Swedish-Korean photo contest spotlights the role of dads
The Embassy of Sweden in Seoul and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family have announced the winners of their joint photo contest, Korean Dads.
The joint contest had called for submissions of photos showing dads with children younger than eight, from May to July. The aim of the contest, according to the embassy, was to “highlight the positive role of Korean dads in Korean society and to promote the social consensus on fathers’ participation in parenting.”
A total of 1,055 photos were submitted, of which 13 were selected from a jury of experts on family policy and photographers.
“The entries expressing both happiness and hardship in the everyday life of parenting and the interaction between fathers and the children at home were prioritized,” said the Swedish Embassy in its statement.
The first-place prize went to Hwang Dae-yeon’s “Raising Twins: 2 Times Harder, 32 Times Happier.”
“Child-caring adds new value to life and motivates economic activity,” Hwang was quoted to have said by the embassy. “It also brings out rich feelings and emotions that cannot be felt by economic affluence.”
Second-place prizes went to Choi Sung-woo’s “Waterpark in My House” and Park Young-ku’s “You Think of Me, I Think of You.” Third-place prizes were awarded to 10 people including Lee Seung-yup, who submitted “Eat with Dad!” and Lee Dong-hoon’s “Magic Sketchbook.”
The first-place winner received 2 million won ($1,700) in addition to two round-trip tickets to Sweden. The two second-place winners will be awarded 1.5 million won each, and 10 third-place winners will receive 100,000 won each and Swedish gifts, according to the embassy.
The photos of winners will be exhibited in Seoul in October, along with works by Swedish photographer Johan Bavman.
“I am impressed to see that so many Korean fathers are actively participating in child care. Their stories really touched me,” said Swedish Ambassador to Korea Jakob Hallgren. “I was reminded of the special time when I took parental leave with my own three children. I hope the Korean Dads contest contributes to raise the awareness of gender-equal parenting and look forward to see the Korean and Swedish Dads exhibition in October.”
Minister for Gender Equality and Family Lee Jung-ok said in a statement, “It was very encouraging to see fathers engaging with their children and taking an active role in parenting through the Korean Dads contest. I expect that Korean-Swedish Dads exhibition will broaden the horizon for a sustainable and inclusive gender-equal nation for both current and future generations.”
Korea last year extended the paternity leave of fathers in Korea from three days to 10. Korean mothers are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave.
Swedish parents are entitled to 480 shared days of paid parental leave until the child turns eight, according to the Swedish government.
BY ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]