Saturday, September 12, 2009

Alphabetical exports

Now, one South Korean woman, Lee Ki-nam, is determined to wring more recognition from the world with an unusual export: the Korean alphabet. Ms. Lee is using a fortune she made in real estate to try to take the alphabet to places where native peoples lack indigenous written systems to record their languages.

Her project had its first success — and generated headlines — in July, when children from an Indonesian tribe began learning the Korean alphabet, called Hangul. ...

South Korean popular culture — soap operas, music, pop stars — had mesmerized much of Asia. People like the Cia-Cia, a minority of 60,000 people in Indonesia, were eager to embrace things Korean, according to a Korean documentary shot on their island.
--Choe Sang-Hun, NYT, on expanding King Sejong's legacy through K-Pop

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