Why Korea?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

This is a question I have received countless of times from different people, at first even my family. They were all curious and surprised as to how and why I had so much passion for a country and its culture which transgressed to music, food, drama and even history. They were astounded at the level of commitment I put into learning a language that I might not even get to make use of in my faraway country in the west of Africa where the likelihood of coming across a Korean was slim to none.

And I say to them because I love it, because I have passion for it and because to me it isn’t just a hobby, rather it has manifested into a lifestyle. I gush about how similar my culture is from the Korean culture and how fascinating it is to me. Here are two countries miles and miles away from each other, you would think them to be different for the most part but the odds of them being so similar are baffling. You realize that we may look different but underneath we are the same and we have a lot to learn from each other. This open-minded disclosure gets most people surprised and peaks their interest wanting to know more.

All the questions people kept asking me made me to ask myself why I was so much in love with Korea. It wasn’t the first language I started learning, nor was it the first foreign film I watched or even the first foreign music I listened to. So why did I develop such proclivity for this country? At this point you might expect to read my revelation, however I am still trying to figure out the answer. One thing I can tell you for sure though is that I cannot imagine my life otherwise. My love affair with all things Korean has led me to experience and be a part of so many amazing things. I have had the pleasure of meeting like-minded people some of whom are dear friends to me now, I have become part of a community of people all over the world who share a passion and find creative and articulate ways of expressing it, inspiring me to do the same.

My mom told me recently how proud she is for what I have achieved so far in my language learning and how she applauds my level of zeal and commitment. This made me truly happy and gave me a lot of motivation.

Before Korea, I wasn’t too sure of what I would do after University, whenever people spoke about the age-old “5 year or 10 year Plan” I was left helpless. But now, I know exactly what I want to be doing and luckily for me I have come up with a plan that not only allows me to continue experiencing and expressing the Korean in me but also incorporating my other interests. Before Korea, I didn’t push myself to try things outside the box but now I find myself enjoying ddeokbokki and Haemul Pajeon, I even tried octopus the other day. Here I was, a girl who grew up hating seafood but now enjoying it like the average person. All this being said, when next I am asked why Korea, I think my response will start with Why Not?




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