The half-Korean football player Hines Ward is planning his first trip to the land of his birth - a country he knows little about. While Ward is a national hero not only in the United States but in Korea, too, his early years were not easy. He was born in Seoul but left with his parents to settle in the USA when he was one year old. His parents did not stay together long; so his mother raised him by herself by working as many as three jobs at a time. When Ward was young, he was embarrassed by his background - poverty, being multiracial and from a broken home, but he overcame all that. Finally his time has come. He was named MVP at the Super Bowl and is making millions.
Ward wants to visit Korea where he was born but he might not be easily accepted by society if he had stayed. He plans to see where he was born, to meet the relatives he has never met, and to go shopping and sightseeing. He said in an interview that he really wants to learn everything about his 'homeland.?Besides his and his mother's private purpose, he is expected to encourage mixed-race children in Korea who suffer harsh discrimination.
Ward's story fully satisfies the elements of the quest myth, which has been pervasive in all cultures throughout the ages and includes a hero's initiation into society; hardship; challenges and overcome; maturity and commitment to his community. What's more, if the hero begins his life in modest circumstances, this heightens the dramatic effect of the quest story. Ward's homecoming is so moving because we can witness a modern revival of the universal quest myth.
When Ward returns to Korea this April, many alumni will be returning to the Dongguk campus. Like Ward, we Donggukians want to visit where we studied and dreamt of the future, to meet classmates we have not seen since graduation, and to see the promising spirit which encompasses the current campus. Just as Ward wants to achieve self-awareness by learning about his heritage, we want to appreciate our great heritage of 100 years and see how bright the future of Dongguk is, through the Homecoming.
Kim Ae-ju firstname.lastname@example.org
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