About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2312-2318
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

INITIATING THE KOREAN CULTURAL CENTER IN CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA

Y. Park

Babes-Bolyai University (KOREA, REPUBLIC OF)
I arrived in Babes Bolyai University (BBU) in the fall of 2005. I was an experienced Korean lecturer, as I had taught in USA for over a decade and was aware of the urgent need to educate people in general with more accurate information about Korean culture and civilization. Despite my confidence Romania turned out to be far from the challenge that I expected. The five year long endeavor, however, has thrown some light over the situation gradually. The Korean Culture and Civilization was a new course designed to utilize multimedia presentations, but it turned out to be a very challenging course for the audience, whose minds were filled by the preconceptions. Still under the spell of the past history, especially the close relation of Romania to North Korea, they were not ready to face the reality of South Korea. I tried to convey the image of a modern South Korea to the incredulous and sarcastic program attendees. I began to publicize the newly invigorated program to the university community by distributing pamphlets and organizing various cultural activities. I made two trips to Korea each year to replenish the tangible and consumable material for the cultural activities or to prepare for the exhibitions and publications. My emphasis on the cultural understanding was not to be diminished, for in spite of the challenge it was against my moral as a Korean lecturer. I was spreading the seed without knowing it to initiate the Korean Cultural Center in this education center of Transylvanian Romania. The University administrators agreed to establish the Korean Cultural Center in Cluj-Napoca (KCCC) to be more an independent organization. The idea of dynamism and the strength of the Korean history and culture becomes the goal of the knowledge that KCCC aimed to transfer to Romanians. However the administrators had different agenda, and this difference created much more complicated situation later. Since the opening of the Korean Cultural Center, KCCC’s activities marked historical and sensational events in other cities such as Baia-Mare or Stei. Finally Romanians had a professional of Korean origin and a chance to be informed directly. Here I wish to mention the importance of the direct voice that should replace the indirect voice coming through the press or a messenger, whose intention was often to be inaccurate and used for the benefits other than the true education. The local instructors were teaching with such the indirect sources of insufficient information. The irony was, under the controlling system of the power-oriented structure of the institute, the original voice was perceived wrong under the local instructor whose credentials to teach Korean studies were virtually scarce. I had expended the activities as broadly and intensely, however, within my own limitation of budget and time. There was little financial support from the university or any Romanian organizations. The demand for me to outreach to the Romanian community grew rapidly, meanwhile, as they were feeling something real, for a change, and opening to my words, which they could trust. They realized that I tried to show them the reality through direct and tangible approach and that I was just a natural human being wishing to share my love for my country of origin and not a propagandist. It has been prolific and intensely active 5 years and lots of possibilities and positive results are shown.
@InProceedings{PARK2011INI,
author = {Park, Y.},
title = {INITIATING THE KOREAN CULTURAL CENTER IN CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2312-2318}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Park
TI - INITIATING THE KOREAN CULTURAL CENTER IN CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 2312
EP - 2318
ER -
Y. Park (2011) INITIATING THE KOREAN CULTURAL CENTER IN CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 2312-2318.
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