
“Kanzanaburi, Thailand” was made by Worada Toomchee at Silpakorn University in Thailand. In the video, Toomchee decides on impulse to seize the day and go on a trip to his hometown Kanzanaburi with his friend to escape from the stresses of his daily life.
“I’m Starting to Like Living and Studying in Korea” created by NOLZA!, a theater group of international students at Busan University of Foreign Studies, depicts how international students who faced difficulties in adjusting to campus life in Korea learn Korean culture and slowly get used to the new environment.
Annie Wang at Korean Education Centre in Canada (KEC) made a video titled “I’m Living My Korean Life!” showing her encounters with and experiences in Korean culture living in Toronto, Canada.
The last video screened was “The Sea...” by Prateek Srivastava from India. In this video, Srivastava shows people he met and things he experienced during his trip to Korea for soul-searching, and shares lessons he learned from the trip.
It was a very close race between the 7 finalists. Producer Geon-Sik Park, one of the judges, provided comments on each entry and announced the winners. Park said that the winners were selected based on the videos’ visual quality and the creators’ Korean language proficiency.
Finalists who did not win any awards received participation prizes and cash prizes. Jeremiah Magoncia at K-Arts was awarded the Prize for Best Actor/Actress (The Director of the Institute of Foreign Language Studies Award). Andreas Schmitt from Germany received the Prize for Best Director (The Director of the Institute of Foreign Language Studies Award). Prateek Srivastava from India and Worada Toomchee from Thailand shared Third Prize (The Director of the Institute of Foreign Language Studies Award). Annie Wang, the director of “I’m Living My Korean Life!” received Second Prize (The President of the King Sejong Institute Foundation Award). And First Prize went to Li Chengcheng from the international students’ theater group NOLZA! at Busan University of Foreign Studies, who made “I’m Starting to Like Living and Studying in Korea.”
In his acceptance speech, the Grand Prize winner Li Chengcheng said that the first thing that crossed his mind when he saw the theme “I like it” was the time he first came to Korea and that he wanted to show in a light-hearted and humorous way his experiences as an international student who just came to Korea and faced cultural difficulties but who came to enjoy his new campus life.