For Whom Daedong Festival Tolls
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For Whom Daedong Festival Tolls
  • 정은주
  • 승인 2003.06.04 00:00
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The Dionysus festivities of ancient Greece were a time to celebrate life through eating, drinking, performing, and most of all, enjoying a sense of togetherness. The Ewha Daedong festivities are also a time for celebration, but how many Ewhaians really feel that they are part of a bigger whole? Has the meaning of togetherness faded away over the ages since ancient Greece?
This year, there has been much controversy on campus during the Ewha Daedong festival. Much of it accounts from the clash of opinion between student activists, conservatives, and reformists. The ceremony before the Young-san tug-of-war suddenly became a problem, as also the legitimacy of the lesbian festival. There were moves to change the festivities at Ewha and students were asked what kind of activities they wanted to include; among them a barbecue party. This year"s festival saw a bigger number of writing on the walls stating students different opinions and more meetings were held to reach a consensus among different student groups.
However, it is hard to say that student involvement has increased. There could be a number of reasons behind this lack of student participation. As the festivities are at the end of the month, and final exams just around the corner, many students feel it in their best interests to stay in the library with their books. Others, especially juniors and seniors, may feel the pressures of getting a job after graduation much more important than school events. Also, unlike other nearby schools, the school does not invite pop stars for entertainment. Although this is an action that defies the commercialization of Daedong festivities, the school provides few alternatives that can catch the interest of the whole student body and bring people together.
One of the ultimate concerns among students, though, is that the Daedong festival is currently not what they want a college festival to be like. While most people do not want the festival to become a light time for entertainment where the only motto is "enjoy yourself," they also do not want it to turn into a heavy student activist movement fighting for better awareness in social issues. A sense of meaning has been lost in such extremes. Students rarely wait for the festival period with expectation and do not participate because they have come to the conclusion that it no longer concerns them.
The original meaning of "Daedong" is "to become one." The only way the Daedong festival can blossom this original meaning into a full-fledged reality is if the students make it that way. Unless students are active in pursuing what they want of the Ewha Daedong festival, nothing will change and next year"s festival will be even less awaited for,with less expectations.

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