Matchmaking Might Fasten Reunification of the Koreas

March 23, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. defector (n.) [dih-fek-ter] – someone who leaves one's country to join or live in the opposing country
Example: There is a growing number of North Korean defectors living in South Korea.   

2. matchmaking (adj.) [mach-mey-ker] – an act of arranging marriages by introducing  a man and a woman to each other
Example: She met her husband through an online matchmaking service.
3. bachelor (n.) [bach-uh-ler, bach-ler] – an unmarried man
Example: I have two uncles who are bachelors.

4. reunify (v.) [yoo-nuh-fahy] – to bring something together again
Example: She was trying to reunify with her high school friends through Facebook.
Additional Question/s: Do you still keep in touch and meet up with your friends from high school/university? Why or why not?

Read the text below.

Choi Young-Hee , a North Korean who is now living in South Korea as a defector, built a unique  matchmaking’ business five years ago that pairs up South Korean men with North Korean women.

She got the business idea from the old Korean saying that South Korean men are good looking and North Korean women are beautiful.

Through her experience in matchmaking, she found that South Korean men prefer the more traditional North Korean women. While North Korean women long for acceptance and stability  which South Korean men can offer.

Initially, she would take note of the height, education, and work status of qualified  South Korean bachelors. Then she would match these men in her database of North Korean women making sure that their personality likewise fits.

Young-Hee believes that by doing this the two Korean nations, North and South, might soon reunify.  She feels that with every successful match there is a deeper understanding and appreciation between the people of the two nations despite the political differences and the unending conflicts. 

Among almost 500 couples that she has wed only three had gone unsuccessful.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are other ways of meeting people from other countries?
·         Have you ever thought of marrying somebody from another country?

Discussion B

·         What are the common reasons for conflicts between countries?
·         How do you think can we avoid conflicts between countries?

March 23, 2011