Professor Dr. Yoo Jeong Yi teaches Korean Literature at Hong Ik University in South Korea. In July/August this year, she toured Nepal with thirteen Korean school children. Ketaketi Online found time to talk with her.
ketaketi : Professor Yi, is this your first visit to Nepal ?
Yi: No, second. I had been here in February this year with some Korean authors.
ketaketi: Why a repeated tour in such a short gap, that too with children?
Yi: I like my children and those of my neighbors to see Nepalese teenagers going to college in smart uniforms. Nepalese teenagers are disciplined, and Koreans need to learn this.
ketaketi: Who sponsored the tour?
Yi: I paid for my children’s expense, and my neighbors did for theirs.
ketaketi: Besides teaching, what else are you involved in?
Yi: I am a professional writer of Children’s Literature. I have published novels and story collections for children. I am planning books on the issues of Nepali children now.
ketaketi: Your inspiration?
Yi: You know; Korea is a developed country. But because of war, many Korean children are leaving the country for the West as adopted children. This is a shame on us. The fact touched me and I took to writing. I foreground this issue in my writings. ‘Child Rights’ is the most preponderant theme in my works.
ketaketi: Did you notice any marked difference between Nepalese and Korean children?
Yi: Children are children everywhere, sweet and lovely. Yet, Nepalese children are more outspoken, while Koreans are rather reserved and introvert. However, they are creative.
ketaketi: Thank you professor!