Sunday, December 12, 2010

Highrise - A Life in KMLA

Lee Geun Seok, 091090

                                                                   Life in Cuba
             People live by their unique ways of living. There are diverse civilizations and cultures still existing in the world even though the world is becoming smaller and smaller by the advancement of technology. Since people are living in different environments, we can get new impressions by indirectly experiencing their living conditions. It is also very important for us to compare and contrast their lives with ours, getting new senses and impressions. Similarly, the Cubans were also living very distinct lives isolated in their islands and close-minded ideas.
             Highrise successfully depicted the life of a man called David who was living in Havana. He was living in a very special situation. Cuba is one of the not many communist countries, therefore very unique. Cuba is considered very chaotic compared to other developed countries. They recently conducted the Revolution for New Man, bringing people from all around the world, letting them mix into Cuba, hence in a big disorder. In this typhoon-like situation, David was living with many people in a public housing, which was made by prisoners, thus very poor in quality. Most significantly, their draining system was awfully desperate. Their houses did not have drains to take out waters after washing, and peoples excrements simply ran to the oceans where residents bathe in.
             In addition, their lives were extremely simple and repetitive because there were no amusement facilities. Residents gathered together and participated in events together, however, this was not enough. As an alternative, they decided to become immersed in music. This brought them a new merit, the will power of them to keep struggling with the unpleasant present and fighting against the authority. The authority was criticizing and deterring the citizens from gathering because of their communistic ideology. However, they were constantly holding underground meetings, uniting the residents in the common building. People gathered in houses secretly and played music, singing for freedom. It always got a good response among them and provided them with the spirit to fight against the oppressions of the government. He provided a music video made by them, which envelopes their cheerful and charitable scene of dancing and singing. Joyous guitar riffs made them smile and the lyrics craving for freedom made them bear the word freedom in mind, giving them power to keep living the tough lives. Moreover, among the many genres of music, the residents including David were mostly absorbed in Hip-Hop. As a result, they were able to give birth to many famous groups such as the Black Star and Tony Touch. Also, it called in a great wave of maestro musicians, creating such a big boom that the authority was not able to handle and control.
             Compared to my life in KMLA, Davids life was so different and made me very astonished. Introducing my life in KMLA, I live in a dormitory. It is consisted of 12 floors, with about 10 rooms each floor. The building is a little old but is well-constructed. We get constant hot water supply and heating, so we always live comfortable lives.
             Since we are living in dormitories, school life is the most important part of our lives. We go to morning exercise at 6:30 in the morning. This is very tiring and is the main reason that makes us dose in classes. Our classes then begin at 8:30. In between, we have time for breakfasts and showers. The classes extend until 5:30 in the afternoon. For students, it is such a long journey to dinner. However, we still all enjoy our classes. We have good relationships with our teachers and with each other. Then self-study hours start from 7 in the evening until 12. This is the time when we can study subjects that we are interested in, or just do homework. Also, we have honjung at nine which is a event that we say good night to the dormitory supervisor. After honjung, we have some break time. This period of the day is also very looked forward to by us because honjung bread and milk is served. They are what help us keep on studying in late nights by making us no longer hungry.
             Another part that makes up a big part of KMLA life is club activities. All students participate in some of the over one hundred clubs about things they are interested in. Some participate in rock bands, hip-hop clubs, while others participate in clubs that do community service. Other than these, there are many diverse kinds of club activities going on in KMLA. It provides us a good opportunity to take time to do what we have interest in and develop our skills in that area. In addition, it energizes us for the hard workload that we have to endure in KMLA.
             Clearly, my life in KMLA is very different form Davids life in Havana. My life is much more peaceful in KMLA. We cooperate and harmonize very well in our school, while Cuba is full of chaos created by all the people from all around the world. Moreover, because of this reason, Cubans sung songs that gave them hope and power to keep on struggling. On the other hand, modern Korean songs are usually about love because Koreans have the time and composure to be deeply succumbed in emotion. It also seems as though Cuban kids do not have to study a lot as shown in the music video. They were just singing and dancing. However, we are living in this dormitory and constantly studying for our future. Although it sometimes makes us very exhausted and hopeless, similar to David singing to get strength and hope, we keep on studying and working by borrowing the power of friendship and scholastic spirit.
             After I experienced Davids life, I got a lot of strong impressions. It was very interesting to experience the part of the world that is not widely known. Learning about life of David provided me with lots of insight about general lives in Cuba. Furthermore, it taught me a very valuable lesson. I started to appreciate what I have got in the present. He was living in such a harsh apartment and in a tough social condition but he never complaint. However, although we are in a much pleasant situation compared to him, we always kept complaining. Maybe it is time for me to satisfy with what I have got and work harder, eventually achieve great things for myself and for my country.

After indirectly experiencing the lives in Cuba, I made this little video to show what our lives in KMLA is like.

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