Monday, November 24, 2008

제4회 한국어 말하기 대회


1400: Commencement

1401: Introduction of Judges
1405: Brief on the rules of competition by Chief Judge, Mr Choi Suk.

1410: First Session of Ten Contestants
1500: Tea Break
1515: Second Session of Ten Contestants
1600: Korean Traditional Dance by SKS Students

1615: Performance by Korean Singer - Lee An
1630: Lucky Draw
1645: Prize Presentation Ceremony
1700: End

Speech Contest

There are something worth noting about this contest. Firstly, the most coveted prize - 2 return air tickets to Korea were given out as first prize. Second prize winners each received a Samsung SGH-F480 touchscreen handphone. Secondly, there were foreigners among the 20 contestants and they are hailed from Myanmar, Malaysia and US. Lastly, the contest was made more lively, with pop music being played while the contestants made their way to the rostrum.

Anyway, among the speeches made, there were two which I listened with interest. The first was made by Contestant 17. She taught the audience 3 methods of getting free food in Korea. In order to understand why I find her topic interesting, one must first understand Singaporean's mentality. Our government has on many occasions painstakingly educated its fellow citizens that there is no such thing as free lunches and if you want something, you will have to pay for it. As such, we have to pay for 반찬 in some Korean restaurants in Singapore. So if you tell Singaporeans that there are freebies, most of our eyes will light up. To Singaporeans, free things are just simply 신기해요!

Here are 3 methods which I have noted:

1. Visit the "시식 코너" or Food Tasting Corner and eat to your heart's content.
2. If you are a girl, say this to a Korean guy: "오빠~ 밥을 사 주세요".
3. Or simply request to eat with the elderly and they will be more than happy to invite you for a free lunch.

The most touching speech of the day should go to Contestant 20.

He is a Korean American, born in Thailand but grew up in US. Life has not been kind to him; he grew up in the shadow of a broken family. He started learning Korean so that he could re-discover his Korean roots and better understand his motherland.

Performance and Lucky Draw

While waiting for the scores to be tallied after all the contestants had delivered their speeches, the audience was entertained by performances put up by the Singapore Korean School's students and the Singapore-based Korean Singer - Lee Ann.

Last year, students from the Singapore Korean School kept us entertained with their "Samulnori" performance. This year they were back again with Korean Traditional Dance. The audience burst into laughter when a boy danced with an exposed chest after failing to re-tie a loose knot. Poor boy, that would probably be one of his most unforgettable stage performance ever. Anyway, even without the 'chest-baring' episode. dance by those adorable kids was still very entertaining.

After the kids, it was singer Lee Ann's turn to keep the audience entertained. Lee Ann is no stranger to this event. He performed in the same speech contest two years ago. Then, he was only starting to establish his foothold in Singapore and the region. Today, he even has his own Singapore's fan club. It is good to see that he is slowing finding his success in this part of the world.

Lee Ann sang 3 songs. After he finished his third song, his fans shouted "encore". However, he told them cheekily that if they want to hear more, they would have to come back next year.

Next, was the lucky draw. Compared to previous years, there were a lot more prizes this year. I lost count of the number but there were definitely more than ten prizes worth about $100 each. The response from the sponsors was extremely good this year probably because the speech contest is linked to the Korea Festival 2008.

Among the audience, Korean kids showed the most excitement when they won. There was this group of Korean kids, who were standing at the upper tier of the auditorium, awaiting eagerly for the winning number to be called. Every time one of them won, the rest would cheer loudly.

Prize Presentation

For the uninitiated, the Korean has slightly more formality when it comes to presenting a prize or award. Prize receipient will have to walk to the front of the Guest-of-Honour and stand still while the content of his or her award certificate is being read out to the audience. Only after that, will the certificate be awarded.

Congratulations to all the prize winners.

The Rest of the Contestants

Group Photo

Working Staff

To all the SKS teachers who worked hard to made this contest a success: 선생님들 정말 많이 수고하셨어요.

Until next speech contest, goodbye!

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