By HyunCheon Kim
Translated SeungYeon Woo
Among the news items in 2011, the Korean driver’s license conversion in MA was selected as the top news of the year for the Korean community in MA.
The reciprocal agreement on Korean license conversion appeared to be the most influential news to Koreans in Boston, especially newcomers and students. Before the conversion was agreed upon, Koreans who already had a license in Korea, had to take both written and driving tests in order to receive their MA driver’s license. It was such a time and effort consuming process.
There was not any appropriate Korean driver’s manual for the written test. Also, the road test format was much different from that of Korea; thus, Koreans with even 10 years of driving experience could hardly pass the written examination.
Eunhan Kim, a columnist, said, “I really appreciate the Korean consulate’s effort to solve the difficulties of Korean residents in MA. I’m also looking forward to their future improvement plans for the Korean community, such as work and education.
Myung won Lee, an accountant, said, “The reason I selected this news as the best is that I believed this was the real purpose of the administration, which is to consider and make efforts to increase residents’ convenience.”
The second top news item was selected as Kim Yuna’s performance in Boston. It became a big issue among Koreans, as Kim Yuna is becoming a world celebrity.
Kim Yuna’s popularity was proven when the tickets for the performance were sold out in a few hours right after they were released. People who could not buy tickets even wished to pay a premium for them. There were not many events with this much interest in the Korean community.
It was the best event in terms of Korean people’s turnout. However, many audience members were disappointed to not see Kim Yuna’s usual high level of performance. Although lawyer Kiju Sung, who selected the news as the top news, said, “I was very proud of her being Korean.”
Moreover, voter registration of overseas Korean nationals was selected as the third biggest news item of the year. It became notable not because of the fact that it was the first voting right of Korean residents in a foreign country, but because there was such a low registration rate.
It was such a surprise to see the indifference of Korean voters. One of the election committee officials, Yang ho Seo said, “The registration rates of people below 40 and students were rather higher.” Since congress was more interested in their votes than in voters’ convenience, such as creating a postal ballot, it was said that congress created this indifference of Korean voters. On the other hand, some said it was due only to Korean residents’ indifference.
The news about a tornado and snow storms in MA became the fourth effective news item of the year since it was bad news for Koreans, whose houses were damaged by these disasters.
The most frequent response about this news was that perhaps Boston is not a safe area anymore despite the fact that it was once considered to be one of the safest regions. Also, people thought they had a chance to know thoroughly about preparation for disasters. Shin Young, a writer who selected this news as a top item, said, “While I was living a most comfortable life in MA, I’ve experienced disaster. It affected not only the depression of politics and the economy but also Koreans’ morale. It was more heartbreaking news because we actually experienced it.”
The fifth news item is the result of the census, which indicated that the number of Koreans in MA increased hugely within ten years. The number of Koreans has increased by 38.8% compared to the result 10 years ago, 17,369. It was great news to Korean businesses.
Sun Young Lee, the director of Han Yu Dang, said, “When it is a time of dull business and economy, the census needs to be investigated based on accurate information; thus, it can reflect businesses and the community more accurately.” Among the cities in MA, Boston is the one with the most Koreans, 4,040.
The North Korea Taekwondo demo team became the sixth important news item. Because the news was released around the time of the Yeonpyeong island attack, Koreans had a great deal of interest in the news about North Koreans’ visit in Boston.
However, on the day of the demonstration, about a thousand seats were occupied by mostly Americans. Many Koreans did not join despite their interest. Although, performance of the North Korea Taekwondo demo team was actually great.
The news of a college fair for Korean students was the 7th important news item. It was a meaningful event that joined together various members of the Koreans community, such as theHarvard Korean Students Association, St. John’s Church and instructors from private institutes. It especially received fervent responses from parents of high school students.
Then, Na Ggom Su’s visit in Boston and the appointment of the new consul general, Kang ho Park, ranked as 8th and 9th. The center of Korean politics and media, Na Ggom Su, held a shrewd satirical talk show at Harvard. 98% of the audience members were Koreans under 40.
The appointment of the new consul general Park led to positive changes in the Korean community, such as the extension of Monday office hours, and license conversion. Also, more Koreans started to visit the consulate more often.
Lastly, the 10th big news item is the accident of an overturned bus in New Hampshire. The bus was holding Korean travelers, and 17 people were injured in the accident. It was quite a serious accident in New England compared to the fact that no significant accident had occurred yet.
The ranking is based on the survey targeting columnists, journalists and editors.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지