With open arms, participants from all around the world shared their sincere views on “Communication through culture: the key to opening hearts and minds.” The most frequently heard words are: respect differences, preserve your own language and identity, past and present, communication, art, and history.
The Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI) hosted the third Culture Communication Forum on September 4-6 in a bid to raise awareness of Korean culture, inviting 15 cultural icons and opinion leaders from 14 countries for a series of small-scale getting-to-know-Korea programs and a conference titled “Communicating through culture: the key to opening hearts and minds.”
Fifteen cultural icons and opinion leaders from 14 countries appreciated Korean culture (photo: KOCIS).
Participants include research director Dominique Wolton of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, documentary filmmaker Yi Sun-kyung from Canada), trends expert and Computer Science Professor Kim Ran-do of Seoul National University, Zhang Jun from the Chinese Kunqu opera, and Hermann Parzinger, president of Germany’s Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
At a panel discussion, Dominique Wolton gave a keynote speech on cultural globalization and the role of Korea, which was followed by Kim Ran-do who discussed the communication gap between generations.
Wolton pointed out that culture plays a growing role in the process of globalization and cultural industries and that information and communications technologies have developed globalization faster in the culture sector than in the political and economic sectors. For his perspective, this cultural globalization is a real challenge. “We thought that it would bring emancipation through knowledge,” he said. “In fact, the opposite happens. As it confronts us constantly to show the difference in manners of behavior and beliefs, cultural globalization induces rejection and intolerance. This is not because we are increasingly informed that we better understand the others or that we are more tolerant vis-à-vis their differences”.
Wolton added that Korea could be an anchor for cultural dialogue. “Its position at the crossroads of Asia and Chinese Confucianism and Western liberalism could incite it,” he continued. “It could be also the role of the new Korean cultural wave, so-called Hallyu, which does not appear to me as a refusal or an alternative to American culture but rather as a gateway where aesthetic and moral values are traded and exchanged.”
Kim Ran-do highlighted that “conflict among different generations” is the most important social issue to which the world must pay attention in the next 30 years. “Without resolving this generation gap, we will not be able to achieve true social integration or resolve communication issues in the near future,” he added.
Professor Kim commented that the older generation must take the initiative and lead the much-needed change, as they are the ones with greater resources. “They must try to see things from the perspective of today’s young generation and understand the current economic, social, cultural, and political challenges of the young, thereby promoting inter-generational communication and finding ways to give hope to the young,” he highlighted.
Delegates were very interested in the traditional Korean music (photo: KOCIS).
Delegates also shared their own experiences with food and art, appreciating the delicate features of Korean culture such as its museums and cuisine and the fused Korean culture.
The results of a survey conducted by the Communication Strategy Institute and CICI were also presented on Thursday.
The survey of 152 foreign opinion leaders on their views of Korean culture was conducted from August 7 to25. Athletics was seen as the most representative of how other countries view Hallyu, with Korean cuisine the second choice followed by Korean dramas and films in third.
Participants explored both the old and new cultural aspects of Korea, including a tour of Korea’s palaces and a visit to the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. A discussion on ways to promote Korea was held followed by a gala event at the Westin Chosun Seoul.
Despite the wet weather, Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik on Tuesday went ahead with the tour of Changdeokgung Palace, a Joseon-period palace originally built in 1405. “It is a nature-friendly palace, and despite its relatively small size, it best preserves the beauty of Korea,” he said. The participants watched “Sugungga,” a traditional pansori opera directed by German director Achim Freyes. They also saw artifacts from the Korea Furniture Museum, the National Museum of Korea, and the Kokdu Museum.
Dominique Wolton (far left) expressed his gratitude for flower-carrying children at CCF Night (photo: KOCIS).
To celebrate the end of this event, an event called CCF Night was held featuring an exhibition of traditional Korean wooden figurines and a Korean martial arts performance (photo: KOCIS).
CCF 2012 is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korean Culture and Information Service, the Korea Foundation, and the Korean Food Foundation. For more information, please visit the official website at: www.coreaimage.org
By An Myungok
Korea.net Staff Writer