The gift of acquiring a new foreign language presents unique opportunities to learn a new culture, explore new academic pathways, meet new people and ultimately make a positive and worthwhile contribution to one’s own nation.
As an event of “Korea Week”, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Kandy King Sejong Institute Center organized a Korean Speech Contest on a virtual platform in 2020. Outstanding students of the Korean Speech Contest 2020 were recently awarded prizes by His Excellency Santhush Woonjin JEONG, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea at an awards ceremony held online.
Around 70 participants submitted video entries of speeches on the themes of interesting experiences with the Korean language, culture or on a topic related to Korea (e.g. K-Pop, K-drama, food, travel, history, entertainment, etc). All participants displayed remarkable Korean linguistic skills and their fluent execution of the Korean language deeply impressed all the judges.
The following winners emerged as the best speakers of the Korean speech contest 2020.
1st Place: Kulara Wichramarachchi
2nd Place: Dhananjaya Jayasinghe , Thanushi Rajapakse
3rd Place: Aheesha Dilshani Jabir , Gimhani Dikkumbura
On this occasion, the Ambassador conveyed his deep appreciation for all the participants and the organizers of the Korean Speech contest for their interest and commitment to further Korea- Sri Lanka ties amid the pandemic. “I believe that although the epidemic has altered the way we meet and communicate, it will not change the enthusiasm of Sri Lankans to learn Korean. At this outset, I would like to give all the contestants a thumb up, and a special thanks to the teachers and judges who actively organized the competition during this special period. We appreciate your hard work and strenuous efforts in advocating the Korean language learning.”
The Ambassador stated that despite the differences of our two cultures we are united by the mutual respect and love shown to each other’s culture and language. He stated that “more Sri Lankan youth can become bridges and civilian diplomats of the Korea-Sri Lanka friendship. I hope that friends from all walks of life in Sri Lanka will continue to work together to take our bilateral relations to another level and create a brighter future for our two countries. It is our strong belief that the 2020 Korean Language Speech Contest will continue to make a greater contribution to strengthening the student exchanges of culture and thoughts and in promotion of the world peace and development”.
The participants also displayed an active interest in learning the Korean language which opened avenues through which they learned more about the time honoured Korean culture, customs and the unique Korean society. They also shared their love for K-Pop, Korean food and culture through speeches submitted for the competition.
The Korean speech contest 2020 has successfully contributed to deepening the cultural ties between the two countries by providing recognition for the Sri Lankan youth who embark upon a new journey to broaden their future possibilities by learning Korean.