Srija Paul, a dedicated student at the Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI), has achieved a remarkable feat by securing the first place in the global Korean-speaking contest at the ‘2023 Sejong Hakdang Outstanding Learners’ Invitational Training Program.’ Her achievement marks her as the second Indian student to claim this prestigious award, following in the footsteps of Anubhuti Kakati in 2021.
The ‘2023 Sejong Hakdang Outstanding Learners’ Invitational Training Program’ was organized by the Sejong Hakdang Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. This event took place in Seoul, South Korea on October 10, 2023, and welcomed 168 learners from 67 countries across the world. Notably, the event coincided with the celebration of Hangul Day.
The theme of the speech contest was ‘My Dreams and Challenges in Korean,’ and it was Srija Paul who captivated the audience with her presentation on ‘Pursuing a Dream and Overcoming Challenges to Become a Singer in Korea.’
Srija’s journey into the Korean language was ignited by her passion for K-pop ballads, which inspired her to explore the intricacies of the language. In February 2023, she began her formal Korean language education by enrolling in the Sejong Hakdang program at the Korean Cultural Centre India.
Reflecting on her recent triumph, Srija Paul shared her elation, stating, “When they announced my name as the winner during the speech contest, I was overwhelmed with happiness and a profound sense of achievement. At that moment, I felt that I had taken a significant step closer to my dream. I am particularly excited about the opportunity for a language study program in Korea next year for the winners.”
In addition to the speech contest, participants enjoyed a diverse range of activities during their stay. These activities included visits to Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Yongin Folk Village, a traditional game performance at Namsadang, and even a visit to the Blue House, all while immersing themselves in contemporary Korean culture, including K-pop dance.
The Korean Cultural Centre India plays a pivotal role in promoting Korean culture by offering a diverse array of classes, including Korean language, Taekwondo, and traditional Korean percussion music, Samulnori. In the third semester of 2023, Sejong Hakdang is set to provide 18 offline and four online courses, catering to over 1,000 students.
Furthermore, the Centre extends its influence by deploying Korean language instructors to 32 schools, where they conduct classes in Korean language, Taekwondo, and Samulnori, thus contributing to the broader dissemination of Korean culture.
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