CHENNAI: India and Korea share a centuries-old relationship of cultural and historical values, one that has been enhanced in recent years through wholly supportive people-to-people exchange between the two countries,” said Hyung Jae Kim, Consul General of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in Chennai, at the inauguration of a workshop on Korea on Monday.
Addressing the audience at the inauguration of ‘Understanding Korea’, an introductory workshop targeted at teachers, scholars and academics looking to cultivate a better understanding of Indo-Korean ties throughout history, he said that though Korean companies had a very large imprint on the Indian economy, it did not translate directly into understanding each other’s culture. “There are nearly 300 Korean companies active in India and close to 5,000 Korean residents in Chennai — but these merely highlight the economic features of Korea,” said Kim. The three-day workshop, which is jointly organised by the InKo Centre, The Academy of Korean Studies and the Consulate General, will also highlight the country’s close link with South India and Tamil Nadu in particular. “We wanted to address the perception of Korea in Indian curricula,” said Rathi Jaffer, director, InKo Centre. “Most sections on Korea relate to Korean history and Japanese colonisation, the Korean War briefly and the World Wars — but not too much is included about their art, literature and cultural history, or about the historical link between our cultures. Over the course of this workshop, we will examine these links between our cultures.”
The workshop will also gauge the feasibility of introducing a supplementary reader on Korea for schools. The guest of honour for the occasion, Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy, educationist, founder and dean of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools, also lauded the effort and complimented the participating teachers. “I think seasoned teachers today, who have been exposed to lots of methodologies of learning, can benefit more from an understanding of a different culture and their practices,” she said. “We should be able to exchange our dramatics, music, and art for the benefit of students in both India and Korea, and we hope to translate our feelings of bonhomie with you.”