France! Paris, Wine, Museum, Cosmetics…
The word “France” brings to mind many things. The country called France doesn’t seem unfamiliar. Accordingly, it was shocking to discover that there were no French exchange students at SMU. Finally, however, in the first semester of 2009, SMU welcomed French Sookmyungians. They are Stephanie and Joane who have great curiosity about Korea.
SMT: Introduce yourself please.
Stephanie: I’m Tran Stephanie, I’m 23 years old and a French graduate student in Social Psychology at Paris X Nanterre University. Actually, I’m interested in intercultural field questions.
Joane: I am Adeclas Joane, I am a French student at Paris X Nanterre University. I am studying social psychology.
SMT: What are your reasons for becoming exchange students at Sookmyung Women’s University?
Joane: I love Asian culture and want to study international relations between Asia and France. Firstly I would like to go in Japan because I know about Japan’s sub-culture and I can speak a little bit of Japanese. Nonetheless, I chose Korea; why? Because I started to have interest in Korean culture thanks to Korean movies and traditional culture. I remember, it was June 21st 2008--in France, we celebrate music on this day. Stephanie and I saw a Korean traditional drum performance and I fell in love with Korea. I finally chose to study at Sookmyung Women's University because this university’s motto is the promotion of women's leadership. I think that I can, on the one hand, learn about Korean women’s emancipation, and on the other hand I may have the possibility to discover a new culture at this university.
SMT: Is it true that some French people do not respond to tourists’ English questions as they love their mother tongue so much? How do the French love their mother tongue? What is distinctive about the French language?
Stephanie: Actually, I don’t agree with that. French people are really bad at learning language, since, for instance, my generation has been taught foreign languages only since the age of 12 (now, it starts at 8!). I think that, since their language skill isn’t that good, they want to hide it in a certain way by saying that since they love their mother tongue they don’t want to speak English. In fact, they do love their mother tongue, since most foreigners fall in love with them when they hear some French words!
4. What do you want to say to Sookmyungians?
Stephanie, Joane: If you meet us, don’t be shy! Just talk to us! Actually, it is sad that there are not many programs involving interchange between Sookmyungians and exchange students at SMU. We hope to meet many Korean friends, and learn about Korean culture! If Sookmyungians want, we can also tell you more details about France!
*Stephanie’s Recommendation from France
Henri Cartier Bresson – The decisive moment
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was a French photographer who depicted himself as a photojournalist. He founded, along with Robert Capa and David Seymour, the famous Magnum Agency. He lived through an amazing period in history. During 1948-50 alone he was in India for the death of Gandhi, a major political and spiritual leader of Indian independence movement (1948~1869), China for the last six months of the Kuomintang and the first six months of the People’s Republic, and in Indonesia for independence. He has managed without fail to be in the right place at the right time.
"Shooting a picture is holding your breath as all your faculties focus on capturing fleeting reality; then taking a picture becomes a moment of great physical and intellectual delight. It is a matter of putting your brain, your eye and your heart in the same line of sight. It is a way of life." Henri Cartier-Bresson
*Joane’s Recommendation from France
Literature: Jean Anouilh (1976), Antigone; Paris: La table Ronde, 133p.
Antigone is a French play which tells the story of Antigone, a woman with a tragic destiny. The story takes plays in Greek antiquity. Two brothers fought for the throne and they both died, so their uncle, named Creon, took the throne. Creon decided that only one of the two brothers could have a proper burial place because he was the real king and the other couldn't have a burial place. Antigone was the two brothers’ sister. She didn't accept the fact that one brother couldn't have a proper burial. She decided to oppose authority and tried to bury this brother. She was arrested and killed because of her engagement.
This play is about rebellion against authority. In fact, the confrontation between Creon and Antigone can symbolize the obligation to submit to power (Creon) and the need of demand (Antigone).
This work is an intemperate text because French people are already attentive to the decisions of authority and they are not afraid to tell the authority when they disagree with it. In fact, French people are the champions of striking and sitting. In the end, this text poses a very good question; is it a good choice to sacrifice oneself to a goal? Yes, No, Maybe... This work will let you find your own answer.