Daisy Festival Wilts Due To Little Support
Daisy Festival Wilts Due To Little Support
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  • 승인 2003.05.07 00:00
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With the war on Iraq proceeding in another part of the world, and the South Korean government pondering whether or not to dispatch Korean troops, a peace festival was held at Ewha Womans University on April 11. Called the Daisy Festival to symbolize peace, the festival was a day for Ewha students to walk out of their classes and gather to voice their opposition to war. Festival organizers, however, were disappointed by the low turnout of students and by general expressions of student apathy.

"We shall give up our rights of education, for that is the most active way for us, college students, to raise our voices," said one phrase written by the Student Government Association (SGA) on a poster to publicize the Daisy Festival.

The SGA prepared T-shirts that read "No war on Iraq" in red colors, and sold anti-war badges to raise funds. Several other student organizations also participated in the festival by holding bazaars with the intention of sending their earnings to help people in Iraq.

One unusual item was sanitary napkins sold by the Guerilla Press Ya, and Pul-moo. With the catchphrases "No war, no blood" and "As women, we oppose the war," the organization emphasized that women"s blood shed during their monthly period is different from the blood in Iraq: the former a sign of the power to give birth, and the latter something that takes away life.

Similar anti-war displays took place at universities all around the world. Under the slogan "No war on Iraq. Bill of rights, take it back," students
gathered and showed their disapproval of the Iraq war. At Seoul National University, more than three thousand students stayed out of classes and chose to participate.

But unlike festivals at other universities, Ewha"s Daisy Festival did not draw the attention of many students.

One reason was bad weather. Though the Daisy Festival was scheduled to take place in front of the Student Union Building where there are a lot of passers-by, rain made all the events move inside, including an anti-war concert which was supposed to draw attention towards the festival.

Many students also complained of problems with the Daisy Festival itself. "It is meaningless to be against the war when the war is reaching its end," said Kim Min-ji (Voice, 4). Others complained that there wasn"t much to do or to participate in during the festival.

At the bazaars, not many items captured interest. Homemade cookies, "Dduk-Kko-chi 9rice cakes with sauce)," and cosmetics were sold, but these, say students, are common items at every school event. "This festival doesn"t have much to do with peace. It"s just another market, and the 15-minute-recess was enough for me to look around," said a student who wishes to remain anonymous.

Ewha students also tend to be indifferent towards the SGA"s activities. Kim Min-ji stated that she did not participate in the walk-out of classes because "nobody else did." Kim Min-kyung (Biology, 4), who remarked that she normally does not have an interest in the SGA"s activities, said that she thought the Daisy Festival was yet another event only by and for the SGA.

Students who prepared for the festival, however, say they are saddened by such attitudes. "If only many students had participated, it would have been a great chance to talk about the present situation and speak with one big, powerful voice. Such low participation makes me feel a bit bitter about my refusal to attend classes," said Kim Ja-kyung (Social Studies Education, 2.)

"There wasn"t a professor who officially contacted us to say that he or she would cancel lectures. Yet, most professors promised, when we went from door to door to meet each professor, that they would understand students" absences on this day," said Cho Hyang-hee, the Vice President of the SGA. "It"s a pity that many students think that the war is over. But actually, it isn"t."

While looking at a mosaic on a board that said "I Love Peace" created by herself, Cho muttered that she felt no loss about the Daisy festival. But, looking at her from behind, there seemed to linger a feeling of disappointment.


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