Young Iranian Shines in Korean Language Contest
Art And Culture

Young Iranian Shines in Korean Language Contest

Iranian Hanieh Sadat Kazemi, 18, can text in Korean on mobile messengers just like any other Korean.
While most Iranians use Germany-based Telegram to chat over smartphones, Kazemi uses Kakao Talk, South Korea’s most popular mobile messenger application.
“I use Telegram for my Iranian friends and Kakao Talk for my Korean friends,” Kazemi said.
On June 23, she won a Korean language speaking contest in Tehran organized by the South Korea-sponsored King Sejong Institute which is the overseas educational institution of  Korean language and culture, although she had studied Korean only for about a year, yonhapnews.co.kr reported.
As a winner from Iran, Kazemi will enter the Korean speaking contest finals in Seoul in September.
“Her speaking, writing and reading levels are very high,” said Choi Yeon-suk, chief of the institute’s Tehran branch.
Kazemi said she began learning Korean after watching Korean TV dramas.
“Last year, one of my friends showed me the South Korean drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ with Iranian subtitles, and I loved it,” she said.
Kazemi then searched Korean textbooks online and self-studied the language until she registered at the institute’s Korean language school in Tehran in March. Among five classes offered by the school, she was able to enter the second most advanced class.
“When I first saw Korean characters, it was like a picture. I think Korean is a language that can best express human emotions.” She is interested in Korean culture too.
“I was amazed that there are lots of similarities between Iran and South Korea. For example, women here wear the hijab, and it is interesting that South Korean women in the old days wore a long veil called ‘sseugae chima.’”
“I have eight textbooks from the Sejong Institute, but I have to read four of them in the next two months,” she said. “It already makes me nervous.”
Kazemi, however, said she is happy to visit South Korea and wants to go to some K-pop concerts.
“I want to study Korean more and become a person who can serve as a bridge between South Korea and Iran,” she adds.


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