Friday, October 03, 2008


"Gochujang" (Nickname of my Vietnamese classmate. The actual meaning of the word in Korean is chilli pepper paste) wanted to show me something. "예쁘죠?", she asked while showing me photos of her in Asiana air stewardess's uniform. She was ostensibly very pleased with her look in the photos.

Gochujang was one of the 20 finalists in the Inaugural Kumho Asiana Vietnam Undergraduate Korean Language Speech Contest (제1회 금호아시아나 베트남 대학생 한국어 말하기대회). The event was held earlier this year on July 3 at the Daewoo Hotel Hanoi. The Hanoi TV was on location to broadcast the event which was witnessed by a full-house capacity crowd. Gochujang emerged from the contest as one of the third prize winners.

All 20 finalists were sponsored on a one-week trip to Korea. One of the places they visited was the Asiana's air crew training centre - the place where Gochujang had her make-over photos taken. For coming in as one of the six winners, she also receives a scholarship which will pay for her university's tuition fee until her graduation. The fully-sponsored 3-week summer course at Kyunghee is also part of her prize.

Limited by her petite frame, Gochujang is resigned to the fate that she will never become an Asiana's air stewardess. But she has since made up her mind to become a Korean language teacher. Her participation in the speech contest is a turning point. I bet she will be a good Korean language teacher in future because internally, she is already a "Korean".

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"Gochujang" (standing row, 10th from left) is a 3rd prize winner.

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Full-house capacity crowd and media coverage from the Hanoi TV.

The 4th Singapore Korean Language Speech Contest, jointly organised by the Republic of Korea Embassy and the Singapore Korean School, is scheduled to take place on November 22, 2008 (Saturday) at the RELC International Hotel from 2-5pm. Registration period is between Oct 13 and Oct 29.

The Singapore speech contest may be a smaller-scale event with lower prize value but I think the true worth of participation remains unchanged. It could well be a turning point in life for some. I cannot quite express the exact feeling because its kinda nebulous. You will probably have to experience it first-hand to understand what it is like. I have no doubt that Gochujang will agree with me that the speech contest is our turning point. 꼭 한번 해 보세요. 결국은 그 전에 모르는 의의를 분명히 잘 알게 될 거예요.


  1. argh! this year's singapore korean speech contest is held on my birthday!~

    How come?! I thought it's always during the 1st sat of october every year?

  2. hello (: yup I'm waiting for them to reply to my application.

    I probably sound mad, but I decided that I really hated what I'm studying in uni right now. So actually I went to apply for withdrawal on monday.

    I'm sure that's the correct decision, and after reading about the experience of your Vietnamese friend, I am more inspired. (:

  3. alison, who told u that it is always the 1st sat of oct? last year, the contest was held on the 1st sat of nov and you were there too. tsk tsk... anyway, isn't it good that the contest date is also your birthday? if you do participate, it will be something u will remember for a long time. ^^

    hangukdrama, you don't sound mad, you sound rich$$ :) average singaporeans would be too concern abt their future to make such decision. but u r more likely to excel in thing that u like doing provided u can sustain yr interest. 파이팅!

  4. Annyong haseyo....equinox ssi...
    Do you know the registration date of the speech contests?

  5. Hello Apple, I don't have the details. You may wish to call Victoria (Singapore Korean School's Admin Staff) at 6741-0778 or drop her an e-mail:

  6. Thanks for your email address. Victoria emailed back and informed that the registration would start next week and she asked me to prepare the script.


  7. Apple, all the best. Fighting!