Hi, there! Emotion: smile

This is a narrative essay draft for my English composition course.

It is a little bit long, but I hope you have a look and enjoy it.

Of course, I'd really appreciate if you check it out with whatever you can see.

Anything is fine. Please.

Grammar, Ambiguity, Wordiness, Fragment, Run-on sentences, Punctuation(comma, semi-colon, colon, dash...), strange expressions by a cultural difference.

I'm looking forward to your helpful feedbacks.

Thank you in advance Emotion: big smile

Ahrum Lee

Advanced English Composition

Prof. Jeongsik Park

Nov 6, 2011

A Crafty Trick

On 15th of August, my best Austrian friend, Markus and I finally met again in Seoul. It has been almost four years since I had a farewell look at him in Austria where I was an exchange student. Remembering his help as a native Austrian, I decided to help him sightsee in Seoul without any reluctance. I still don’t even guess how glad I was when I found him at Gwanghwamun station. As he had suggested, we excitedly headed out for the War Memorial holding the Independence Day Festival. At War Memorial, it was not difficult at all to notice that the host called Mannam is a volunteering organization because of ad-balloons, posters and volunteers’ t-shirts. They prepared a great variety of events: experiencing torture, making Korean traditional paper, watching a laser show and so forth. The festival seemed to be so successful due to all the booths thronged with people.

After roaming around the first booth for national flag, we were asked to take a picture by a staff who enthusiastically explained the meaning of Taegeuk mark.

“Would you say ‘when light meets light, there is a victory’ instead of ‘kimchi’ or ‘cheese?’ It is a slogan of Mannam!” She kindly asked.

“Sure, why not?” We answered.

“Okay. Then, here we go. When light meets light, there is a?” She waited for our answer spreading out her thumb and index finger.

“VICTORY!” We said grinning and made the same manual gesture. With full of excitement, we shouted it out loudly to thank the volunteers working hard. We just thought all volunteers were very proud of their organization because subsequently every single member asked us to do the same things like saying their slogan and making the strange gesture.

Soon, the evening came and the main performances on the stage got started while clearing booths. It was such a big stage so they had flying cameras and a huge screen to show the performances to a large audience. Although it was completely crowded, we could take front seats as the organization encouraged its members to offer their seats to foreigners. There were many other foreign spectators watching the shows: Korean traditional dance, drum performance, kids’ fan dance and other shows. Generally it was totally fun, but the MC repeated putting an emphasis on the name of volunteering organization in the intervals several times.

“This is the wonderful performance which can be hosted only by Mannam!”

“It was Mannam’s great play, why don’t we applaud Mannam?”

“Thanks to everyone’s effort, Mannam will be a global organization!”

“After reunite our countries, let’s unify the whole world with Mannam!”

Listening to the MC’s extravagant praise on Mannam, I got tired of it and asked Markus.

“Hey, isn’t it weird that the MC mentions Mannam too much?”

“Yeah, truly. It looks more than exceeded,” he answered. Plus, we perceived that people especially gave deafening cheers whenever an old couple appeared on the screen. We guessed they must have been representatives of Mannam. Furthermore, the last show – a laser show also seemed to focus on Mannam. In the diverse national-flag laser show, we couldn’t see Korean one but the logo of Mannam in the end: It is similar to the Taegeuk mark. It had no message celebrating Korean Independence! What is more, I couldn’t help feeling bizarre when the staff stood two giving a send-off saying not “good-bye, you can get to car parks in this way,” but “IT WAS MANNAM! Thank you!” That unusual good-bye messages made both of us feel uncomfortable, but we tried to believe that we misunderstood their good intention since we didn’t want to spoil our reunion.

After Markus’ flying back the next day, I was uploading the photos we had taken together. Then Mannam just occurred to me as I watched photos with the special gesture. I simply googled the name, and got utterly shocked from all the facts. The truth is this. This volunteering organization is actually deeply related to a notorious pseudo-religion called ‘Shincheonji’ using Korean cultural or traditional events as their missionary work to spread! The old couple on the screen wasn’t a real married couple but each representative of ‘Shincheonji’ and ‘Mannam.’ Also, the name, Mannam, didn’t mean ‘meeting’ but their middle names mixed – ‘Man’ from ‘Lee Manhee’ and ‘Nam’ from ‘Kim Namhee!’ The real implication of their slogan ‘when light meets light, there is a victory’ was the leaders’ mixed name upside down as well - ‘Hee-Hee’ meaning ‘light and light’, ‘Man-Nam’ meaning ‘meat’ and ‘Lee-Kim’ for ‘victory.’ And the reason why they held the festival was because their first aim is to increase their followers internationally through Korean national holiday and Korean word meaning independence - ‘Gwangbok’ - implies ‘repairing lights’ which just imports the leaders for the pseudo-religion believers. The most frightening thing was the number of adherents is already more than 60,000 and getting more and more. They try to involve as many people as possible via a lot of crafty tricks pretending pure cultural or national volunteering events. After this happening, I totally realized the seriousness and dexterity of the pseudo-religious missionary method. I should be more alert in everything. However, I am still debating if I should tell Markus what we attended was a pseudo-religion party. I don’t want him to know that we frantically shouted out their names and took pictures with a ridiculous gesture but feel like telling him to beware that he doesn’t answer any suspicious e-mails or calls from ‘Shincheonji.’
I'd start with On August 15 instead of On 15th of August.

But want I really want to say is thank you very much for writing this. There is very little English information out there linking Mannam to the Shinchonji cult. Your essay is informative, interesting, and very important. It should be required reading for anyone visiting or living in Korea because these days it's very hard to not encounter Mannam. I'll certainly be sharing this far and wide if that's Ok with you.
Well done and thank you.

As an Brit I have to say that On 15th of August is perfectly fine. North Americans and Europeans write the date differently. So both versions are fine to use.

Interesting essay! Thanks for sharing Emotion: smile