It’s natural looking for something different when we’re young. Something that takes us out of the routine, awaken us up, make us feel the adrenaline and more importantly: to make us truly smile. But I needed to be a little bit different, all those feelings that made my heart beating more than ever, I needed to live them in all the moments in my life.
All of this became true in the moment that I bumped with the Korean culture. It was more than I asked for. That made me live day by day, with new dreams, knowing that I would learn a lot of new things. But I didn’t know that I could share this with other people. I didn’t know that there were more people who wanted to explore and get to know this new world just like me. I didn’t know that they wanted to dream more and to make it happen, even if the world was unknown. However, it was when I got into Korean school’s class room and to have been welcomed by my teacher, that my life was transformed in 3 words: Korea, Korean, KPOP.
Before I talk about this, I think it’s important to take a look on to how this started and what made me start those classes. The truth is that this was all because of KPOP, a music genre which I identify myself with and its different and catchy visual. But as the music opens up new horizons, everything progressed really fast and my interest increased around professional and cultural matters. With that, I needed something more that could connect me with Korean people and the country as well. That’s how I bumped with that school, that brings everything together and more than what I asked for.
Returning to the first point that made my heart complete with three things (Korea, Korean, KPOP), certainly my words will make envy to some people because of all the moments that are provided to learn and to show the best of what this culture has to offer. I would even say that it’s much more than the transmission of our teacher’s knowledge to her students. This is about sharing ideas, sharing histories, sharing dreams that make a simple relationship between teacher-student and student-student into a good team work. All together we can make it happen! And what? The Korean language, that’s different but interesting; the smooth calligraphy; a cuisine full of flavors; the hanbok that portrays history; the charming traditional dances; the music that is always there and some other curiosities like soap operas, television shows and, of course, some interesting legends depicting the Korean history and traditions. I just know that we’re opening our country to Korean culture and making people more willing to come to this world.
But, if we’re a team, my words will only make sense with my friend’s words. When we have little moments to share our ideas and feelings there are words that remain in my mind, from certain moments that we share between each other. We feel a small similarity between us even though we have our own differences. So, I will share some sentences with a lot of feelings:
“All of this started with Korean dramas and, at this time, what fascinated me the most was the language. I loved the word’s sound (…). I started to learn by myself, with some language learning websites until a friend told me about the Korean school. I didn’t think twice and I signed up (…). I like KPOP, the culture (…), the formality and the authenticity of the people and history behind the Asian culture.” (Vera Gomes)
“For me, starting to learn more about Korean culture (…) was to deepen and to increase respect and love for this culture. If it was only KPOP before, dramas and entertainment, now includes customs and traditions that are very dear to me and that made me someone that accepted better the cultural diversity." (Susana Oliveira)
"(...) Since I'm interested in Korea, having Korean classes made me being more aware of its history and to know how to appreciate their traditions and customs while learning their language." (Patrícia Batista)
“To me south Korea is much more than just KPOP, is understanding the culture, the people, the struggle and victories that the Koreans went through to become what they are today. In that way I’m learning the language so I can better understand South Korea, and hopefully one day I will not only be fluently in hangul but also a person aware of their culture (…) and everything good that korea was to offer.” (Ciana Miala)
“Before I started the classes, my knowledge about Korea wasn’t correct. So, in every class, I learn a lot of important things that will be significant for my future life in Korea. The classes are really good to explain to everyone what the wonderful Korea as to show to the world.” (Paulo Soares)
“I started learning Korean because I really liked Korean music and I wanted to be able to understand their lyrics and to sing along (…) I also have a Korean friend so I thought it would be nice if I could communicate with her in her native language. (…) Since I started taking the Korean classes, I was able to enjoy the Korean culture as a whole and not just about the language. What made this experience more joyful was to meet my teacher, that told us so many stories about Korea and to meet new friends that share the same interests as me. Learning together has been really fun!” (Carolina Bermejo)
So I can say that we put a lot of effort in this, so we hope we can reach more Korean culture fans, more Portuguese, other European people and Koreans too. Just like what was done to me. This with our Korean teacher. Without her, this would be impossible. Thank you so much teacher.