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The First Foreign Language Speech Competition
The Bureau of Dharma Propagation in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (Director, Ven. Hyun-eung) held the First Foreign Language Speech Competition on October 14, 2015 in the Memorial Hall of Korean Buddhist History and Culture.
A total of 64 people, which included 13 individuals and 6 teams, participated in the competition – it was full of laughter, passion, and intensity. They were the selected candidates who had passed the preliminary round the previous month. Among the individual candidates, 27 presented their English skills, seven in Chinese, and eight in Japanese. As for the teams, 12 teams presented in English while one did in Chinese. In particular, there were three foreign monks from Russia and Japan who presented their outstanding abilities in the Korean language.
All of the candidates presented their language proficiency in various ways such as speeches, storytelling, song and dance, musicals, etc. For example, the Dongguk Univ. team presented a musical, “Show me the Buddha” which they made themselves based on the story of the Buddha and his first five disciples. They not only sang but also danced and even rapped. The Bongnyongsa Sangha Univ. team presented a musical, “Live like the Buddha” through which they shared with the audience how to live in accordance with the Dharma. The Unmunsa Sangha Univ. team held a performance entitled, “I am everything” with dancing, singing and playing the Gayageum (a Korean zither with twelve strings).
The evaluation was made based on the following categories: expressivity, pronunciation, content, creativity, attitude, posture, and popularity. Individuals were given five minutes for the presentation and teams were given 10 minutes.
The first prizes were awarded to the Unmunsa Sangha Univ. team and to Ven. Jinheung from Donghaksa Temple. The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism will hold the Chanting Contest and Speech Competition alternately every year, starting from 2015. This plan aims to modernize and globalize Korean Buddhism for better and wider propagation of the Dharma around the world by fostering talented Buddhist monastics in foreign language skills.