|“Staying in India for last 26years, I have become an Indian and Indian blood flows in me. Now When I go back to my own country, I miss the Indian environment and people” says Prof. Do-young Kim|
5 december New Delhi.
He has graduated suma cum laude from Korea University, one of the top universities in South Korea and pursued Chinese Literature for his Bachelor’s degree and English Literature in his Master’s course. India is widely known in Korea as the land of Princess Huh and King Kim Suro. It is known that an Indian princess, Princess Huh from Ayodhya travelled to Korea in the 1st Century A.D. to marry a Korean king, Kim Suro. Dr. Kim is a descendent of King Kim Suro’s clan and in keeping with this historical legacy, it might not be such a stretch to say that his love for India might be attested to this lineage. He came to India in the 8th August 1988 to join the M.A. course in English at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He continued his M.Phil and completed his Ph.D. in 1996. His mentor is Prof. Kapil Kapoor, one of the most eminent scholars in the English literature field in India. While Dr. D.Y. Kim was teaching tutorial English, he was invited to set up the B.A. programme of Korean Language in J.N.U. as a visiting professor. In 1998, he established the M.A. course in Korean language. After the successful establishment of M.A. programme, he was invited to University of Delhi for launching the Korean progamme. Now D.U. has two full-time and three part- time Korean language programmes and is set to open its M.A. programme in 2015. His wife Dr. Y.S. Kim is also another Korean language scholar who completed her Ph.D in J.N.U and is a well-known Korean language educationalist. His three daughters completed their education at D.P.S. R.K. Puram from primary to senior school after which they returned to Korea to join Seoul National University and Yonsei University.
His long duration in India was not without its set of challenges. Coming from a moderate to cold climatic terrain, the scorching weather of the Indian summers and off and on supply of water in the early years needed some getting used to. Back in the 80s, Korea was a virtual unknown and he pledged to change the status of Korea’s obscurity in India through his academic and cultural efforts.
In his circle of acquaintances and beyond, he is well known for his sheer passion for all things India. He published a few best sellers in Korea; ‘Indians whom I met’, ‘Indians and Indian Culture’ and ‘I meet 1.2 billions of Indians’ for Korean readers to understand India. His publications try to showcase India from an innate understanding of India and its society acquired through his various studies and his personal encounters. He has made it his lifetime goal to facilitate a deeper understanding of and from both India and Korea. His contribution to Korean language and Korean studies in India is another definitive point in academic and cultural relations between the two nations. His books ‘Bharati Korean Basic’, ‘Bharati Korean Intermediate’ and ‘Bharati Korean Advanced’ serve as textbooks for Korean courses in University of Delhi, Central University of Jharkhand, Madadh University and Manipur University. He also published a series of Indian-learner-friendly dictionaries; Korean-English Students’ Dictionary in Romanized & Hindi Pronunciation, and English – Korean Students’ Dictionary. Both dictionaries are particularly useful for the Indian learner since they have the devanagiri for each Korean word. In Korean study field, a comparatively new academic field, most faculty members from J.N.U., D.U., English and Foreign Language University, Central University of Jharkhand and Manipur University are his disciples.
In his capacity as the president of Association of Korean Language Educators in India which includes all the Korean language teachers, he has been holding All India level of Korean language education seminars for last 8 years. He is also a founding member of the Researchers’ Association of Studies on Korea. The Association has played host to annual international seminars on India-Korea relationship for the last 8 years, dealing with a plethora of issues such as international affairs, economy, security, environment, society, history and culture between two countries. In addition, he has been pivotal in organizing the Korea Week and Korea Speech Contest each year with the most recent 7th All India Korean Language Speech Contest at University of Delhi held with aplomb.
He is the sole Korean member of a governing body of India-South Korea Friendship Association whose chairman is Mr. Shashak, the former secretary of Foreign ministry. This association is an important bridge for ties between the two countries.