Korean Cultural Center in RI establishes its name in just one year
Koreans, who talk less and work more, rarely break their promises.
While inaugurating the first Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Jakarta last year, South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Kim Young-sun said, “Culture can be a good means to promote relationships among countries. I plan to hold joint performances consisting of performers from Korea and Indonesia in
True to his words, the KCC is celebrating — this month and next month — its first anniversary with numerous cultural events and joint performances of both Korea and Indonesia.
The first event was held on Saturday at the KCC office with two Korean and two Indonesian performances — Korea’s Talchum mask dance by University of Indonesia students and Gayageum by Korean musician Jo Eun-gyeong, as well as Indonesia’s Tari Piriang Singgosano by Tom Ibnur and Cetik by Papua’s musician Iwanouz. Around 200 people, mainly young girls, flocked to the KCC auditorium to watch the show.
“The cultural show was fantastic, though it was not performed by K-Pop stars. I personally like Korea and its culture. I would like to convey the Korean Cultural Center my congratulations on its first anniversary,” Kusumawardani, a student from a private university in Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post at the event.
The KCC will host a K-Pop Fans concert on June 9 and a classical music show on June 16 as part of the first anniversary celebrations.
Asked about the performance of the center in its first year, KCC director Kim Hyun-ki said the response from Indonesian youth was unbelievable.
“When we opened our center in June last year, we had 130 students in our Korean language program. Now we have more than 500 students,” Kim told the Post after the show.
“This progress is only in our language program. Thousands of people watched or attended our cultural events throughout the year. It has always been a problem to accommodate thousands of K-Pop fans and others during big events.”
People may wonder why these youngsters want to learn Korean.
Though the main reason may be the Korean Wave, which is also known as hallyu, currently flooding all corners of the world, including Indonesia, learning Korean in Indonesia has an incentive, says director Kim.
“In Indonesia, only a few institutions like the University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University and KCC teach Korean language. I heard that all the students who graduated from these institutions are working mostly in Korean companies in Indonesia,” Kim said.
The KCC in Jakarta, one of the 36 centers or offices located in 31 countries, was established by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) to introduce and spread Korean culture in Indonesia, foster friendship between the people of both countries through cultural exchanges and enhance mutual understanding between the two countries.
Besides language courses, the KCC, which has a modern library — a special place for experiencing Korean computer games, music and films — is also offering a K-Pop dance class. A 200-seat auditorium has successfully proved to be one of the best spots for hosting film screenings, seminars, exhibitions and workshops.
Of late, the popularity of Korea, Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, has been growing rapidly thanks to its high tech products and the Korean Wave, and KOCIS was established in 1971 to boost Korea’s soft power image across the globe.
“Compared to the past, when armament and economic power were valued, the importance of ‘soft power’ — scientific technology, cultural exchanges, international solidarity and so on — is growing. The core of soft power is culture.
“KOCIS has introduced Korea to the world and the importance of its role as a means of consolidating ties with neighboring countries, using cultural exchange as an intermediary, has grown,” the new director of KOCIS, Woo Jin-young, said recently in Seoul.