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Hangeul celebrated on its birthday

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will hold a wide range of events Wednesday to celebrate the 573rd Hangeul Day in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

Hangeul is the writing system for the Korean language, consisting of 24 letters. King Sejong the Great (1397-1450) led the invention with a team of scholars and Hangeul was promulgated in 1446. 

Foreigners and overseas Koreans participate in a calligraphy writing contest at the 28th Hangeul Essay Contest for Foreigners held Tuesday at Yonsei University in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. (Yonhap)
Foreigners and overseas Koreans participate in a calligraphy writing contest at the 28th Hangeul Essay Contest for Foreigners held Tuesday at Yonsei University in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. (Yonhap)

This year’s event, “Hangeul Opens the World” (unofficial translation), is expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees -- students, foreign envoys in Korea, representatives of organizations concerned with Hangeul or King Sejong, and more.

The event will kick off with a screening of a video about the national holiday, Hangeul Proclamation Day, and about the excellence of the writing system. There will also be a reading from the Hunminjeongeum, the document in which King Sejong set forth the new writing script and explained each character.

Eight people including Choi Yoon-kab, a professor emeritus of Yanbian University in China, will receive awards for their work to promote Hangeul.

The cast of the musical “Sejong 1446,” which celebrates the achievements of King Sejong, will perform numbers from the musical. This will be followed by performances by the Andong Boys & Girls Choir and a foreign singer who speaks Korean.

Apart from the main event, exhibitions and hands-on workshops related to Hangeul will be open to the public Wednesday and Thursday.

Hangeul errors at international airports to be corrected

Errors in Hangeul at airports around the world will be corrected soon, an expert announced Tuesday.

Korean history professor Seo Kyung-duk said he will work to correct inaccurate Hangeul writing at airports around the world, explaining that many signs and directions in Hangeul are misspelled or mistranslated.
Korean history professor Seo Kyung-duk (Yonhap)
Korean history professor Seo Kyung-duk (Yonhap)

Seo, based at Sungshin Women’s University, is a leading figure in the promotion of Korea and its history who has campaigned for Korean-language service at tourist spots around the globe.

“I have been correcting inaccurate Hangeul writings at major tourist spots and historical sites related to Korea’s independence movement. From this Hangeul Day to next year’s, I will focus on correcting the errors at airports around the world,” Seo said on social media.

“Major airports are used by tourists from all around the world. They are an important platform in promoting Hangeul. I will contact the airports and take immediate action,” he said.

Fonts released for Hangeul Day

To commemorate the 573rd birthday of Hangeul and win over patriotic consumers, a number of businesses have released free fonts.

Baedal Minjok, a leading mobile delivery app run by local startup Woowa Brothers, recently released the Baedal Minjok Euljiro font. According to the company, the font was inspired by the old metal workshops in the Euljiro district and the area’s industrial mood.
Baedal Minjok Euljiro font (Woowa Brothers)
Baedal Minjok Euljiro font (Woowa Brothers)

Food and beverage giant Binggrae has released the Binggrae Melona font, inspired by the logo of the bestselling ice cream. 

Binggrae Melona font (Binggrae)
Binggrae Melona font (Binggrae)

Online bookstore Yes24 has distributed three new fonts inspired by sunbeams. The fonts can be used for word processing, printed materials and videos.

Portal giant Naver held a contest in September to recognize the best handwritten fonts. A total of 25,000 contenders signed up for the event, from children to those over 90, and 109 fonts were selected. The fonts will be distributed through the portal website for free.

Korean game company Nexon also joined the efforts and created five new fonts. One was inspired by a character from its well-known game Crazy Arcade. The fonts are distributed via Nexon’s font-exclusive website Level Up.

By Im Eun-byel (