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Jean Youn: Positive message of “Gangnam Style”

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Do you happen to hear the song or watch the video of “Gangnam Style” sung by a Korean singer, Psy? He is only the second Asian singer who has ever reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart.

To be honest with you, I don’t understand why it became so popular worldwide. I can’t hear and understand clearly the lyrics, even though it is written in Korean. His dancing style seems strange to me.

However, today I want to introduce a very unique story about the region, “Gangnam,” to you.

Gangnam is a small part of the capital city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located to the south of the Han River which runs across the city. The word “gang” means “a river” and “nam” “south.” So Gangnam means “the south of a river.”

For reference, the area of South Korea is about 38.6 thousand sq. miles, which is between the size of Indiana (36.4 thousand sq. miles) and Kentucky (40.4 thousand sq. miles). And its population is about 50 million.

Yes, South Korea is a small and crowded country. The size of Gangnam is only 0.1% of the country, but its land price accounts for about 10% of that of the whole country. Many rich Koreans live there.

And you may not believe this. Its land price has skyrocketed by 160,000 times for the last 50 years.

A half century ago, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Since then, Korea has achieved outstanding economic growth. Now, the size of its economy is ranked as around the tenth largest in the world.

Now, let me tell you about Psy, a Korean rapper. He was not well known as a rapper for eleven years until the song came out. He is not really young as he is in his mid-thirties. He is neither exceptionally handsome nor as stylish as the Gangnam people. But he keeps a bright and positive attitude and way of thinking about life. I’ve heard that attitude made it possible for him to become famous overnight.

Though we may not need to be famous, I think that we need to try to live a life with a bright and positive attitude.

Now it’s October when fall is making its presence known in earnest. I wish that you will continue to have bright and positive days this week.


Jean Youn is the owner of Value Village Cleaners at 912 West Glenoaks Boulevard in Glendale 91202. For details on services, coupons and more, check out the Value Village Cleaners website here .

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