2013

Hi! Hangeul in British Columbia

The Great Kings

King Gwanggaeto the Great and King Sejong the Great are the two kings to gain the title of The Greatest King of Korea. These admirable rulers served to enhance Korea profoundly, and their accomplishments brought pride and dignity to the nation.

 

King Sejong the Great and Hunminjeongeum

King Sejong the Great was a righteous leader who believed in democracy. As a republican, he believed that all voices must be heard for the country to virtually thrive. King Sejong understood people’s grievance very well; only the rich were educated Confucian, while the poor were reserved that the voices were limited.

  

King Sejong the Great expressed his commitment to the welfare of people:

“Confucian is incapable of capturing unique Korean meanings. Out of my sympathy for their difficulties, I have created a set of 28 letters. The letters are very easy to learn and it is my fervent hope that they improve the quality of life of all people.”

Oppositions and Developments

Upon the declaration of the king, Chiphyonjeon was built for scholars to gather and create a writing system that was simple and uniquely Korean. After three years later, a manuscript introducing Korean alphabet was born.

Hunminjeonguem consisted of 28 letters:

Consonant: ㄱ ㅋ ㆁ ㄷ ㅌ ㄴ ㅂ ㅍ ㅁ ㅈ ㅊ ㅅ ㆆ ㅎ ㅇ ㄹ ㅿ

Vowel: ㆍ ㅡ ㅣ ㅗ ㅏ ㅜ ㅓ ㅛ ㅑ ㅠ

 

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However, high-ranks were displeased. They claimed that education is the privilege of the rich and replacing Confucian may anger China. Regardless of these strong discrepancies, masses saw the benefits of Hunminjeonguem. The creation was simply amazing. The letters looked familiar and easy to memorize; the alphabets based on the shape mouth makes when spoken. Furthermore, the expressions that could not be expressed with Confucian were easily articulated.

It was during the Gabo Reform when Hunminjeonguem gained an official title of Korean writing system. During the reform, the 28 letters were shortened to 24, and the name changed to Hangeul.

Hangeul consisted of 24 letters:

Consonant: ㄱㄴㄷㄹㅁㅂㅅㅇㅈㅊㅌㅍㅎ

Vowel: ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕㅗㅛㅜㅠㅡ ㅣ

 

Korean Language Heritage Day

Provincial Government designated Korean Language Heritage Day (October 9, 2012) in the hope to publicize the contributions of Korean-Canadians in the development of British Columbia and to celebrate 50th anniversary of Canada-Korea diplomatic relationship. Finally, many thanks to Hi! Hangeul Campaign, Korean could be celebrated in British Columbia.

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Hi! Hangeul Campaign in Vancouver takes high pride in Hangeul and wishes to reach out globally. In 2012, the campaign launched a grand open-event to share Hangeul in the heart of downtown. The festivities included creating pottery, open exhibits, writing, reading and speaking Korean.

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