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# quiz on korea
Meet the woman representing Ireland in a Korean game show
Alana O’Brien will be flying the tricolour in a week-long reality show and quiz.

Alana shows her Korean culture chops with a Psy keyring (Pic Alana O’Brien)

MEET ALANA O’BRIEN. She’s a 27-year-old animator originally from Leixlip, Co Kildare and living in Dublin.

She’s also representing Ireland in a major game show in Korea.

This August Alana will fly to Seoul, live in dorms with 15 other international contestants from around the world, and be filmed for a week from the moment she gets off the plane.

Oh, and she has to wear a costume that “represents Ireland” during the event. Its centrepiece is a quiz – called the Quiz On Korea – in which all the hopefuls are interrogated on their knowledge of Korean culture.

The set of the Quiz On Korea (Pic YouTube)

“I just thought sure, I’ll enter for the craic,” said O’Brien said.

My friend was teaching English in South Korea for two years, she heard about it and told me. I was never there, but I love the [K-pop] music over there, and the drama. So I had a bit of a base.

After submitting a piece on her reasons for entering, Alana had to beat 30 other Irish competitors in an initial quiz testing knowledge of Korea, then attend a one-on-one interview.

For the interview, she stayed up for three days straight and learned to recite a page of Korean phonetically. “I think that impressed them,” she said.

The first prize is a sports car. That hasn’t impressed O’Brien’s family and friends, though. “They think it’s going to be like that episode of The Simpsons where they go to Tokyo. Or something out of Takeshi’s Castle.”

A fairly typical moment from Takeshi’s Castle (Tumblr)

The contest is actually a fairly straightforward quiz, set up by the Seoul government “to raise global awareness of Korea”. It warns that the final round may involve questions in Korean – so Alana is now trying to fit learning the language around her working week.

She is also searching for an appropriate costume to represent Ireland, and looking for ideas from readers. What is she looking for?

Not a leprechaun outfit – something a bit more classy. Something like a particularly Irish style of dress. So if there are any designers out there, or any shops that sell what I’m looking for, I’d love to hear from them.

Can anyone help?

Here’s a clip from last year’s show. It’s going to be tough for Alana to beat the costume second from the left:


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