Harmony is a student club at Kangnam University that works to spread awareness of people with disabilities. To that end they presented Thursday evening’s Night of the Differently-abled, an event that offered both entertainment and a lesson.
Social Welfare majors Hwang Min-ji (2nd-year) and Lee Won-je (1st year) emceed the event. After words of welcome by themselves and Professor Lee Joon-woo, head of Kangnam University’s Support Center for Disabled Students (장애학생 종합지원센터), they raised the level of anticipation in room by giving away raffle prizes to the audience.
The evening’s entertainment got under way when student magic club Entrickcian took the stage, impressing the crowd with card tricks, sleight of hand, and even some pyrotechnics.
The evening proceeded with the main event, “I Want to Know You” (너를 알고싶어), a two-act play written and produced by the members of Harmony. The first act of the play showed the awkwardness and misunderstanding that can occur when meeting a disabled person for the first time, something based on Harmony member Ashley Minju Kim’s (3rd-year, English Literature) own experiences when she attended orientation her first year. “People saw me for the first time,” Kim explains, “and did things to make me feel uncomfortable.” Kim doesn’t fault them in any way. “People simply have misperceptions of the disabled and don’t know how to treat us.”
The second act of the play dealt with the challenges, both social and personal, that can occur when a disabled person gets involved romantically with someone who isn’t. The play delivered a satisfying balance of gravity and humor and was performed with undeniable sincerity.