Friday, October 28, 2005

2nd Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2005 Slated

It was N. F. S. Grundtvig a 19th century Danish democrat, social reformer, Lutheran bishop and poet who popularized the concept of folk school. He believed that all people possess knowledge and are teachers. It was through the folk schools in Denmark that created an equal platform for both the peasants and the elite to sat down together as equals in expertise and discuss the issues and ideas of their time.

Emulated all over the world as an alternative, democratic and popular medium of instruction, The May 18 Memorial Foundation will be hosting the 2nd Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School from 7 – 25 November 2005. Twenty-two (22) participants, eleven men and women from 14 Asian countries will attend the folk school.

It is the aim of the folk school to contribute to the development of democracy and human rights throughout Asia and provide participants an opportunity to learn and experience Korea's history and the development process of its human rights and democracy. The Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School will be conducted both on a theoretical and practical experiences through seminars, workshops, discussions, and field trips to Korea's sites of democratization movements.

Participants of the folk school were chosen from among different applicants who are human rights activists, development workers, advocates of democracy and peace. They belong to different fields like the academe, medical profession, police training officers, media person, cultural and theater workers or program officers of various kinds of non-government organizations (NGOs).

Speakers and facilitators of the folk school includes Korean professors and NGO workers as well as international experts on the topic that includes, Korean history (democracy movements and struggle, including the 1980 Gwangju Uprising), Globalization and Neo-liberalism, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Cooperation in Asian Region, Civil Society and NGO, etc.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1994 by the surviving victims of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising; the victims' families; and the citizens of Gwangju. The Foundation has as its aims to commemorate and promote the spirit of struggle and solidarity of the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising; to contribute to the peaceful reunification of Korea; and to work towards peace and human rights throughout the world.

Since its establishment, the Foundation has carried out numerous projects in varying fields, including organizing memorial events, establishing scholarships, fostering research, disseminating public information, publishing relevant materials, dispensing charity and welfare benefits, building international solidarity (e.g. internship program, volunteer exchange program, study tour), hosting the Gwangju Human Rights Folk School and awarding the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

List of Participants to the Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folks School 2005

1) Md. Abul Khaer, Bangladesh, Development Institute for Social Advancement
2) Abu Rayhan Al-Beeroonee, Bangladesh, Relief International - School Online
3) Muhammad Ali Ghulam Raza, Afghanistan, Shuhada Organization
4) Sok Phay Sean, Cambodia, Cambodian Women's Crisis Center
5) Jeudy Oeung, Cambodia, Cambodian Human Rights Actions Committee
6) Ma. Rosalie A. Zerrudo, Philippines, Enigmata Creative Circle
7) Anjana Singh, India, Centre for Social Justice and Development
8) Naqibullah, Afghanistan, Pajwok Afghan News Agency
9) Amarzaya Galsanlkhagya, Mongolia, Amnesty International-Mongolia
10) Dhruba Devi Gurung, Nepal, Maiti Nepal
11) Sadia Malik, Pakistan, Civil Society Human and Institutional Development Program
12) Erkinbek Kamalov, Kyrgyz, Democratic Youth Programs in Talas Region
13) Sinnaliwati R. Blegur, Indonesia, IKOHI
14) Zuherna, Aceh, Eye on Aceh
15) Md. Berkah Gamulya, Indonesia, Urban Poor Consortium
16) CPKT Mudiyanselage, Sri Lanka, Human Rights Center of Danbulla
17) NBW Mudiyanselage, Sri lanka, Right to Life
18) Duong Thi My Linh, Vietnam, Research Center for Gender & Devt. National Academy for Public Admin.
19) Weiping Sun, China, Shanghai Jiaotong Univ. Law School
20) Lih Yi Beh, Malaysia, Malaysiakini
21) Christine Ahn, USA, Women of Color Resource Center
22) Hekmatullah Sial, Afghanistan, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

'We Do Not Forget the 6 October'

The 1996 Commemoration of the October 1976 Massacre in Bangkok
Presented at the workshop on 'Imagining the Past, Remembering the Future'
Cebu, the Philippines, March 8-10, 2001
Thongchai Winichakul
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On the morning of 6 October 1996, a symbolic cremation was held at the soccer field inside Thammasat University in Bangkok for over forty people who were killed in the massacre at the same place twenty years earlier. After the massacre, a little over half of that number were identified and claimed by their families, presumably for proper cremations. Nobody knew the whereabouts of the rest since the day they died. The cremation was only symbolic because no corpse was actually cremated. Each of them was represented in a simple, undecorated sheet of paper with his or her name written on it. All of them were put in an urn – the kind that was normally reserved for people of high status -- that was elevated on top of a big platform on one curve of the soccer field. Some pictures of the identified ones were put on that platform for people to pay respect. But most had no picture, except the ones of what happened to them in the massacre. Yet, all were honored as individuals who had faces, bodies, names, and families like everybody else in the world, but whose lives ended abruptly on the Wednesday morning of the 6 October 1976.

The symbolic cremation was performed according to the Buddhist tradition. In addition, spiritual leaders of other faiths also provided services. Many respected civic leaders delivered speeches. Then a modified Buddhist ritual was “re-invented”. About fifty Buddhist monks and nuns presented at the event led a quiet walk anti-clockwise three times around the soccer field. Everybody at the cremation participated, led by those who carried wreaths and flowers in dedication to the fallen heroes and heroines. In the middle of the field, a small platform was a set up for a huge gong. The sound of the gong, the very low pitch and its echo, was the only noise accompanied the walk. It was a Dhamma walk, a form of meditation and merit-making, during which participants were instructed to consider the truth of life and death. After the walk, everybody paid the final respect to all “bodies” in the urn. We put paper flowers for the death underneath the urn, as we normally do in a normal cremation at a Buddhist temple. We prayed for them one last time. At that moment, the reality struck very hard on me. Most of them never got cremated properly after their death, let alone any other forms of respect for humanity. It took twenty years to have them cremated properly in public, from the place where their lives were unjustly cut short. In a Buddhist country where compassion and kindness are said to be abundant, twenty years was such a cruelly...long time.

The full article can be downloaded from this site/link:

source :

Pictures from Sittha

The following pictures were sent by Sittha Lertphaiboonsiri.
Each of the pictures has a particular title or label, can you match the following titles with the pictures. Email sittha to get the correct answers:

1) A walk to the river of snow
2) Nice view in campus
3) Gwangju Uprising Monument
4) Snowing at Chondae
5) Walk to loneliness

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Danish Folk High Schools

The concept of folk schools and the folk school movement were initiated by the 19th century Danish democrat, social reformer, Lutheran bishop and poet N. F. S. Grundtvig. To Grundtvig, all people possess knowledge and are teachers. Thus, his folk schools in Denmark created an equal platform for education. All people-the peasants and the elite-sat down together as equals in expertise to discuss the issues and ideas of their time.

. . . Both its nineteenth-century origins and its present-day functioning provide excellent illustrations of the Danish concern for "development with a human face." The school is popularly referred to as a folk high school (the Danish term is folkehøjskole, or more simply højskole). Although such schools or closely related ones are found in the neighboring countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, the first folk high school was created in Denmark in the mid-nineteenth century (1844). The schools are thus a particularly Danish innovation, an original and authentic contribution made by Denmark to the field of education. Interestingly enough, their present function in Danish society differs strikingly from the function they performed from the time of their origin until shortly after the Second World War, that is, for over a century. Once set up to serve almost exclusively the children of farmers, the schools have been subjected to far-reaching change in the past four decades. In its wake they have found themselves serving the needs of a different clientele, challenged by the demands of a new cultural context, and coping with the implications of an altered social role. This forced redefinition of their original social function has been neither an easy nor a comfortable process. Yet these schools continue to be a vital and important part of Danish society, as even a brief look at their present number and pattern of distribution suggests.

The folk high schools in the 1980s are distributed throughout the Danish countryside, all the way from the predominantly rural west coast of Jutland, the large peninsula that shares a land border with West Germany, to the urban milieu of Copenhagen and the far-off island of Bornholm in the North Baltic. The 1988 catalogue of the folk high school secretariat in Copenhagen lists 106 such schools. Close to fifty thousand students (in a nation of just over 5 million people) will pass through them this year. Many Danes choose to spend at least a part of their summer vacation taking a folk high school course. Some return year after year to the same school. Prospective students in 1987, for example, can choose among the 809 different short courses of one, two, or three weeks' duration, or one of the long courses (which typically take from three to ten months).

What type of person is one likely to encounter at a folk high school today? A middle-aged Danish farmer, spending a month with easel and canvas, finally surrenders to his lifelong desire to paint. A woman with a six-year-old son comes to shape clay on a potter's wheel. While she molds clay on long afternoons, the boy plays soccer, tries his hand with waterpainting, finds other children with whom to explore a friendly rural environment. Here is a man of thirty who has been unemployed for the past two years; there is a young woman taking a year off from her veterinary studies at the university. There are some who have just finished gymnasium, and others who never finished the eighth grade. Some come in hopes of finding a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Some are trying to kick a drug habit or control a problem with alcohol. Some come only because a social worker has urged them to do so and perhaps conveniently arranged their stay. Some want to see a different part of the country than the one they have always known or have come to escape the devastation of a recent and traumatic divorce. Some don't know what they want or why they have come here. Some will meet a future. wife or husband. Some charm everybody and leave without paying all their bills. In truth, all kinds of people come to a Danish folk high school, and they come for all kinds of reasons.

What in the world is this thing called a folk high school? The concept behind it is not easy to explain. Furthermore, an easy, word-to-word translation only confuses the issue. A Danish folkehøjskole is not really what the literal English equivalent suggests: a "folk high school." The translation is not entirely incorrect because these schools are for the "folk," for the people. Yet it is also misleading. The term "high school" means a secondary school for most Americans. It is commonly understood to refer to the school that handles the tasks of learning and socialization after primary and middle (or junior high) school and before university education. As such, it is (a) geared to those in a limited and specific age-group; (b) avowedly competence-giving, in the sense of intending to prepare students for vocational or professional employment; (c) competitive, with examinations and grading; and (d) an integral part of universalistic mainstream education; that is, it is felt that all citizens should complete their high school education.

A Danish folkehøjskole, in contrast to an American secondary school, is (a) open to all those above eighteen years of age; (b) avowedly and by law not competence-giving; (c) not academically competitive, with no grades or marks at all given; and (d) outside of the mainstream Danish educational system. Two further features will astonish outside observers. First, in spite of their officially marginal status, these schools presently receive approximately 85% of their expenses from the state. Second, in spite of this high degree of state support, the point of view and philosophical framework adopted by an individual school are entirely free from state control. It is true that a certain amount of mumbling is heard from time to time, usually by local officials unhappy with something they believe to be taking place at one of the more radical and experimental schools. But even such officials do not publicly challenge the right of the school to exist. Their maneuvering is usually limited to attempting to deny local subsidies to students who wish to attend such schools. And it should be added that this type of conflict is quite rare, almost certainly the exception rather than the rule.

The diversity of the Danish folk high schools in the 1980s and early 1990's is quite extraordinary. There are perhaps half a dozen schools with a radical communist or feminist orientation. There are, on the other hand, at least the same number of schools that teach some particular brand of ultraconservative Christian theology. Side by side with these can be found folk high schools that specialize in ecology and biodynamic agriculture, folk high schools for athletic instruction, folk high schools for instruction in music, and folk high schools for various kinds of travel abroad. There are folk high schools for the study of foreign languages, folk high schools for retired people, and at least one folk high school for teenagers under the age of eighteen. There are several "folk high schools for consciousness development," one of which teaches the Maharishi's transcendental meditation techniques and philosophy. In addition to these, there are many schools that call themselves by the perplexing (to the outsider) label of general "Grundtvigian" folk high schools. Use of this label entails a claim that a school is following in the footsteps of the tradition set by N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783 - 1872), who first proposed establishing such a school form in 1830.

Grundtvig's original vision of the folk high school was couched in both clear and compelling terms; yet his specific mandate concerning how this vision was to be realized has left many of the particulars open to debate and interpretation. And ever since the first folk high school came into existence in 1844, precisely what these schools should be doing and how they should go about doing it have been matters for continual debate, interpretation, and reinterpretation. It is not a static tradition. The very least one can say is this: a broader range of diversity than presently exists could scarcely be imagined, and all of this diversity is essentially state supported [1]


[1] Steven M. Borish, The Land of the Living: The Danish Folk High Schools and Denmark's Non-Violent Path to Modernization (Nevada City, Calif.: Blue Dolphin, 1991), pp. 7-9.

More Read-Links:

1) “Outward Loss, Inward Gain”: The Period of Emergence of the Danish Folk High Schools : Cultural Revitalization

2) N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783–1872) and Danish Non-Violence

Source : Asia Folk School Online - Asian Human Rights Commission

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Won - Korean Currency

Basic Korean Phrases

is an important aspect of speaking Korean, particularly when talking to strangers or people older than yourself. So, if someone asks you where you are from it's often best to add 요 -yo to your answer, as this is polite. For example, when talking to new people, if you're Australian it's best to say you're from hojuyo 호주요 instead of just hoju 호주.

한글 - Hangeul - Pronunciation - English Translation & meaning

안녕하세요 - Annyeong haseyo - Hello (Basic Greeting, can also mean 'Good morning/day', etc.)

안녕하십니까? - Annyeong hasimnikka? - Hello, how are you? (in response to initial greeting)

여보세요 - Yeoboseyo - Hello (when answering the telephone)

안녕히계세요 - Annyeonghi kyeseyo - Goodbye (when you're leaving)

안녕히가세요 - Annyeonghi kaseyo - Goodbye (when they're leaving)

죄송합니다 - Choesong hamnida - Excuse me (apologising)

실려합니다 - Shille hamnida - Excuse me (attracting attention)

미안합니다 - Mianhamnida - Sorry

죄송해요 - Choesong haeyo - I'm sorry

고맙습니다 - Komapsumnida - Thank you

감사합니다 - Kamsa hamnida - Thank you

천만에요 - Cheon maneyo - You're welcome

... 있으세요? - ... Isseuseyo? - Do you have ... ?

도와주세요! - Towajuseyo! - Help! (in serious situations)

좀도와 주실래요? - Chomtowa jusillaeyo? - Help? (in all other situations)

중요 해요 - Chungyo haeyo - It's important

중요하지 않아요 - Chungyohaji anayo - It's not important

신경쓰지 마세요 - Shin gyeong sseuji maseyo - Forget about it!

격정 마세요 - Keokcheong maseyo - Don't worry!

잊어버렸어요 - Ijeo beoyeosseoyo - I forgot

좋은데요! - Choeundeyo! - Great!

나쁜니다! - Na bbeun nida! - That was very bad!

저리 가세요! - Cheori kaseyo! - Get lost!

술 최했어요! - Sul chwihaesseoyo! - I'm drunk!

전 ... 가/이 있어요. - Cheon ... ga/i isseoyo. - I have ... .

감기 걸렸어요 - Kamgi keollyeosseyo - I've caught a cold

빨리 나으셔야 돼요 - Bballi naeunsheoya daweyo - Get well soon

... 에 어떻게 가요? - ... e eotteoke kayo? - How do I get to ... ?

똑바로가세요 - Dokparo kaseyo - Straight ahead

왼쪽으로/오른쪽으로 가세요? - Wenjjokeuro/Oreunjjokeuro kaseyo - To the left/right

못 알아들었어요 - Mod ardeureosseoyo - I don't understand

영어 하세요? - Yeongeo haseyo? - Do you speak English?

한국어 하세요? - Hangukeo haseyo? - Do you speak Korean?

제가 조금해요 - Chega chogeum haeyo - I speak a little

무선 공부를 하세요? - Museun kongbureul haseyo? - What are you studying?

저는 한국어를 공부해요 - Cheoneun hangukeoreul kongbu haeyo - I'm studying Korean

... 를/을 한국말로 뭐라고 해요? - ... reul/eul hangukmallo mweorago haeyo? - How do you say ... in Korean?

저는 영어선산님 (이)에요 - Cheoneun yeongeo seonsannim (i)eyo - I'm an English teacher

제 이름인 ... (이)에요 - Che ireumin ... (i)eyo - My name is ... .

저는 ... 입니다 - Cheoneun ... imnida - I'm ... .

잠깐만요 - Chamkkanmaneyo - Just a minute, please

어디 가세요? - Eodi kaseyo? - Where are you going?

뭐 하세요? - Mwo haseyo? - What are you doing?

지금 몇 시에요? - Chigeum myeoshieyo? - What time is it?

무슨 일이세요? - Museun iriseyo - What's the matter?

어디 오셨어요? - Eodi oseosseoyo? - Where are you from?

... 에서 왔어요. - ... eseo wasseoyo. - I'm/We're from ... .

저는 (호주)사람/인 입니다. -- Cheoneun (hoju) saram/in imnida. - I'm (Australian).

Simple stuff

네 Ne Yes

아이오 Anio No

무엇(요)? Mueot(yo)? What?1

뭐? Mweo? What?

언제? Eonje? When?

어디(요)? Eodi(yo)? Where?

왜? Wae? Why?

누구? Nugu? Who?

누구세요? Nuguseyo? Who is it?

이것 Igot This

저것 Jeogot That

여기 Yeogi Here

저기 Jeogi There

멀리 Meolli Far away

가까히 Kakkahi Near

북 Buk North

남 Nam South

동 Dong East

서 Seo West

오른쪽 Oreunjjok Right side

왼쪽 Wenjjok Left side

여기요! Yeogiyo! Excuse me!2

추워요! Chuweoyo! It's cold!

더워요! Deoweoyo! It's hot!

빠리빠리! Bballi Bballi! Hurry up!

갑시다! Kapsida! Let's go!

영어 Yeongeo English

미국 영어 Miguk yeongeo American English

한국 말/어 Hanguk mal/eo Korean3

중국말 Chunggukmal Chinese3 (Mandarin)

외국어 Oegukeo Foreign langauge

어마에요? Eoma eyo? How much? (does it cost)

어마니까? Eoma nikka? How much?1 (does it cost)

일 il Day

월 Weol Month

년 Nyeon Year

여름 Yeoreum Summer

겨울 Geoul Winter

가을 Gaeul Autumn

봄 Bom Spring

그럼 Geureom Well, then

지금 Jigeum Now

집 Jip House

시내 Sinae Downtown

학교 Hakgyo School

아닌데요 Anindeyo No, it's not

번호 Beonho Number

층 Cheung Floor

Pure Korean Numbers (used for telling time, counting objects, expressing your age)

1 - 하나 hana
2 - 둘 dul
3 - 셋 set
4 - 넷 net
5 - 다섯 daseot

6 - 여셋 yeoseot
7 - 일곱 ilgop
8 - 여덟 yeodeol
9 - 아홉 ahop
10 - 열 yeol

11 - 열하나 yeolhana
12 - 열둘 yeoldul
20 - 스물 seumul
30 - 서른 seoreun
50 - 쉰 shwin

Sino-Korean Numbers (used to express minutes in counting time, dates & months of the year, for counting money or floors of a building, and for numbers larger than 100)

0 -
영/공 yeong/kong
1 - 일 il
2 - 이 i
3 - 삼 sam
4 - 사 sa

5 - 오 o
6 - 육 yuk
7 - 칠 chil
8 - 팔 pal
9 - 구 gu
10 - 십 ship

11 - 십일 shipil
20 - 이십 iship
21 - 이십일 ishipil
50 - 오십 oship
100 - 백 baek
200 - 이백 ibaek
500 - 오백 obaek
1000 - 천 cheon
10 000 - 만 man

source :

Wednesday, October 05, 2005