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College essay about nicknames

His father was a landowner. However, what is important is that the general spirit of Lost Names remains true to a culture that lost its identity before and during World War II. And somehow, through a sinuous textile of persisting concepts and ideas, Kim has created a family that feels, to the reader, truly unique, as well as sincere and genuine. Richard E. Not all Koreans shared the same experiences during this time, but to portray all that they went through in the pages of one book would be impossible.

Instead, Kim focuses on one boy and his family and their struggle to hold onto their culture and identity when it was being so forcibly taken away from them.

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During the occupation, many Koreans found the strength to fight to free their country from the Japanese. He was seen as a hero by the Korean people and especially by his son. In the first chapter he is a baby being carried over a frozen river by his father and mother to escape from Korea to start new lives as teachers at a missionary school. Even as baby, he shows courage. In the second chapter, he is now a second grader starting school for the first time back in Korea.

When he sings an English song to his Korean classmates, he is severely beaten by another Japanese teacher, and even when his face swells and he must be put to bed, he does not complain or beg not to go back to school. Instead, he uses this opportunity for his classmates to rally around him in opposition of Japanese brutality.

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Later, he steps into another role of leadership just like his father when he assumes the position of class leader. He does not enjoy the extra duties, but he is proud to be a leader, just like the rest of his family, and he would have it no other way. From a very young age, he sees that even while the Japanese are taking over, it is very important to keep up the honor and dignity of his family and, in that way, keep the Korean culture alive. As the Japanese are losing the war, they elicit more and more help from the Korean children to gather supplies from the villagers.

One day, it is the task of his Korean class to collect rubber balls from the villagers.

Since he realizes that the balls are needed only for their rubber, he decides to pop all the balls to save room in his sack. In doing this, he shows the rest of the Korean children how needy the Japanese are, and the Japanese punish him by beating him again. This time the beating is much worse, but he will still not give in.

There is even a time while being beaten that he transcends the pain, knowing that he is a young martyr who is bringing honor to his family just like his father.

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After the beating, he braves the cold so that he can stand up on stage to show the whole community what the Japanese have done to him. His parents could not be more proud, for, like his father, he has found his strength and his place in the resistance. The book is about boyhood, but it is also about a coming of age like all boyhoods must be. The main character leads us through snapshots of his life from infancy through his development into a strong young adult.

These pictures contain powerful descriptions and depictions of the horrors the young hero and his people were forced to endure. But one thing was omitted, leaving a gaping absence: their names. The most prominent may have been to emphasize the theme of the story, as reflected in the name of the book. At the story unfolds, it becomes obvious that family names are one of the most precious possessions and traditions of the Korean people.

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In a culture so rich in ancient beliefs and traditions, to strip a people of their names was perhaps the cruelest thing the Japanese could have done. Twenty or thirty people are moving about the burying ground. Some are in white; some, in gray, like my father and my grandfather. All are shrouded with white snow; now, some are kneeling before graves; some, brushing the snow off gravestones; some, wandering about like lost souls. This description is from a scene in which the main character, his father, and his grandfather go to the cemetery. While there, people of the older generation mourn the loss of their names.

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It is a sad image, to picture these people bent over the graves of their ancestors, proclaiming their shame. Perhaps it was Mr. This gap creates the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that one sometimes gets when reading the book. In a way, the absence of the names lets us understand, if only a little bit, how confused, helpless, or detached the Korean people felt when their names were stolen from them.

To strip the Koreans of their names was to strip them of their Korean heritage. The Japanese and Koreans seem to have many similarities in culture.


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Whether or not Mr. Kim was considering these similarities as he wrote does not change the fact that the only way the Japanese could have known the emotional and moral damage that taking away the names would cause, was because they felt exactly the same way about their names. My biggest struggle came with the French names at a school in Louisiana. However, those with difficult names must recognize the struggle people face and, as many Asian cultures do, actively assimilate to the culture they are trying to be successful in.

Unpronounceable is in the eye of the beholder. The effort is what matters. Did that state get a difficult name? This really hits a nerve with me. My name is Paula. I am of Italian background but I grew up around both Spanish and Italian speakers so I do not mind if someone calls me Paola. However, my name is Paula pronounced as a Spanish speaker would say it. Because I used to be a Spanish professor before making a shift in career to Chinese medicine, I spent my entire adult life until now being called by my correct name.

Now, though, I am in my final year of a TCM program and in this new life, people cannot be bothered to even TRY to pronounce my name correctly most of the time. No, this would not happen I hope. Sometimes I feel invisible when people call me Pah-lah, and I am an adult, multi-lingual, and highly-degreed. I can only imagine the shame a child would feel, and then sense of hurt, if nobody could be bothered to even TRY to pronounce his or her name correctly. And just because it looks familiar to English-speaking eyes, that does not mean that it is an American or English language name.

So yes, this article hit a nerve with me. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for this. As someone with an uncommon at least it was relatively uncommon when I was born in Irish Gaelic version of a fairly common Germanic first name, I can relate to this. My first name is two syllables. It is not Lie-am and I am not named Lee-On. Instead, ask me how it is pronounced correctly and I will tell you.

I also used to get a lot of teasing and crap from my schoolmates about my name, so yes, I am kind of sensitive about this topic.

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I was watching a YouTube video of a news announcer Cenk Uygur explaining how to pronounce his name. In the comment section there were people correcting the news announcer about how to pronounce his own name! I teach in a school in the southenr suburbs of Johannesburg resulting in kids from up to 15 different ethnicities in one classroom.

I wanted to strangle her.

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I figured them out in my first year of teaching! I became a calibrator though a baptism of fire when I spent a year in Taiwan as an English teacher after college graduation.

Since then, I have become a professor and teach on a very diverse university campus, which forces me to update and hone my skills. Most Americans use Makayla or any of a host of variant spellings , blasting through that diphthong to make a three-syllable pronunciation. This is understandable, since English typically does not split diphthongs; hence the use of the umlaut over the e to prompt a four-syllable pronunciation.

This is how it is done in French and Spanish which I speak.