[VIDEO] Want Your Avoid Having Your South Korean Citizenship Application Rejected? Be Prepared to Prove You Can Sing This SongPosted: October 17, 2014
Can’t Sing the National Anthem? No Passport For You
Should you have to prove you can sing the national anthem of a country if you want it to make you a citizen?
In the U.S. the answer is no, but in South Korea it’s a clear yes.
Chinese Woman Denied South Korean Citizenship Because She Couldn’t Sing the National Anthem
That’s what a 52-year-old Chinese woman found out when she failed to pass an interview in November to become Korean.
“At the test, we don’t expect the applicant to sing in perfect tune, but we expect to hear the right lyrics. If the applicant fails at the first try, we give one more chance to sing in thirty minutes or an hour. She failed both.”
According to the Justice Ministry, the woman, known only by her Korean surname Choi, flunked three tests; singing the national anthem, understanding the ideas of free democracy and basic knowledge about South Korea.
Seoul’s education office in August provided a new version of the song in a key two steps lower than the original composition, after complaints were raised that high notes in the song make it difficult for students to sing, particularly boys going through puberty.
Ms. Choi then filed a complaint with the Seoul Administrative Court, which ruled on Sept. 30 that the ministry’s decision was legitimate as it followed due process in a fair and valid way.
“At the test, we don’t expect the applicant to sing in perfect tune, but we expect to hear the right lyrics. If the applicant fails at the first try, we give one more chance to sing in thirty minutes or an hour. She failed both,” said a ministry official.
Ms. Choi has lived in Korea for eight years after getting married to a Korean man in 2004, according to the ministry. Her full identity was not available and so she couldn’t be reached for comment.
Jang Seung-hyuck, a judge and spokesman for the court, said failing to become a Korean for singing the national anthem poorly is rare but not unheard of. There have been two other such failures in the past four years, he said.
Applicants for citizenship have to sing the first of four verses of the Korean national anthem and aren’t allowed to read the words…(read more)
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