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Traditional culture promoted for new wave of hallyu

Jan. 30, 2012 - 21:07 By

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will push Korean traditional culture as the new driving force for “hallyu,”or Korean Wave.

The Culture Ministry announced on Monday plans to further promote Korean traditional culture and also inaugurated the K-Culture Promotion Taskforce which will coordinate the plans.

“K-drama started hallyu in 1995 and K-pop has been continuing its popularity since the mid-2000s. The recognition of Korean traditional culture, literature or other related sectors, however, is low. It is time to diversify the trend and make it sustainable,” said Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik.

“We will focus on three areas — traditional culture, contemporary culture and other hallyurelated industries. As the first step, we established creative strategies to boost our traditional culture,” said Choe.

Korea ranked 35th in the traditional culture category of the national brand index reported by the Presidential Council on Nation Branding in 2010, said Choe, and the goal is to boost the ranking 20th place by 2015.

It will spend 33.5 billion won this year toward the goal and prepare the expected budget of 230 billion won for 2014 and 2015 in cooperation with other governmental organizations.

Kwak Young-jin (left), first vice culture minister and head of the K-culture Promotion Taskforce, claps with Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik on Monday during the opening of the taskforce office at the Culture Ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap News)

Led by Kwak Young-jin, the first vice minister of the Culture Ministry, the newly established taskforce has been put in charge of establishing and executing the plans and urging cooperation from other governmental organizations and businesses.

Ten specific plans for this year include establishing guidelines for traditional patterns to be used on governmental buildings and state-funded firms to be built; creating a high quality Korea life-style model; storytelling of Korean traditional culture; developing value-added products through collaboration projects between traditional artisans and contemporary designers; adapting traditional culture into contemporary cultural genres; combining the latest CT and IT technologies with traditional performances and rituals; starting a quality certification process for “hanji,” or Korean traditional paper; urging governmental officials to wear hanbok in official events and opening a hanbok promotion center; establishing an organization in charge of development of traditional houses for tourists; and expanding education on traditional culture.

Mid and long-term plans which will be carried out from 2013 include creating Han Culture City in Sejong City, which will become a model city that offers a complete Korean traditional culture experience, including lodging and education; selecting 10 representative traditional villages throughout the nation; training professionals who can cover both traditional and contemporary culture; developing Korea’s representative traditional festivals and must-see shows for foreigners; supporting Korean libraries in underdeveloped countries; dispatching 100 culture and university art majors overseas as cultural agents.

“Some may worry that the plan may end up being a onetime  event. There have been such plans, like Han-style. But while Han-style focused on separate genres of culture, this time we are seeking to harmonize them,” said Choe.

The Culture Ministry will set up legal grounds and create a pan-governmental council to prevent overlapping of projects and develop new ones, Choe added.

“The first goal is to have many Koreans recognize the importance of our traditional culture and form a consensus about its application in everyday life.”