Crunch-time at KKonnect!

Time is winding down here at the Korea Daily headquarters. It’s almost time for our final submissions for the new English section of the monthly Korea Daily San Diego Magazine. Jini, Vong, Ivan, and myself, are all excited to introduce our (and a few other guest writer’s) work to those interested in Korean culture. The June issue will be out sometime during the first week of the month. I won’t get into too much detail about what is inside, but I will say that you should pick up a copy if you like Korean music or food. You can pick up a copy around Zion market for free.

Also, any of you who took a picture with us at the Asian Cultural Festival, keep a look out for your mugshot inside the magazine (and the awesome mutjin saram shirts). We’re here for you guys and we’re excited to share our interests with you.

It’s crunch time!

KKonnect Writers

Pansori at UCSD

It’s not an everyday event where a Korean cultural performance is showcased in an American university. On May 3rd, however, UCSD, students and faculty were able to gather at the Conrad Prebys Music Center in order to watch the Pansori Performance of Professor Chan Eung Park from Ohio State University. UCSD Professor Eun Yeong Jung from the Music department says that she invited the renowned Professor Park in order to spread the awareness of the Korean culture not just to the Korean-Americans of UCSD, but to anyone that finds themselves stumbling upon UCSD a Friday afternoon.

What is pansori? Professor Park describes Pansori as a musical performance that incorporates both singing and storytelling, in a nutshell. Pansori has recently even been proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Professor Park, however, deviates from the traditional pansori in that she does the storytelling in English! The piece that Professor Park performed this day was the “Heungbo-ga.” Many Koreans might be familiar with the story of the “Heungbo-ga” but at UCSD, everyone was mesmerized by the synergy effect of the dynamic plot and Professor Park’s voice.

Professor Park travels all around the country performing and holding different seminars and workshops related to Pansori. What makes her special is that she reaches out not just to Koreans, but to Americans and foreigners who may be completely new to Pansori or Korean culture. She not only introduces Pansori, but makes sure everyone enjoys it. This was apparent in the many positive reviews she received from the guests this day. UCSD graduate student Laura stated that “it was simply amazing. I am glad that she was able to mesh tradition with creativity to make this performance so fun and humorous.”

Professor Park was flooded with questions after the performance, but she was generous to answer every single question. She did not forget to briefly the history of Pansori and technicalities related to Pansori. The Pansori performance by Professor Park was undoubtedly successful. People commented that it was “refreshing” and lingered even after the performance was over in hopes to take a picture with Professor Park.

This was the first time such a performance related to Korean art was held. Professor Jeong added that it would be her goal to try to hold at least 4-5 events such as these in the future for UCSD students in order to further spread awareness of the Korean culture. 

Jini in Seoul!

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KKonnect reporter Jini is in Seoul for a few weeks! She will be updating her personal blog with photos and entries of all the things that she sees while roaming the streets of Seoul, Korea. Visit http://seejinisee.wordpress.com for updates! Feel free to ask any questions or make suggestions of what you want her to do while she is there. She might be able to squeeze in some more activities during the short stay…!

San Diego Asian Cultural Festival 2012

I Had a great time at the 3rd Annual San Diego Asian Cultural Festival at Liberty Station this last Saturday! We had a strong contingent representing Korean culture. The San Diego Korean Daily and our own kkonnect.net had a booth and was busy throughout the day spreading the word about Korean culture and offering select items like the unique tee shirts you can see people sporting in the photos below.

There were Korean martial artists, a Korean cooking class with Cathlyn Choi, and the colorful and impressive San Diego Korean Pungmui School. And that was just the Korean part! And I must say that everyone was respectful and pleasant throughout the day.

Be sure to put this on your calendar for next year!!

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Click here to see the rest of the photos

Asian Cultural Festival 2012

This last Saturday, May 12, in Point Loma, fellow “KKonnectors” and myself shook some hands and had some fun at San Diego’s 3rd annual Asian Cultural festival. Hopefully, my fellow readers, you had a chance to experience the fun for yourselves. Jini, Vong, and myself were sporting the mut-jin-sa-ram shirts (멋진사람) and some of you cool kids were able to get your hands on them as well. (If you didn’t get a chance to buy a shirt, we should be selling them online pretty soon). KKonnect shared a tent with KOWIN and The Korea Daily.

If you were able to stop by and say hi, or get a free sticker, you may have been lucky enough to play Korean Trivia with Jini and I. Questions included “What Korean food is this” or “How many members are in this K-Pop group” – pretty easy questions for lovers of K-culture. Winners of the game would get a free $10 gift certificate to “Fuze,” a new Mira Mesa based Korean fusion restaraunt (with a full bar, I might add). Losers, well there weren’t any losers really, we made sure that everyone got to have a good time playing trivia or just hanging out with us.

Even though I was hanging out at our tent most of the day, I was able to catch a glimpse of some great performances of various asian cultures. Unforunately, I can’t name them all. I really enjoyed the Japanese Taiko drumming, and the Tae-Kwon-Do (and other martial arts) demonstrations the most. I even got a chance to have some Lao noodles at one of the many food trucks that bordered the event.

If you didn’t have a chance to go this year, definitely get your butt out there next year. You will be rewarded with a lot of food, music, and cool performances that you don’t get to see in one place. It was free after all, so there is no excuse not to go (unless you don’t have gas money).

KAC’s First Industry Mentorship Program at UCSD

On May 3rd 2012, many of the Korean American students at UCSD were given the opportunity to connect with a mentor and form lasting bonds. The Korean Student Cultural Association at UCSD invited the Korean American Coalition to hold this Industry Mentorship Program and requested some of the adult mentors to visit UCSD to network with the college students. The mentors were professionals from seven different fields including Business, Finance, Law, Media, Engineering, Medical, and Politics. Round Table Pizza located at the Price Center of UCSD, which was the location where the mentorship program was held, was packed with Korean American students seeking mentorship in their respective fields.

Both the mentors and mentees entered Round Table with hopeful excitement. The president of KAC, Tae Yoon Kim stated he is looking forward to how students will take advantage of this occasion. He stated that this is an opportunity for the mentees to receive personal attention and get help to successfully get where one wants to go in the future. UCSD student and mentee Soo Wook Kim exclaimed that he was at first unsure what to do, but now has gained confidence through having intimate chats with the mentors.

The San Diego chapter of the Korean American Coalition was founded over five years ago with the purpose of gathering power for the minority and becoming advocates for the community. Former president of KSA John Pak says that KAC was founded on the principles of recruiting a diverse group of Korean American 1.5 or 2nd generations and helping them transition to the professional societies. The goal is to gather power for the Korean American minority so that they can become advocates for the Korean interests in America. For example, to increase the percentage of Asian American voters, KAC has held voter registration drives in front of Zion market. The Industry Mentorship Program is one of KAC’s regular events that attract potential entrepreneurs, politicians, lawyers, financiers, and much more.  John Pak has concluded that the priority of this mentorship program and KAC is ultimately to encourage the future generation so that they can become strong fighters that believe in themselves.

Many students showed up for this mentorship program. One side of Round Table Pizza was completely packed with KAC members and participants. Current president Tae Yoon Kim says that ike it was merely the first meeting. Kim added that he hopes students realize that they are the next leaders of the next generation. He says he feels it is his and the mentors’ responsibilities to mature and nourish these mentees and prepare them. We look forward to future events of KAC and its positive effects on our San Diego community.