The idea of ViKi first came up as something for myself

Major: education / Field of profession: IT.

My profile put in a line. Simple, huh? Right, my life was indeed getting simple. You know, as you continue to make fair progresses with your career, and all your excitement about work begins to grow stale, this thing called mannerism starts to creep in… That notion that everyday’s the same, I’m just fending for each day, what more can you expect…etc., etc.

But then this voice from somewhere inside my head yells at me; you’re still young, dxxn it! Your blood yearns for a good hot boil time to time. I mean, it’s good to be settled in and all, but this can’t possibly be the end! Still water decomposes, and unused organs degenerate…I smell you rotting, rotting… life should still have some other surprise in store, (somewhere over the rainbow?)! It was about time I went seeking for new adventure – so what came up? Nothing that fancy, after all … just studying some more, but this time in the US., away from familiar surroundings.

But!!!!!!! It turned out that I was in fact ‘too old for that joint,’ no longer a perky twenty-year old whose blood indeed simmers and head scintillates with wit! Those ENGLISH words splattered all over the pages made me sick, totally frustrated: I’ve learned English at school for over 10 years, ever since junior high – but look at me now, thwarted by some stupid article in a GRE text book! What’s wrong here? Where’ve all the hours I’d invested in this language gone? Looking around, I realized that it wasn’t my problem alone. Korea spending tons of money and time in English education, but people can’t even properly order a hamburger when it comes to practice. Collective problems have systematical causes -the Korean English education system seems to be inefficient, and since I’m one of its victims, I know what’s wrong with it, what parts need improvement… can’t I do something about it? Use what I’ve learned to make some real difference?

Couldn’t stop thinking about it, even after actually being admitted and having done with the toil. Guess the issue persisted in my mind, as I was thrown right into the heart of trans-cultural/linguistic challenges, studying in a foreign environment. Didn’t some wise guy say, an urgent need is the best motivation?

Everything was new, new new… even my very self. My speech habits, behavioral patterns, outgoing personality and self-prided leadership – all gone. I was no longer the ‘me’ I knew myself to be, changed in external perception as well as internal self-conception. I found myself stuttering, getting timid because of my inability to fully express myself, and in turn being further withdrawn. That, was the new “me.”

What this experience taught me was that adjusting to my new school and its surroundings wasn’t simply an issue of language – that it involves culture, and in a wider span, life within it. No being can be defined outside the context of the given environment… Assimilation was a complex process of understanding not only language, but also the social texture that harbors it, the people who use it. I was struck by the notion that comprehension of a certain language runs parallel to an understanding of its mother culture.

That’s exactly the point where this grand discourse over ‘diversity’ hit the wall – born and raised in Korea, known for its ethnic and cultural unity, I first marveled at the cultural/racial/linguistic kaleidoscope of America. Salad bowl, melting pot… call it what you may, this fusion seemed to have a future. Disparity accepted and respected as ‘difference,’ not ‘flaw.’ Here, there was a possibility of harmony in our post-babellian world of chaos.

However… as years went by, I couldn’t get rid of this feeling that there’s a certain invisible wall between myself and other friends. Yes, there was ‘difference’ between us, which we respected.. but then, that was it. No attempts to cross over that very boundary. Right, we’re not the same, I take that – so let it stay right there, there’s never going to be complete mutual understanding, that’s a given condition! Possibility turned out to be a restriction.

All these talks about globalization, diversity, a one big happy community… but are we truly one? Is there genuine mutual understanding? Respect implies sustainable difference, but at the same time, it means there’s still a clear line drawn between ‘self’ and the ‘other.’ There has to be an overarching theme, each piece corresponding to its neighboring substance for random scraps to become a harmonious collage. Cultural understanding as the premise for a mellifluous inter-linguistic tune. No wonder Koreans waste away taking inefficient English lessons, of course I don’t feel at home among non-Korean friends. There has to be some way to share our backgrounds in a more intimate manner, pierce through one another’s daily lives that make us what we are.

So came the idea of ViKi. A totally new platform, a hybrid of community mongering and linguistic exchange. Let people share their interests, thoughts – in the process of which, inter-linguistic communication naturally taking place, consequently rendering mere diversity into a true harmony. No no, this isn’t mere cliché, one more abstract jibber jabber on world peace. We’ve got all the necessary hardware, mankind having been so smart as to materialize Gibson’s vision of the World Wide Web – now we just have to give flesh and blood to this phantom.

This is what ViKi will do, what ViKi is for.

Jiwon

27 Responses to “The idea of ViKi first came up as something for myself”

  1. keyboardonfire Says:

    wow!:)
    Well begun is half done!
    Hope we can all share your vision someday.

  2. Kayan Says:

    This project seems wonderful!
    I really feel like participating…but, is all this legal?
    Also, how would the contents be controlled? There are always stupid people who has nothing better to do than trash other’s work or write insanities…
    But I really wish you success, this will be wonderful for sharing different cultures.

  3. leebaebi Says:

    hi
    I discovered this site today via mysoju.com. I have worked as an interpreter for 30 years and am deeply touched by everything you said about language being more than just language and so on. I experience it every day…plus I am addicted to kdrama, although I don’t understand Korean..So congratulations on your project!

  4. kjohn Says:

    Best mission statement I’ve ever read. I love your dream. And your drive.

    I got hooked on Korean dramas watching AZNTV and cried with frustration when it was canceled. Seeing into other worlds like that was fascinating. It made me want to understand more about the culture and history. My only language is English, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t be much help, unless you needed an editor, but I do truly wish you the best success.

  5. tsunku Says:

    No this is not legal, not in Korea nor in the USA. Soon as the owners of the properties find out about it, a takedown notice will be served, since the site is in Korea, probably no notice, just some cops to come take out the server and her too. Who knows maybe SBS and KBS have some thugs on hire to take care of ppl who attempt to steal from them.

  6. Alexi Says:

    This is my first time even thinking about something like this existing. However, I believe in this web site’s cause, because I have always wanted to be a part of blending cultures, and inter-linguistic idea exchange.

  7. flograp18th Says:

    Keyword is “exude confidence in yourself”. You may not be perfect in pronouncing/enunciating words, but if you speak with confidence and speak with great sense (just as how you’ve written them here)…people will listen to you in awe.
    I am also a transplant in US but proud that I can speak 3 languages … not all perfect but good enough to communicate. I have what others don’t have… just like you – we are exposed to a different language so we can easily pick up different languages with hard work and practice. So you have more to offer = do not be hard on yourself…. just enjoy being you and share the natural “you” with everyone else…. I know so coz’ it is also my story.

  8. Nnylanna Says:

    ViiKii….. what a great idea.

    Your written english is excellent. even far better than the people born in english speaking countries. What I’ve noticed with koreans learning english overseas is that they don’t mingle with people in their host country but tend to stick with their fellow countrymen. Thus, conversational english (specially pronounciation) is not as good as when you’re writing the language. It is no use learning another language unless you actually practice it with the locals. I’ve been learning how to speak french but when I actually went to france and try to converse with the locals it’s a totally different ball game. 6 years of learning spanish at school also didn’t help me much when I went to Spain 2 years ago. Anyways, “flograph18th” was right, confidence in yourself if the keyword.

    As the “Aussie” saying goes…….good on yah mate….

  9. kt Says:

    Hi,
    I was trying to find somewhere more appropriate to post this but couldn’t find anywhere so here goes….
    Im a final year BA International Journalism student at a university in the UK and I’m writing an article on the rise in fansubbing online and how more people are watching media not in their first language. I decided to write this kind of article because I myself have watched asian dramas/films etc. for year yet it is not common here in the UK and most people wonder why you bother when theres “stuff you can watch on tv where you dont need subs”….I want to write about how more people should watch different programmes from different countries.

    So…the reason why I’m posting here, is I was wondering if there was any way I could interview you (via email of course) about your views on this topic. Your note here is perfect but obviously I can’t just life it from this site “plagarism 😦 ” but would need a direct quote from you.

    Any help, even pointing me in another direction, would be of great help!

    • TD Says:

      Hi there kt

      I am also doing research into fansubbing practices. I am wondering if you did interview Jiwon for your article and if so, if the interview might be available. I would fully reference anything that I quote.

      Cheers, TD

  10. Collaborative (transational) Audienceships: Viikii.net | canarytrap.net Says:

    […] idea behind the site, according to the articles on the viikii blog was to help generate cultural understanding and language education through the use of popular […]

  11. saraweasther Says:

    I cried when Azn tv was cancelled too.

    • atnasa Says:

      I belong to this site. I have not heard about what you have said. Please tell about it. If it is true, then I too am going to cry. I have only been a member for 3 months, have paid for a Premium account and now you say that it is no longer going to be around? Oh, please tell me it’s now so. Please tell me as soon as possible. Thank-you.

  12. atnasa Says:

    Love, just love how you, “Jiwon’s Note on ViiKii”, write. Just great!! I don’t understand much about this site, but, I love it and appreciate all the hard work that goes into producing it. I am crazy about all Asian Drama, but what really draws me to this site is the interaction and collaboration of so many people. I also like being a part, even if only a little part of it. Thank you so much for creating this site. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

  13. Rodins Says:

    Responding to Jiwon’s Note

    Surely Yes! Ideally, when we agree to a common and a universal culture, it will contribute a lot towards understanding each other. We will work towards avoiding cultural and intercontinental conflicts. But hopefully, Viikii can be a foundation –today these common bodies sharing a love for mankind-together we can overcome misunderstandings. Through acknowledging and learning from our mutual mistakes, we can accomplish a truly, universal camaraderie.

    Shall we begin with an awareness to foster a sense of universal belonging? We can be satisfied with what we have. We can share knowledge with those who lack. We could empathize with our neighbors to understand their socioeconomical and cultural roots. Yet are we mutually prepared to start and to what extent are we willing to move forward in understanding a different culture?

    For example, on Viikii, we watch a common drama through different time zones from different backgrounds. Included with a few viewers, we are unpleased with other viewers over their ethnocentric comments. These two groups of people poured values- stereotyping the plots and personas based in situations from their own cultural backgrounds. In doing so, we failed to understand deeply the personas based on settings in the drama. If we agree that understanding a cultural setting is beyond reading the subtitles- then we should be willing to read the meaning behind the scenes and the space between the lines.

    On Viikii screens, we-the professed educated crowd – those who came this far and who knows how to logon to the site could begin firstly by not sharing not only our echno-centric remarks which reflect on our lack of understanding. We can remain silent before inserting constructive criticism rather than abuse another culture with our destructive comments. Since anyone can logon the site, Viikii is not only for viewers, but actors and directors as well.

    Let’s respect Viikii- as an ideal foundation to foster knowledge. On Viikii we can bury our bias-let’s choose the time to do so today-this minute. Let’s be prepared to drop our stereotyping, avoid cultural conflicts, be better interpersonal communicators by starting anew!. Let’s respect diversity and immerse in a commonality!

  14. Bill Bartmann Says:

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

  15. melaboa Says:

    is there anyway that we can get permission from these copyright holders at all to allow us to use their shows.i mean come on! it’s not even directly uploaded here…and we are not even selling them lol but yeah it is illegal haha…the PURPOSE of us using them is for a good reason though! they are just to selfish!ah!

  16. streaming drama Says:

    Excellent site, keep up the good work, and a i like watch asian drama 🙂

  17. nabi Says:

    i agree with you. but i think korea educatin is so failed not only english but also most of them.
    i love learn about something new. but school make me sick.
    ㅜㅜ as you see, i can’t english well. so i can’t leave many word. but your great idea make my heart pound.
    and i like your site so much.

  18. Bertram Davie Says:

    I wants to thank you for making a very good post. I by no means normally comment on blogs but I felt like I required to because you manufactured such a good energy publishing this superior details. Thank you and I am going to be back once more!

  19. Phuong Says:

    Hello,

    I work for a marketing agency and have a client that is interested in advertising on your site. Please send me advertising options along with pricing. My email is phuong@bluelinerny.com.

    Thank you.

  20. Phuong Says:

    p/s: I mean my client is interested in advertising on Viikii.net

  21. Binapesi Says:

    Language .. is one really strange stuff, right?
    I like the way you think and the way the site is leading. Bringing so many differences together. Hope it’s gonna stay that way.

  22. Sonny Boyce Says:

    Hey can I quote some of the information here in this post if I provide a link back to your site?

  23. Jodi Bridson Says:

    This is your best article piece so far. Great job!

  24. locksmith Lynn Says:

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  25. Alysha Redfern Says:

    I am glad to be one of several visitors on this great website (:, thankyou for putting up.

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