IU and Girls' Generation (SNSD) are in Tunisia, Too?
By Staff Writer | July 11, 2012 06:21 AM EDT
K-Pop craze seems to have reached all the way in Africa.
A Korean language class was held at Tunisia's prestigious liberal arts university on the 28th of June. What's usually a student lounge, was used this day as a lecture hall, it was so hot inside that the 80 something degrees Fahrenheit outside actually felt cool. Nevertheless the ten female students, who were found, congregated around one fan were absorbed introducing themselves in Korean. Seven of the girls were wearing hijabs.
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The professor, Jung In Chun was recently dispatched in April from the Korean International Cooperation Agency. He graduated with a degree in Korean literature. In order to make the class more exciting, he gave each of the students Korean names. The students chose their names based on their favorite Korean sings such as "Seohyun" and "IU" and Korean dramas that were aired in Tunisia like, "Jewel in the Palace," "My Lovely Kim Sam Soon," and "Secret Garden." One female student got creative and came up with the name Kwon Tae Hee, by combining Kwon Sang Woo and Kim Tae Hee.
The class focused on pronunciation, reading, writing, and speaking. For this particular class, dispatched Taekwondo master Lee Jungmin and Korean food chef Kim Kwangmin attended in order to help the students. The class concluded with everyone singing along to a Korean song. The students sang "Secret Garden"s title song, "That Man." "How much ~How much longer~" The accent that could be heard when they spoke during the class all disappeared when they started singing. They all sounded like natives. "IU" or Huda, who was a second year English major, expressed, "I always liked Korean drama songs so it's not that hard for me to learn Korean," and, "I really want to visit Korea."
As the numbers of students interested in taking Korean classes increases, the university is negotiating whether or not to make Korean an official subject. The only foreign language courses offered at the liberal arts university are French and English.
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