Day 1 Reflections - Patchandi Yugan Kumar

Posted by Patchandi Yugan Kumar at 10:26 pm

3 words to describe today's experience

1. Interesting
2. Engaging
3. Amusing

3 highlights of the day

The first highlight will be the experiencing the Korean food(especially the Korean chicken BBQ) as it was very different from eating in Singapore. The chef will cook the food in front of the customers, and it was a new interesting experience. The cheese on the side and fried rice proved to be a rather delicious experience.

The 2nd highlight would be the POSCO trip. The POSCO trip has many deep insights that we can learn from such as the importance of diplomatic relations and how perseverance is important. With hard work, the president managed to construct a steelworks factory which jumpstarted their economic growth. Moreover, it was engaging to know what technologies they use and how they convert thick slabs of steel into smaller 0.6mm thick sheets. For example, they used laminar jets and finishing mills in the factory tour, and that got me thinking whether they use that same technology in Singapore in developing other products.

The 3rd highlight would be just to admire the beautiful scenery in Korea; they have beautiful hills and ports as well as several strategically placed houses. The scenery was very amusing as the scenery in Korea is very different to the scenery in Singapore due to the seasons and the technologies Koreans use in their daily lives, for example, the red trees and the technological toilets. It proved to be an amusing trip.

Three things you have learnt about Korea

Korea is a very cold but refreshing country during the winter period which proved to be a different climate to experience for me. The red coloured trees and several hills were a different but amusing sight for me.

Koreans are polite and perseverant,  saying words like kamsahamnida to strangers for helping them. I also learnt about the Jagalchi Ajuma who supported whole families using the port as a mean to earn money. Even though who poor they were, they educated their children and ensured that their futures.

Korea has strategically used the landscape to their advantage. This is because there are many houses near the hill areas to provide with natural air and wind and tunnels that burrow through the hills to connect city to city. Even though Busan has a large population Busan has strategically planned each house to make sure that everyone has a place to live. For example, in the hillsides, there are houses that are lined in rows to make sure they used almost all the space there.

3 things I learnt about myself

I learnt that I should be more socially aware.  For example, during the trip to POSCO, it got me thinking how factories work in Singapore, whether they use the same technologies as Busan or different more effective technologies.  It got me more curious about how companies can manage large factories and export the materials out.

I also learnt that I enjoy new culture and customs. In Busan, there are many new customaries to conform even when in the dining table(for example we are not able to use the spoon and chopsticks at the same time) I enjoyed experiencing the new culture in Korea and dining experiences.

I learnt to step out of my comfort zone to truly enjoy the culture in Korea. For example, trying new foods, the new language and meeting the new people proved to be a enjoyable one. If I am just in my comfort zone, I would be trying new delicacies like kimchi and trying to articulate some words of the Korean language.

3 things I didn't do so well

I did not ask many questions during the POSCO trip, even though I had some questions in mind which will help to improve the report, I was shy and did not ask the guides the questions. It was a missed opportunity. I think I will try and ask more questions during the next trips.

I didn't look much into Busan's culture and lifestyles. I was a bit too engrossed in the task and taking pictures such that I did not take a good look at how Koreans live their everyday life and their lifestyles. I think in the future whilst focussing on the task I will also enjoy the customs and cultures.

I also was not very productive in the bus as I did not get a good rest during the plane trip. As a result, I was sleeping most of the time and did not get the chance to do the reflections and amendments to the report. I think I will try and manage my time such that I do not be so unproductive.

3 things you took forward tomorrow

I will look forward to meeting the Busan students, learning in their lessons and also managing with that high calibre of students. For example, I may ask them to ask them about Busan's architecture for our project.

I will look forward to the cultural places of interest such as choongrusula and the hanbok cultural attire session. These sessions will provide me with an outlook on Korean cultral practises. It will also allow me to try out other cultral practises and help me keep an open mindset.

I will look forward to making new friends and keeping in touch even after this trip. I hope to engage in enriching sessions not only academics but also other areas of interest such as CCAs and other activities. Through this i will not only bond with my Busan friends but also I will learn more about myself too.

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