Citizens of Seoul, Korea gathered to greet the New Year by ringing the Bosingak bell at Bosingak Pavilion on December 31, 2017, and January 1, 2018. Eleven citizens, including Korean-Nigerian model Han Hyun-min, “comfort women” victim Lee Yong-Soo, and scientist Park Eun-jung, participated in the bell-ringing ceremony.
The bell-ringing ceremony at Bosingak is a representative New Year’s event in South Korea. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the bell is rung 33 times and a massive number of people gather to celebrate the New Year.
Every year, the city nominates representative citizens to take part in the ceremony. This year, people recommended appropriate figures through the city’s official website. According to a city official, selected eleven citizens “made the society safe and just, worked hard in their fields even in the blind spots, or achieved success despite hardships.
The citizen representatives this year were selected from various fields. Lee Yong-soo, the “comfort women” victim who inspired 2017 Korean film ‘I Can Speak’ made it on the list, along with 16 years old model of Nigerian and Korean descent Han Hyun-min who was nominated as one of ‘The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017” by Time.
Dog trainer Kang Hyung-wook and scientist Park Eun-jung also stood out on the list. Dr. Park, who has recently been acknowledged as one of world’s top 1% researchers in her 40s, inspired women in the fields who confront the glass ceiling.
Mascots for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic, Soohorang and Bandabi also rang the bell with citizens. About 3,000 people gathered for the ceremony and other New Year’s Day event held at Bosingak Pavilion.
By Heewon Kim