Dana Mun, 20, is a fourth generation Korean from Almaty, Kazakhstan. Born between an ethnic-Korean father, and Kazakhstani mother, she considers herself ethnic-Korean as well.
Mun began her year at Ewha in center stage, when she had the honor of presenting the freshmen pledge in the 2017 Matriculation Ceremony. As a recipient of the Ewha Global Partnership Program scholarship, she is now part of the Ewha community, where she expects to spend the next couple years studying business.
Ultimately, she wanted to go back home after graduation and use her knowledge in business to work in relation to Korean and Kazakhstani commerce, though at the same time, she worried of the fast growing Korean market in Kazakhstan.
“I recently went back home for the first time in two years, and I was shocked at the amount of Korean products that had found its place in the local Kazakhstani stores,” she shared. “You can find Korean snacks and cosmetics in the stores these days. I hope I’m not too late when I go back four years later.”
In accordance to her aspirations to become a pioneer bringing Korean culture to her hometown, Mun has already started a little career of her own. With the beginning of her life at Ewha, Mun and her friend set a new project on Youtube. Nomunomu, their new Youtube channel featuring Mun and her fellow Russian speaking friend, has just recently launched their first video. Just two days in, their first upload, an introductory video surpassed 2,000 views.
“Our channel will be introducing Korean culture and university life to Russian speakers like myself,” said Mun.
She explained that in CIS*, a lot of people, especially teenage girls are immersed in K-pop and K-dramas. With the population of Russian speaking fans at an all time high, Mun believes that her channel will be able to speak to this market of individuals halfway across the globe.
“They are so curious about Korea,” she said. “There are even people who ask if there are any bugs in Korea, or if there is any trash in Korea. The teenage girls, who are likely to believe anything they see, think that Korea is just like K-dramas and that all Korean men look like K-pop idols and movie stars.”
Mun laughed at the innocence of the people back home. She said that even the most everyday foods for Korean people, like tteokbokki, spicy Korean rice cakes rile up her Instagram with questions and awe.
In addition to her Youtube channel, Mun has been blogging regularly about her life in Korea for Russian speakers back home. It serves as a window for people to experience Korean culture and everyday life in secondhand.
“It’s funny because when I was into K-pop as a middle schooler, nobody shared my interest,” Mun said. “They sneered and asked why I liked and followed these ‘Chinese girls.’ But now, there are so many K-pop and K-drama fans.”
In this sense, Dana Mun is certainly a rattling pioneer. At the blossoming age of 20, she has already, and is continuing, to create bridges across borders. In the twinkle in her eyes, we see the true spirit of Ewha, as an institution that brings people, knowledge and passion together.
Last year, Ewha showed the world just that. There’s no doubt that, students like Dana Mun will continue to build and extend that vigor throughout the future of Ewha.
*CIS(Commonwealth of Independent States): Organization formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Nine member states including Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.