During winter break, I had the opportunity to travel Eastern Europe, and it allowed me to experience a totally new culture and learn lots of lessons by meeting a variety people from all over the world. Especially, in Hungary I was impressed by the term, Hungaricum. The word ‘Hungary’ and ‘unique’ are combined to represent the unique features of Hungary. It summarizes everything that is Hungarian such as food, traditional dance, animals, and local products. What’s more, it shows the pride and esteem of Hungarians with their history, culture, and spirit. When I got lost in Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest, a student in her twenties helped me find my destination. Walking with her, she spoke of the night view of Budapest. “When Hungarians were asked to sell the night view over the Danube River, they laughed and said ‘We’ll never sell it—not at any price!’”
Reminded of her words, I returned to my room with the idea that her words exemplify the idea of Hungaricum. Also, boasting about her nation with pride and esteem to a complete stranger without hesitation made me reflect on myself. Am I proud of things that surround me? Although I belong to many groups—family, Sookmyung, and so forth—I rarely brag about any of them. However, I am sure I am not the only one. The attitude of people who regard humility as the foundation of all virtues may indeed be advantageous, yet sometimes personal pride and one’s surroundings can motivate one to sail beyond their home boarders. Along with this, when I first entered Sookmyung, I didn’t enter as a student who had “Sookmyungcum,” however as time went by, my heart has changed. I met lots of talented friends and alumni, been provided lots of opportunities to find my potential, and broadened my viewpoint. Of course, sometimes, my surroundings discourage me or even cause frustration when they temporarily control or block my way. Yet, as the old adage says, after a storm, the calm came to me.
Now, at the beginning of a new semester, especially as fresh first years enter, I would like to encourage all students to find their own ‘cum’s. Just as American Congressperson Bruce Barton once said, “conceit is God’s gift to little men, and nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstances.” We need to take pride in ourselves and never feel small by comparing ourselves to others.
Koo Kim Gyohyun / Editor-in-Chief