Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Asians nominated in TIME's Person of the Year 2012

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - From Burma's Nobel Peace Prize winner, young North Korean leader to a South Korean rapper who started a global horse-riding dance craze, this year's TIME Person of the Year nominees range from celebrities, politicians and undocumented immigrants.
TIME magazine announced its 38 finalists for its Person of the Year 2012 and several of them came from Asia.
South Korea's Psy and North Korea's Kim Jong Un
(Photos courtesy of and Korean Central News Agency)
This year's nominees are Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy, North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un, Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, Syrian president Bashar Assad, Korean rapper Psy, US president Barack Obama, The Mars Rover, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, Burma's Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and president Thein Sein, The Higgs Boson Particle, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, "The Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbert, former US president Bill Clinton, Russian punk group Pussy Riot, Olympic swimming medalist Michael Phelps, Undocumented Immigrants, Olympic gymnastics medalist Gabby Douglas, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, American women's rights activist Sandra Fluke, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, US Vice President Joe Biden, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, British Olympic medalist Mo Farah, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, American rapper Jay-Z,  Apple CEO Tim Cook, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, Communist Party of China leader Xi Jinping, former Communist Party of China leader Bo Xilai, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, "Fifty Shades of Grey" author E.L. James, political analyst Karl Rove and National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell.
South Korean singer Psy has been nominated because of his hit single "Gangnam Style."
"Korean rapper Psy's slick, wickedly satirical video "Gangnam Style" broke all kinds of sound barriers this year, clocking more than 820 million YouTube views — and counting. The ├╝ber-ambitious Seoul music industry watched in amazement as the eccentric 34-year-old hip-hop artist, gleefully skewering the music machine that made him, managed to go where no Korean performer had gone before. The rest of us just danced," according to TIME.
It added, "We'll have Psy to thank on the inevitable day when we do the horse dance for our grandkids at a wedding. And they'll have Psy to thank for the great Korean bands on whatever device they'll be using to listen to music."
Psy will perform today in Thailand to celebrate the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is described by TIME as "the chubby-cheeked North Korean heir" who "appears to have consolidated his grip on power, ousting rivals at home and taking a firm line with both the U.S. and China."
On Malala Yousafzai,  TIME said, "At first, the Pakistani girl blogged anonymously about her desire to go to school without fear in a part of the country where the Taliban had once imposed strict Shari'a law. On Oct. 9, 2012, Taliban gunmen boarded her school bus, sought her out and shot her in the head. Eventually airlifted to a hospital in Britain, she survived her severe wounds. In the meantime, Malala, now 15, has become an inspiration not only in her native Pakistan — where the culture wars over women's rights and religious diversity have taken many violent turns — but all around the globe."
TIME on Burma's Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and president Thein Sein: "Who knew that a general and a lady would join together to shake Burma out of its tropical torpor? The combined efforts of Burma's President (retired general Thein Sein, 67) and the country's top dissident, who is now an elected member of parliament (Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 67), are transforming a nation that cowered for five decades under brutal military rule. In November, U.S. President Barack Obama validated the reform process by visiting the country known officially as Myanmar. Much still has to be done, including taming ethnic strife. But for the first time in decades, Burma may finally be on the right track."
TIME said its "editors will choose the Person of the Year (issue date December 31, 2012, on sale December 21). The winner of the people's choice for the person who most influenced the news this year for better or worse will be announced on December 14. Voting closes at 11:59 PM on December 12th."
Link to my original article on Manila Bulletin online:
Email me at sangchusan(at)

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