▲ Kweon Yun Jin ('11, English Language and Literature)
Editor-in-Chief, The Granite Tower (GT)
Probably one of the most frequently adopted plots in Korean soap operas is when one of the characters is taken seriously ill as the climax nears. Even though screenwriters are already well aware of how trite this must be, they seem unable to suppress the temptation to employ this cliché. Someone is diagnosed with a possible terminal disease—cancer is usually the affliction—and tensions and entangled relationships are precipitously settled.
In the real world, no matter how many groundbreaking developments modern medicine achieves, cancer remains a death sentence for too many Koreans. In December 2012, SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) News reported that cancer was the major cause of death for both male and female of Koreans. According to Statistics Korea, 27.2 percent of males and 16.6 percent of females had died from cancer, an increase of 2.3 and 2.6 percent respectively. Some experts argue that this phenomenon is accelerated by westernized dietary habits and increased levels of stress.
Cancer affects more than the patient. Family members are struck by grief and potential financial disaster. Some families fall apart under these circumstances. Nevertheless, society does not pay enough attention to these families' situations, which is why The Granite Tower (GT) has dedicated this issue's Cover Story to them. Meanwhile, since May is family month in Korea, GT looks at family therapy, wedding planners, and working mothers' daily routines.
Ever since we are brought to the world, we basically lead our life within the boundary of family. Despite countless frictions we make with our family, one absolute truth is that we still keep affection toward them. As editor-in-chief, I hope these articles encourage you to take time during May, family month, reminding yourself of how much you are loved by your family and how precious they are to you also.