Seoul will be presenting Korean names to 11 foreigners around the world who have a special history in their relationship with Korea or have an interest in Korea and Korean culture.
Seoul launched the “Do you want a Korean name? We’ll give you one!” initiative celebrating the Hangeul Proclamation Day and recruited applicants. As a result, the city received applications from 248 individuals from 52 countries. Seoul selected 11 applicants (from 10 countries) and created their Korean names. Their Korean names which were handwritten by Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul will be delivered to the selected applicants.
Individuals among the applicants have special stories like being adopted to foreign countries in their childhood or being fans of Korean culture and Hallyu (Korean Wave).
Korean names were created together by the city and Hangeul-related organizations using only Hangeul (not hanja, Chinese characters) considering the meanings and stories that the applicants wanted to incorporate in their names. Instead of offering the selected applicants existing family names, new surnames were coined in order consider the Korean culture conveyed by the name and spread the beauty of the Korean language.
Seoul extended the deadline of the 3rd application in honor of Christmas from the end of November to December 7 (Sat), 2019, in consideration of the fierce interest and attention that the initiative received from non-Korean citizens. Any foreigner who is interested in Korean culture can apply for a Korean name on the city’s foreign language websites until the first week of December.
Seoul discovered the rapid spread of the Hallyu (Korean Wave) fever that is striking countries all over the world through the amount of interest that the Korean name project attracted. The city plans to continue to operate the project to create a new attraction that promotes the Hallyu (Korean Wave).