|▲ The silent protesters are making sure President Han to read the messages on their boards.|
/Photograph by Yang In-hyeok
Dongguk University marked its beginning in 1906, and since then it went on to build its reputation not only as a Buddhism-oriented university, but also as one of the top universities in Korea. In the recent 2006 it reached the 100th year milestone, and today it celebrated its 110th anniversary.
The event started off at 11:00 A.M. with the opening ceremony, and led on to the introducing of special visitors. Shortly after, President Han Tea-sik (Bogwang) took over to give his speech. “If the last 110 years of national historical studies were our glorious history, the next 110 years will be the time for us to leap towards the international society as a global university.” Spoke the President. He also made his dedication towards the audiences by stating “It is sure to be a bumpy road but if the professors, staffs, students and the 25 thousand Donggukians, 10 million Budhists unite as one our ambition will most definitely come true.”
During the speech, the President lost the attention of many crowds when a group of students stood up to engage in a silent protest. With masks indicating that they had no intention of making any disturbance to the President’s speech, they held up boards which read “Jogye-order take responsibility of the president crisis” and “Guarantee autonomy in the university.” In less than three minutes the silent protest was put to an end by a group of securities.
The rest of the event was proceeded without delay, including award presentation to the guests who held long attendances at the annual anniversaries, a celebration singing by Kim Su-young, a famous musical actor, and was ended up with a closing ceremony.
The President’s department team explained to the students outside the Main Hall “If the students have told us about the silent protest earlier we would have made some adjustments to come up with a peaceful compromise.” However the students denied the idea that they hold the responsibility to inform the school about the protest beforehand and stated their disappointments when they were banned from entering the Main Auditorium. “This kind of actions that make us feel deprived from the school is what makes us so angry” said one of the students.
Meanwhile, President Han Tea-sik is opening a mega-exhibition, commemorating the 110th anniversary. From today, 6th of May, to the 10th of June, the mega-exhibition will be held in the special gallery at the 2nd floor of Dongguk University Museum, in the theme of “Yu Shi Ah Moon – the road of enlightenment.”
The main attraction at the exhibition is most likely to be the oldest existing woodblock-printed Tripitaka Koreana, which has been brought back to Korea after 600 years of absence, as it is currently in possession of Otani University of Japan. Along with that, the oldest existing hand-written materials in Korean alphabets will also be shown to the public for the first time ever.
Yang In-hyeok firstname.lastname@example.org
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