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Exceptional BHA Students at Jeju 4.3 English Speech Contest

The Jeju Incident was an uprising that occurred on Jeju Island in South Korea from April 1948 to May 1949 and took place within the context of the early Cold War era.

 The Jeju Incident was notable for its extreme violence where 10% of Jeju's population were killed. To remember the event and raise awareness of the tragic incident, the Ministry of Education in Korea held the Jeju 4.3 English Speech Contest this year. Out of more than 1,000 participants through all Korea schools, our 4 Branksome Hall Asia students were on the stage for the final round and all attained 4th place awards. Here are our proud students’ names:  


The following article by Heesung Tae(G10) is a reflection on the speech she gave in the competition.

“I sat down with my notebook and a pencil in front of me, trying to write a draft for this speech after doing a bit of research. But the paper remained blank for another two hours. Because sitting there, I realized that I’ve lived as a Korean citizen for 16 years, and I lived in Jeju for 8 years, but I’ve only known about  the Jeju 4.3 Incident for a few hours.” 

This is an excerpt from the introduction of my speech. To be honest, when I decided to apply for the Jeju 4.3 Speech Contest, it was just because I wanted to try out for a public speaking competition. In addition,  I felt I could gain some knowledge about the Jeju 4.3 Incident. After doing some research, I realized that it was a shame for me to participate in this contest with the intention to simply learn about the incident. I’ve been ignorant for such a long time that it even felt wrong to apply for this contest.

Ironically, that sense of guilt became the main theme of my speech. The given topic was “world peace and improvement of human rights”, which I thought was too broad and hard for me, so I instead focused on saying the things that I truly felt with my heart. My speech may have not been as fancy as the others’, but it contains what I really thought and felt while investigating the Jeju 4.3 Incident. 


By Heesung Tae (G10)