It is my pleasure to introduce this year’s winners of the 17th Annual English Essay Contest. There were many very good essays submitted and it was difficult to choose only three of them as the winners. The essay committee picked three controversial and relevant questions this year as the subjects for the essays: why do you think more and more college students are cohabitating; why you think Koreans are stingy in making donations to those in need; and which should be more advantageous to the development of Korea, unicultural or multicultural? The winning essay speaks frankly about cohabitating both the advantages and complications. The second place essay clearly identifies the three main reasons why many Koreans hesitate to give money to needy strangers. The third essay addresses the issue of multiculturalism and the benefits of a more open and diverse view towards immigrants to our country.
The essays are very original in style and content. Because of the complexity in the subject there may be one or two small mistakes but that is natural of course, and does not take away from the effort and over-all quality of the work. Donggukians should be very proud of the quality of the compositions that were submitted. The prizes were: first prize ? 500,000 won and recognition of achievement from President OhYoung-kyo, second prize ? 300,000 won and recognition of achievement, and third prize ? recognition of achievement. The three winning essays are as follows:
1. Why do you think more and more college students are cohabiting?
Would you buy something that a great impact on your life without any trials?
No doubt, you will try something when you consider whether to have a something or not; buying clothes, foods, even for a pen. To be sure about our decisions, we are willing to try something as many as we can. If we should try something for making good decision, how much more should we try for choosing a person who will live with us permanently!
Once I stayed in a room with one of my best friends when I was in abroad. At first, everything seemed working well. We did many things together and she sometimes was a good solace to me after my work. But as days wore on, the differences between us had appeared, we used to argue a lot even for a matter of no importance and then we decided to live separated. We could be the best friend for each, we couldn't be the best-room-mate. In short, I would like to emphasize trial is the best way to know how something is suitable or not. Some to my experience, many students are cohabiting and there are some reason why they do that.
At first, in a point of economic, they can save some money than in a case of they live alone. The cost of accomodation, foods, bills ..etc. They don't need to pay all that they use very few times. One thing they need is to know how much money is paid by each person.
The second, we wanna be with someone who is close to us. One of my cousin told me he got married because he and his wife wanted to be together what ever they did. Like married people, we like to be with someone who is interesting to us.
The third, they can save time, because they don't have to go out for a date a lot. They can watch DVD in a room as if they were in a cinema, talk with coffee like a cafe in a room. Not only saving money also save times if they do thing in a room instead if going out.
As I wrote at first, we should better to try before making a big decision. The cohabiting could be a good activity to know one's ideal person for the marriage. Also it can be good for a student who is short of time and money but having someone in mind.
2. Why do you think Koreans are stingy in making donations to those in need?
Something we do not need to miser on.
There would be a lot of reasons why koreans are not generous in making donations, but I am going to focus on only three things. Following are the reasons I think why Koreans do not donate their money to the people who need some help.
First thing I would like to say is that Koreans usually only care about the people around them. They really try to help their family, friends and even friends' family members but that is not the case for someone who is not directly related to them. Korean people think it is natural to give someone help, even financial aid, to people around them when they are in need. However, they do not really pay attention to the difficult situation. Others are handling no matter how big or serious that problem is. That is why Koreans do not make donations, as I think.
Another thing! Korean people have been exposed to some negative images of the people who donate a gigantic amount of money. We, Korean people, have seen many people who spend their money on some charity work only to pretend to be nice, haven't we? Like some politicians, some people seem to make donations almost every year but that happens only at the end and the beginning of the year. Also, it looks like they spend a lot of time with the people who need some help, but all they do is just take one picture. Those pretentious people influence most of other Koreans, of course, in a bad way.
Last but not least, Koreans have tendency to get financially prepared for the future. They save their money in the savings account because they do not really know what to come to their life. Therefore, Korean people simply choose not to give some of their money to a charity organization, rather, they just go to bank and deposit the money into the bank account. That way, they feel secured and well-prepared for the unexpected situation.
Mentioned above, Koreans have been stingy in making donations, but the situation has surely been changing now. These days, Korean people really broaden the concept of 'we', which leads to the new perspective of "the people around me". Also, they encounter a lot of celebrities who have been working on some charity works for a long time. That makes them re-think about the donation itself. Then the government also tries to boost the donation by giving tax refund to those who generously donate their money to those who generously donate their money to the people in need.
I personally hope that more and more Koreans get involved in donations, and the government and the media try to figure out how they can make that happen. Of course, it will take Koreans some time to change their mind. However, I would like to believe that it is not going to be difficult to just twist what they have been sticking to.
3. Which should be more advantageous to the development of Korea, unicultural or multicultural?
Benefits of Multicultural Society
When people think of Koreans, they may come up with dark hair, light brown skin and brown eyes. Nowadays, however, we cannot define Koreans as these ideas any more. As the globalization is getting popular, many immigrants and foreigners come to Korea for many reasons. We sometimes do not welcome them because of the way they think and look. Some foreigners are treated unfairly. For instance, Koreans often look down on South East Asian employees. These attitudes are not acceptable any more. We have change the way we used to treat foreigners and immigrants. Korean should face the fact that different appearances can be Koreans, and be open-minded of multicultural society because of 2 reasons.
Firstly, multicultural society makes us open-minded and generous. There are many different kinds of people from different cultural background in multicultural society. When people decide something, they probably conflict because of their different opinions. It will happen more often in multicultural society. Therefore, we have to understand each other's opinion and become generous and open-minded about getting ideas from others.
Secondly, diversity ideas from multicultural society improve Korean Society. The one of the good things of multicultural society is that people can share diversity ideas. For instance, people think differently by their cultural background. We can adopt this to our society. Suppose we decide an important policy for our society. In multicultural society, people suggest and demand diversity ideas. Then, they can come up with some good ideas. It eventually leads to make a better policy. That is, the more we have people from different cultural background, the better and more ideas which improve our society come up.
To sum up, it is great to live with people from different cultural background. We become generous and open-minded to understand them. Also, the more and better ideas come up and these ideas improve our society to be a better place. For these reasons, we should keep multicultural society.
Kwak Gyu-ryeong reporter email@example.com
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