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SKS: Along the Paths of the Provisional Government 2015-04-04 오후 7:06:00

Saturday, March 28. The warm, sunny weather greeted over 150 high school students and teachers of Shanghai Korean School getting ready for a major school event: walking the streets on which our forefathers put endless effort in the Korean independence movement. The students and teachers who participated all learned about the patriots’ lives and work, and spent time to appreciate what they did for our country.

Shanghai is a very meaningful place in terms of the history of the Korean independence movement during the Japanese colonial era in the early 1900s. At that time, many patriots came to Shanghai; they set up a provisional government and worked to regain Korea’s national rights. The journey for the day started there: the Provisional Government of Korea. As soon as the students and teachers arrived on Madang Road, they visited the government. First, they watched a video on the history of the independence movement. A tour of the restored government building proceeded, and everybody took a look at how things were like for the patriots back then. The cramped place included the conference room, the office, the restroom and so on; pictures and writings of the people who worked there were displayed on the walls. Everybody walked out with a sense of respect towards how hard the patriots worked in such a poor environment.

After that, they gathered outside. With the principal in lead, the students, each holding a Korean flag, gave three cheers for our nation. It was a significant moment for all participants, who thought about their identity as Koreans once more.

The students and teachers reached the Bund. The Bund is a famous tourist destination in Shanghai, but also an important place in history that helped the Koreans’ independence movement a century ago. This is because the Japanese were not able to easily suppress the work of Korean patriots here in the concessions that belonged to the western countries. Among the tall, exotic buildings of the Bund, everybody stopped by to have lunch and take a rest. Then, they resumed their walk.

In the process of the independence movement, a number of Korean patriots audaciously attacked higher officials of Japan to show their resistance. One of them was Yoon Bong-gil, who flung a bomb onto the platform to successfully kill and injure numerous Japanese officials in 1932. It was during a ceremony celebrating the Japanese emperor’s birthday as well as their victory in the war against China. The attack happened in Hongkou Park (now called Luxun Park) located in Shanghai. Now, a memorial building for Yoon, named Mae-jung, stands at the exact spot. This was the final, and for a lot of students, the most memorable place to stop by.

As everybody flooded into the park, cheerful sights and sounds of nature and people excited the students and the teachers. However, instead of lingering to enjoy the view, everybody walked further inside. They soon reached Mae-jung, a small two-story building with an appearance of a traditional Korean house. Inside, a video from Yoon’s days was playing; there were also many photos and relics from the patriot’s life that helped visitors imagine the events vividly. Everyone admired at the dedication of the youth while reading his quotes as well as explanations about his life; then, the students picked up trash around the building to honor him.

As the students headed home in the late afternoon, they were exhausted from walking so much (12 kilometers, for 4 hours); however, their hearts were energized by the pride and appreciation for the ardent and courageous patriots. Surely, this walk will be a memorable event for all students and teachers of SKS.

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