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00707012
2012.11
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‘Argentines Are Very Interested in Korea’/A Review of KF Lecture Series in Latin America

The Korea Foundation has endeavored to make Korea’s development experiences better known in Latin America by offering Korea-related lectures offered touring lectures on Korean politics and economic development at leading regional universities and other concerned institutions, in Latin American countries, such as including Brazil and Argentina, since 2005. In line with these efforts This year, the Foundation organized a lecture tour, entitled ‘Korea Foundation Lecture Series,’ conducted the “Korea Foundation Lecture Series” for professors and students at the University of Sergio Arboleda in Colombia and the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina ( on September 24-25). The following article has been contributed by Professor Song Gui-do, of Chonbuk National University, a lecturer on this recent tour, who one of the lecturers, shares his thoughts about the significance of this kind of outreach program in Latin America in the following article.


Encouraging Korean Studies Research

On September 22, I boarded a plane on my way to participating participate in the “KF Lecture Series” program in Latin America. I felt a bit little sorry for spending that I would have to spend the national holiday of Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) Chuseok holiday abroad, yet I was sure that this the program would be a great opportunity for me to introduce Korea’s Korean politics and economy to audiences people in Colombia and Argentina, and to see how much Korean Studies has advanced progressed in these countries.

After flying for about 20 hours, I finally arrived at the first destination of in Bogota, the first stop on my tour, where I spent a day relaxing. The following day, I gave a special lecture related to a on the theme of “Outcomes “Achievements and Challenges of Korea’s Political Development,” at the University of Sergio Arboleda, located in downtown Bogota. About 100 professors and students attended the my lecture, and in a subsequent meeting with the university’s president and faculty members, I could see their deep they had a great interest in Korea.

The Association of Korean Studies in Colombia was held its first symposium on the following day at the university’s auditorium of the University of Sergio Arboleda, with sponsorship support from the Foundation. About 30 Colombian local scholars attended the symposium, including Mora Rangel, the association’s president of the AKSC, who had has previously served as the Colombian ambassador in to Korea, and a figure who is highly revered by the country’s military. Several Colombian scholars presented papers to shed light on matters related to Korea’s There were several paper presentations on Korean politics,

economy, and culture, which were followed by active discussions. This was very meaningful in that although they didn’t all major Not all of the participants majored in Korean Studies, but they developed a serious interest in Korea while conducting research about on other Asian countries such as China, Japan, and or India. The symposium also provided a very was very meaningful in that it provided a good opportunity to invigorate encourage research on in Korean Studies in Colombia, a center of middle power in the northern region of Latin America.

Keen Growing Interest in Korea

My next stop was Buenos Aires. After checking into the hotel, I made my way headed to the University of Buenos Aires, where I was scheduled to give a special lecture to Korean Studies researchers and students. A large number of Many students expressed their keen interest in Korea during my lecture. Their questions were not limited to politics or and economy, but quite varied touched on various areas. Especially under the influence of K-pop, they knew much more about Korea than I had thought. After the lecture, I headed to Mar del Plata, a coastal city some 400 km southeast of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata, literally meaning the “River of Silver,” was the venue for the “8th Symposium 8th symposium of the Association of Korean Studies in Argentina,” and also the final destination of last stop on my itinerary.

Professor Song Gui-do of Chonbuk National University is interviewed by the broadcast station a student broadcaster of the University of Sergio Arboleda./Korean Ambassador to Colombia Chu Jong-yeon, third from left, poses for a picture with researchers at the Center of Strategic Regional Studies, University of Sergio Arboleda.My lecture about Korean politics at 10 a.m. Following the lecture, I was asked a variety on the following morning triggered many thoughtful questions, such as: “What kind of influence will South Korea’s presidential election in December have on the inter-Korean relationship relations?” and “What was the downside negative effect of Korea’s rapid economic growth?”

A two-day symposium followed, Argentine where many local researchers, including professors and graduate students, made presentations and held discussions on various subjects related to Korea, such as its Korea’s political development, economic growth, the inter-Korean relationship, Korean culture, K-pop, and educational problems. The titles of presentations included Presentations were made under the titles of “The Market Economy and North Korean Economic Structure,” “East Asian Development: Park Chung-hee and South Korea’s Growth,” “Korean Education of in 1880-1910,” “The Origin and Philosophy of Korea’s Taekwondo,” “Cultural Analysis of on Korean and Japanese Residents in Buenos Aires,” “Phenomenon of “Bullying in Korea,” “Student Activism in Korea during 1919-1990,” “Influence of K-pop on Korean Language Education at the National University of Tukuman Tucuman,” and “Tiger between Dragon and Elephant.”

The subjects were varied and discussions were animated. It felt as if I was immersed in the midst of a “sea of Korean Studies.” Seven years ago, when I first visited Argentina for a special to give a lecture about Korea, the audience was consisted mainly of ethnic Korean students, but this time around, I could hardly find them among the large in my audience. Today, Argentines have assumed are playing a key role in the study and research of and debate on Korea. In this way, I was able to could realize how much of the world’s attention is now being focused on the world is now interested in Korea’s economy and culture.

Song Gui-do, Professor
Chonbuk National University

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