[ part 1 ]
Sandara. A Korean name meaning ‘wise and intelligent’.
Originates from General Kim Yoo Shin’s childhood name. A singer, and part of 2NE1.
Since she was little, Sandara Park (26) particularly liked cassette players and microphones. The field she was most interested in was ‘fashion’. She liked dressing up as a child and often wore flared pants as was the trend, and finished off the look with a fashionable hat. It may have been that she was subconsciously preparing to become an artist in the future.
”My parents tell me that my favorite toy when I was little was a cassette player with a microphone attached to it. I can’t really remember. (laughs) I knew after seeing a photo of myself. I remember liking clothes though. I’ve had an interest in clothes since I was little. I don’t even know why. It might have been that I had a fun time choosing and putting on different clothes.”
Sandara Park was born in Pusan and moved to Daegu in her third year of primary school. Sandara, who did a very good job as the eldest of looking after her siblings for her working parents, started filling in the ‘future dreams’ column of her student record as ‘Celebrity’ the second she heard Seo Tae Ji’s ‘I Know’.
”Seo Tai Ji & Boys debuted when I was in Year 2. Their music, outfits and dances made me dream of becoming a celebrity. Child actors on TV drove me too. At the time, watching kids my age acting on TV made me think ‘Man, I wanna do that too’.”
In Year 4, her dreams were put to a halt. Sandara Park, her father who worked in the trade industry, and the rest of their family moved to the Philippines so she had no choice but to temporarily let go of her dreams.
”I cried every day cos I didn’t want to go. I whined that I didn’t want to go, that I would stay by myself. I ended up crying as I got on the plane.”
As much as she didn’t want to go, Sandara Park took a very long time adjusting to the Philippines. Philippines' unfamiliar culture as well as the language barrier made Sandara feel very timid. She talked less and less, and says she was afraid of meeting other people.
”There was no racism or anything. In fact, Filipinos quite like Koreans. It was just that I couldn’t understand what they were saying so I couldn’t keep up a conversation. I was stupid.”
Sandara, who had dreamed of becoming a celebrity finally learned the meaning of loneliness through her time in the Philippines. As time passed by, loneliness changed Sandara’s personality to gloomy and pessimistic. She cried a lot more. But looking back on it now, like the ground hardens after rainfall it became a precious time for her to learn to persevere, which was a huge help later when she had to endure her tough trainee days.
”To the native kids there, my pronunciation would’ve sounded awkward and weird. They started copying my accent and teasing me. It made me become even more withdrawn. Whenever I said I wanted to become a celebrity, they were sarcastic and cynical and said stuff like ‘How are you gonna become a celebrity when you can’t even speak properly?’ I was so shocked at the time, I didn’t say anything. I’ve heard from people that they thought I was a mute.”
But the young Sandara slowly stood up again. She self-studied for a year and worked on fixing her accent. As she got better and better at speaking the language, her sociophobia gradually disappeared too. As her original lively personality shone through again like sunlight through clouds, she starting overcoming the negative thoughts and made some friends.
Sandara Park's child profile
Nickname – Fashion Leader
Birthplace – Pusan
Blood Type – A
Favourite Colour – Red
Favourite Props – Microphone, Cassette tape
Favourite Singers – Seo Taiji & Boys, Lee Hyori
Future Dreams - Celebrity
Trans Credits: sjay.x @ YGL, Korean source
Added the pictures from the Korean site 8D