These are six different languages to indicate ‘environment’. But they are the same: they all contain the meaning of ‘ring’, surrounding and making continuity with something else.
Likewise, environment is what connects everything in the world. Within that ring of connection, we receive comfort, astonishment, and learn true values of life. Paradoxically, we face environmental problems that make us uneasy. It does not hurt to say our whole life style is heavily dependent on the environment that surrounds us. While some are somewhat aware, many urban citizens, especially, minimize the environment’s scale to godforsaken rainforests. They keep on forgetting that our daily conducts on environment go once around the world and eventually come back to us, as it is a continuous ring.
Let us take a break from such a consequential matter.
The opening ceremony of the 8th Green Film festival in Seoul in Yonsei University. Picture provided by Korea Green Foundation.
Who could not like a good movie? Its messages are sent via effective soundtracks, actors’ publicity, storylines, etc.
Red carpet, flashlights, spotlights, beautiful floor length dresses, celebrated celebrities are what take over the general image of any film festival. However, as this environment film festival became familiar to the public, the event turned out to be about pure love and respect for our surroundings.
From 2004, Green Film festival in Seoul (GFFIS) has been held by Korea Green Foundation. Since its inception, it has been screening environment-related movies and awarded them. It is one brilliant course of direction to approach such an ambiguous matter to the general public. Now, it has become the most well known green-film festival in Korea.
About 130 different films were shown in Sangam CGV in a week, which were from 30 different countries. According to Greenfund, they open 'partial competition', and take in films theming environment, water, food, energy related films. Among them, Green fund selects outstanding films to award them. The entire festival's meaning can be found in its intention of trying to raise awareness about the issue. Also, it is focusing on monitoring ways to solve and mitigate the problem through an art called 'movie'.
On May 18th, the opening ceremony for the 8th GFFIS was held in Yonsei University. The opening movie was <I’m sorry, Thank you> directed by Yim Soon-Rye, Song Il-Gon, Park Heung-Sik and Oh Joum-Kyun.
Directors, actors and actresses of the opening movie <I’m sorry, Thank you> in the opening ceremony. Picture provided by Korea Green Foundation.
‘Many of us make lame excuses that we do not go across environment very much in our crazy lives. But, when we look around, our pets bring the environment close, the closest we can get. This movie is to reemphasize the reality of pets living in concrete forest with human beings. The importance of living things as a whole and the meaning of co-existence can be recaptured in the movie.’ said in its program announcement sheet.
Picture provided by Korea Green Foundation.
Korea Green Foundation : A private foundation purely established for the environment and common interest. Its main project is ‘350’, that they hope to see a world below 350ppm of CO2 concentration, which is an internationally agreed rate of stable environment.
On April 22nd, 2011, the Earth celebrated its 41st Earth Day. This day was founded due to a crude oil leakage in 1969, California, US, which led Senate Nelson to advocate the need for a designated day for the Earth to recall the Earth’s preciousness and its vulnerable nature. As a result, Dennis Hays, a Harvard student at the time, was chosen to declare the foundation of the Earth Day. Moreover, 20 million American citizens launched a campaign urging others to live environmental-friendly lifestyle. Since 1970, the Earth Day has officially become an internationally celebrated day for the sake of the Earth and its well being.
Picture of the first earth day, US, 1970/ picture by
Korea also celebrated the Earth day this year. One of the events was the ‘2011 Unplugged Concert’. It was held in the City Hall Oval, where hundreds of people brought their own musical instruments. However, the instruments had to be played ‘unplugged’ to electricity. The whole concert was very dimly lighted compared to typical concerts, but it was intended to save electricity. The electricity used during the entire concert was fulfilled by the power generator that citizens generated all day long. It was a very meaningful concert in many ways and gave people a refreshing jolt- that there were endeavors around to be found that anyone could contribute to save the earth.
‘2011 Unplugged Concert’ held in the City Hall Oval/ picture by the writer herself
These days, more and more students are getting interested in learning about the environment.However, the endeavors are often short-termed or hard to reach by students. All in all, , students cannot make changes in the world only with their passion. But, some excellent programs are being organized to help students raise awareness about the environment through actions.
In Jungnang Youth Center, the ‘Environment Club’ was organized, consisting of high school to middle school students. It is supported by Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. While many of the environment-related programs only last for several months at the most, this program is held throughout a year, emphasizing the importance of consistent care for the Earth. “Tuvalu”, it is called. The name is after a nation which is having problem with drowning underwater by the effects of the climate change.
'Tuvalu' environment club, in Jungnang Youth Center/ picture by the writer herself
The program has its unique and friendly approach towards studying current environmental problems: traveling and observing nature. It is different from any other environment related events – it is more than hard lectures, or hearings that only plea for people to think of environment because it is a moral issue. To describe its motto: ‘A good education is made with one fourth of theory and the other thirds of practice and application.’
What the world really needs is action, and mankind’s introspection towards their regrettable deeds/ picture by
On April 9th, 2011, orientation for the club was held in Jungnang Youth Center by Park Cha Yong, the Team Manager for the project. He said, “Many of us do know there is an environmental problem, but we don’t know by heart why it is desperate and time sensitive.”
Kim Mi Kyung, a mother of a male participant quoted, “It is an issue we all have to take in seriously. It may seem trivial when we act environmental-friendly out of pure love for the earth, but I believe my child should have his responsibility towards the world he would soon be in charge.”
A female participant, Hong Ji Soo(15), “My dream is to become a veterinarian, and I have realized the number of species were decreasing because of human activities that are detrimental to ecology, consequently leading to climate change and environment destruction. I would like to realize the seriousness of current situation through experiences on the environmental front borders, because it seems it would never come to me when I am in my chairs. I want my children to know that the earth is a good place to live.”
It is a great scene to notice that many students believe environmental needs more than academic research and debate. What it really needs is action, and mankind’s introspection towards their regrettable deeds.