Students from age 14 to 19 read, talk and write about different values that can sustain mankind in modern society: Justice and Hope, Beauty and Love, Life and Nature, Community and Democracy, Freedom and Self-Realization, Equality and Diversity. There are several classes that each focus on different values and students meet once a week to share ideas and learn about various themes. Many students consider Indigo their place to find peace and fulfill their dreams in between their stifling schedules and pressure from their school work, parents and teachers. As another week begins, students try to remember the values and hope they were enlightened during the weekends at Indigo.
INDIGO+ing and INDIGO
Indigo Sowon is not only a school, but a publishing company. INDIGO+ing is a magazine published once every two months. It is the end product of what students learn every two months, consisting of articles, papers and reviews of poems and papers. Themes and topics vary, from education to the environment. Some students participate voluntarily as writers and editors of the magazine. INDIGO+ing is the very first magazine in Korea made by youth.
INDIGO is an international magazine first published in Spring, 2010. It is a global version of INDIGO+ing, written in English. We hope it will be a communication field that allows people from all over the world to dream, talk, and share ideas about the values that lead our lives.
From the very moment that I leave Indigo and say good-bye to my friends, I start missing them. This is how much Indigo means to me. Indigo has provided me with all the opportunities that I am truly grateful for. It has opened my eyes, ears and heart towards different people, community and the world as a whole.
Before finding Indigo, I was never conscious about events or circumstances that happened simultaneously with my daily life; I didn’t know about children dying of hunger in the third world countries, or rainforests being cut by huge lumber companies. All I cared about was my life, my future and my dream. I never realized that there was an unavoidable relationship between my community and myself.
Korean human rights activist Aram Hur
However, as I study at Indigo, I begin to see things from a different perspective; I face people going through hidden hardships; I notice animals and plants being driven away from our lives and our planet. Indigo encourages me to understand that we all live in the same community and we are inseparable. People I met at Indigo taught me to feel the pain of others and raise my voice for the greater good and the values that I believe in. I see the burning passion in them to influence society in a positive way and help people live for humanities.
My teachers and friends teach with kindness, and often it is a wake-up call for me to stop being so selfish and indifferent. It is also inspiring to see students of my age who are not stifled by their exhausting schedules of school work; and even though they are often tired, their eyes shine with happiness and hope when they are at Indigo. While most Korean students are chased by their schoolwork and burdens of the college entrance exam, Indigo students manage to complete both their academic work and Indigo activities. The most impressive point is that they never complain about it.
Indigo has influenced my life a great deal and allows me to meet many friends who share the same dream as I do: to make a positive change in the world and live for values and humanities. Even at this moment while I write about Indigo, I cannot wait to have another class next Sunday.
Jinhee Lim, 17, is a student at Indigo.
The Indigo Youth Book Fair 2010 will be held in BEXCO from August 18-22. You can find more information here.
Also stop by Ecotopia, an organic vegetarian café, right next to Indigo Seowon. There you can find copies of INDIGO+ing and INDIGO, as well as organic and fair trade coffee and teas from Nepal and England.
To get to Indigo Seowon, go out Namcheon Exit 1 and turn around. Turn left on the small street and walk about two blocks. It will be a grey brick building on your right.