Minjung is a Korean word that is difficult to properly translate into other languages in a way that retains its historical and cultural connotations. Minjung is a combination of the two Chinese characters min and jung. Min may be translated as "people" and jung as "the mass." Thus, minjung literally means "the mass of the people," or more simply "mass" or "the people."
However, in the Korean political and cultural context, "mass" is not an adequate translation, and "the people" carries a Communist connotation that makes it dangerous in anti-Communist South Korea. Nonetheless, "the people" is close to what minjung seeks to convey, both sociologically and politically. For Koreans, minjung are those who are oppressed politically, exploited economically, marginalised sociologically, despised culturally, and condemned religiously.
Thus, the notion of minjung came to identify and inform the struggle for democracy in South Korea. That is, the term minjung works as a kind of worldview that provides the categories in which social reality is organized and understood. One of the basic precepts of this worldview is that history should be understood from the point of view of the minjung, or that the minjung are the subjects (and not victims) of history.
The Koreans (namely in North Korea) borrowed this loanword from Chinese Communism. From this context, it could loosely translate as "the proletariat". The term is also used for Korean Liberation Theology.
Asian contextual theology for the third millennium; a theology of minjung in fourth-eye formation. (reprint, 2007).(Brief article)(Book review)
Apr 01, 2011; 9780227173312 Asian contextual theology for the third millennium; a theology of Minjung in fourth-eye formation. (reprint,...