Sunday, October 16, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.56 - Miss World Korea 2011

The Republic of Korea is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea to the south. Its territory covers a total area of 99,392 square kilometers and has a population of almost 50 million. The capital and largest city is Seoul. Archaeological findings show that the Korean Peninsula was occupied by the Lower Paleolithic period. Korean history begins with the founding of Gojoseon in 2333 BC by the legendary Dan-gun. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Silla 668 AD, Korea went through the Goryeo Dynasty and Joseon Dynasty as one nation until the end of the Korean Empire in 1910, when Korea was annexed by Japan. After liberation and occupation by Soviet and United States forces at the end of World War II, the nation was divided into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north and the Republic of Korea in the south. The latter was established in 1948 as a democracy. Afterwards, the Korean economy grew significantly and the country had transformed into a major economy and a regional power in East Asia. Korea can be divided into four general regions: an eastern region of high mountain ranges and narrow coastal plains; a western region of broad coastal plains, river basins, and rolling hills; a southwestern region of mountains and valleys; and a southeastern region dominated by the broad basin of the Nakdong River. Korea's terrain is mostly mountainous with lowlands, located primarily in the west and southeast. About three thousand islands, mostly small and uninhabited, lie off the western and southern coasts of Korea. Jeju-do is located about 100 kilometers off the southern coast and it is the country's largest island. Korea shares its traditional culture with its northern neighbor, but the two Koreas have developed distinct contemporary forms of culture since the peninsula was divided in 1945. Korean traditional architecture is characterized by its harmony with nature. Ancient architects adopted the bracket system that is characterized by thatched roofs and heated floors. People of the upper classes built bigger houses with elegantly curved tiled roofs with lifting eaves. Traditional architecture can be seen in the palaces and temples, preserved old houses called hanok and special sites like Hahoe Folk Village, Yangdong Village of Gyeongju and Korean Folk Village. Traditional architecture may also be seen at the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Korea. This year the Miss World Korea pageant was launched to revamp the Miss World brand and give to it the importance that it deserves. Kyung Min Doe was the winner of the pageant and will represent Korea in Miss World 2011 in London.

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Kyung Min Doe, Miss World Korea 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
Hello, I am Kyung Min Doe, participating at the 61st Miss World contest as a representative of Korea. I am 20 years old, 175cm tall. My personal motto is "The one who likes it is better than one who knows it, and one who enjoys it is better than the one who likes it." I had enjoyed and continue to enjoy life. I am now a junior at Korea University, majoring in Japanese and Korean in order to be an interpreter. An interpreter works similar to a Miss World in the sense that he or she gives an impression of and represents his or her own country. As the Korean representative in Miss World, I would like to give a positive impression of Korea through this contest. Needless to say, I expect a good result because I'm going to enjoy the contest itself.

2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
My homeland, South Korea is the country of Jeong. Jeong is a difficult word to translate in English, but it means the kindness flowing in the community such as one’s family and neighbors, and working places. This kind of Korean society's affection is closely related to the sense of alliance in the community.
In Korea, the English possessive words “our” or “ours” are often used instead of “my” or “mine”. We say our family, our school, and when we walk into the restaurant, we call the waitress “aunt” with affection. People in intimate relationships often call each other by the titles which we call the brothers and sisters, even though they do not have ties of kinship. They are actually not in the family relationship, but they can feel each other more intimate through these titles. In Korea, we eat a kind of food called Chigae, that is, a soup or stew. Chigae is contained in a big pot in the center of the table, and everybody eats soup with his or her spoon from the same pot, instead of the soup being served in individual bowls for each one. Sometimes many people drink alcohol from the same glass sharing it with others. It is the sign of intimacy and sharing Jeong, that is, affection that you can eat together and use a same bowl with others. As such, Korean society flows with Jeong, people are interested in the problems of others, and willing to help them spontaneously.
My hometown, Daegu, is a hot place located in a valley surrounded with mountains. Delicious apples grow well in the hot climate of Daegu. It is commonly said that women of Daegu are especially beautiful because they eat the good apples that are grown in their hometown.
The textile industry developed in Daegu, but the city is now trying to change it into a fashion industry by making a city brand named "Shimeric". Daegu is now trying to become a global city by holding the World Championship in Athletics this year.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
First of all, though this is a sort of cliché, I would like to say that I'm so happy and proud of the fact at I'm going to represent my country, Korea. Until this year, Korea has selected a Miss Korea under Korean standards, and one of the runners-up participated in the international contest as a representative of Korea. But from this year, Jenny Park opened a new contest to pick up the representative who matches the international standards. I'm really glad I could be the trigger of it.
My dream as an interpreter is similar to Miss World as he or she represents his or her own country and makes the image that foreigners have of Korea. I would like to introduce and inculcate a positive image of Korea to the whole world.

4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
I choose Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston. As the lyric says, I think that "learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all." The one who doesn't know the way to love oneself cannot love others too. The one who respects and honors his or herself also knows the way to respect and honor others. The one who knows to love his or herself is always dignified and confident. I also love myself and I believe in my own possibilities. "If I failed, if I succeed, at least I lived as I believed."

5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
I have a very special habit that I do every morning. That habit is to look at the mirror and talk to myself and say: "I am beautiful, dignified and am full of self-confidence" every time when I wake up in the morning. It is said that words can have enchanting powers. I do this so I can always be confident and dignified even when I have lunch with my friends or when I have class at school in my daily life. As my hometown is far from my university and I live alone at school, I usually have dinner outside and go back to home. After returning home, I do my homework and if I have some spare time, I either watch Japanese animation, study Japanese or go to the school website and share opinions and debate with other students.

6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
My dream is to become the Japanese simultaneous interpreter. The interpreter is the oldest profession of humankind. During the Joseon Dynasty, the interpreters (Yeokgwan) were an important and high profile job. Normally, the interpreter is called as a well-dressed secretary, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The requirements to become an interpreter are logical thinking and comprehension. To become a competent interpreter, knowledge in various fields is needed. The ability to digest various field of text very quickly is needed. During the next 10 years, I would like to be a top Japanese interpreter in Korea and I would like to participate as an interpreter at the Korea-Japan Summit. I'll work in the field of animation and drama which I am very interested. I want to serve as a bridge between Korea and Japan in politics, diplomacy, culture, etc. That is the goal for the next 10 years.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
The person who I respect most is Ban Ki-moon who is the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I respect him because he tried so hard to achieve his goal, didn't fear the challenges, and finally achieved his goal. When he was young, a foreigner lived next door and he talked a lot with him to improve his English. He always tried hard to become a diplomat and finally became a diplomat and later the Secretary-General of UN. I would like to be a person like him, who has a strong will to achieve something.

8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
If I have to live in another country, I want to live in Japan. My major is Japanese and I want to be an interpreter. I want to live in Japan and use my talent in my daily life. I also want to present and define Korea's position with the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) problem to the Japanese government.

9. After the Sendai Earthquake, nuclear energy has become a focus of attention. Are you in favor or against the use of this kind of energy as a way to reduce the dependence on oil?
In the end, we have to depend on atomic power generation. Now, as population is increasing while industrialization and urbanization are also increasing, the use of electricity is also increasing rapidly. However, since oil reserves are decreasing so fast, photovoltaic power generation, wind power generation, geothermal power generation, bio-diesel, etc are mentioned as alternative energy sources but they cannot be the main source of electricity because their efficiency is too low. Since there isn't any alternative plan, we have to maintain atomic power generation until an innovative generating technology is invented. Instead we should not build nuclear power plants on places with propensity to natural disasters. We should care about safety.

10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
I think that the worst kind of injustice happening now is exclusion. Not accepting that there are differences between "I" and "others" is lack of tolerance and brings out discrimination. It sometimes even raises terrible violence like war and invasions. I think that acknowledging the differences and tolerating is important these days.

11. What are your duties as Miss World Korea?
Miss World has been carrying on active charity activities under the slogan "Beauty with a Purpose" and as Miss World Korea I think that my role is to widely announce the beauty of South Korea to the world. Even though Korea escaped from poverty through the miracle of the Han River, there are people all over the world who need a helping hand. To disclose the beauty of Korea internationally is important, but internally in Korea I think Miss World Korea's primary obligation to reach out to ask more help to Koreans who need a helping hand.

12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
Social network services (SNS) was highlighted by the election process in the United States from 2007 to 2008. Barack Obama, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party at that time, utilized YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to successfully mobilize fund-raising campaigns and supporters. Obama in the time of being elected as president in November 2008 had millions of fans on his Facebook. As we see in the case of Obama's election, the strength of SNS is the communication of information. We can communicate with the people in the world through SNS with whom we had no chance to meet in person. It becomes a big help culturally and socially. I think that by using SNS, beauty pageant winners also can form a wide range of relationships, through which they are able to deliver what they want to tell to people.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
Human beings are defined because of the relationships with other human beings. Man is called a social animal, because he lives along with others. We all have endless ideals. However, we also know that we can’t achieve those ideals by only using our own strength. The most efficient way of raising one’s ability is working together with others. If with we use “our” strength instead of only “my” strength, there is nothing we cannot do. When we do that we are becoming human beings.

14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
Nick Vujicic, an Australian preacher was born without limbs. But that is not obstacle for him because he surfs, skateboards, plays the drums, plays golf, and works with computers. More surprising is that he did not stop because of his disability, he instead made it a positive asset and that is an example and a blessing for everyone. I think humans do not have a clearly determined purpose in life. However, I consider there is nothing more valuable than finding a purpose in life. It is clear that everyone has something that might be helpful to the world. I think the idea of helping the world which Nick Vujicic continuously shows, is a great example of a purpose in life that should be shared by all people in the world.

15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
I'll do my best, not to regret later. I am so happy that I could get a chance to represent my country at Miss World. I hope I would make pleasant memories from this contest.

and finally...
Personal Motto: To dare is to do, To fear is to fail.
Personal Goal: To be the role model of my own child. Be an interpreter.
Favorite Food: Kimchi Chigae (Spicy Kimchi Stew)
Favorite Color: Violet
Favorite Song: Puff-Peter, Paul and Mary
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings.
Favorite Book: Dead Poets Society
Favorite Singer/Band: Sid-Sound
Favorite Actor/Actress: Lee JeHun, Orlando Bloom
Favorite Hobby: Reading Books
Favorite Sport: Badminton

Jenny Park, National Director of Miss World in Korea
Kyung Min Doe
, Miss World Korea 2011

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