Foreigners: Show us your hangul

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Foreigners: Show us your hangul

Hangul, the Korean script, is allegedly the only alphabet whose creator and date of origin are known. Last Thursday, Oct. 9, was Hangul Day, the 557th anniversary of the Korean alphabet’s founding by King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty (1392 to 1910). On Friday, foreigners and overseas Koreans are invited to celebrate by entering a hangul essay and poetry writing contest at Yonsei University in Seoul.
“We’re only looking for basic competence in grammar, because the judges will place more emphasis on your literary imaginative power,” says Hwang In-kyo, the contest organizer.
Themes are provided on the day of the contest. Last year’s themes were “a dream,” for poetry, and “a promise,” for essays. About 1,000 students from 68 countries took part last year.
The 700,000-won ($600) grand prize is awarded by Korea’s minister of culture and tourism. Ten runners-up receive consolation prizes.
The contest is open to foreigners who have lived less than eight years in Korea, or overseas Koreans who have been here less than five years. Contestants should arrive at Yonsei University’s Nocheon Theater before 10 a.m. Friday. For more details, call (02) 2123-3465.

by Chun Su-jin
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