A major festival was organized yesterday, at the Abu Dhabi Zayed University campus, to initiate the UAE-Korea Cultural Dialogue for 2020, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The event commenced following the warm welcome Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, President of Zayed University, offered to the visiting delegation led by His Excellency Park Yang-woo, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, and Kwon Yong-woo the Korean Ambassador to the UAE.
Al Kaabi reaffirmed that the cultural dialogue will have a significant impact in expanding the horizons of cooperation and developing cultural programs and initiatives between the two countries.
"UAE drives towards enriching the people and residents with Korean culture, and parade our own to the Korean people and the rest of the world," she said.
Al Kaabi stressed that the UAE's relations with the Republic of Korea has witnessed rapid developments at all political, economic, social, and cultural levels over the past 40 years. "With our geographical distance between the UAE and South Korea, the shared values and principles that unite us have succeeded in bringing Korea and its people closer to us than ever before," she said. "Today, our students bridge the Korean Culture into our society; they eagerly inhabit the traditional Korean language, folklore, and further reach other affiliates to promote Korean trends within the University community and beyond."
Noura Al Kaabi further added that Zayed University runs a dedicated branch of the King Sejong Institute to teach the Korean language and explore its culture, heritage, and traditions. Noting that, the University also hosts a "Korean club," where more than 100 male and female students are active members.
His Excellency Park Yang-woo, said, “Through today’s event, we have taken the first step towards elevating the cultures of both sides and have laid the foundation for successfully implementing the Cultural Dialogue 2020.”
He further added, “I believe all of you here today should serve as cultural bridges linking the cultures of UAE and Korea and I am convinced that you will play that role. I assure you that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea including myself will do its utmost as well. To kick off the festivities, we will showcase Korean traditional music and various performances today, here at the Zayed University’s Abu Dhabi campus.”
During the festival, both ministers toured the University's promenade, accompanied by Dr. Behjat Al-Yousuf, Acting Vice-President of Zayed University, promenant guests, ZU faculty and staff members.
Their campus visit initiated the ongoing Emirati-Korean series of festivals throughout the UAE.senior officials from both sides, where different programs representing features of the Emirati and Korean cultures took place. The Emirati pavilion included a Korean Club Photo Booth, a Traditional Emirati Performance by 'Ayal Al Wathba,' Clay and Calligraphy workshops, and an Emirati Majlis appointed by the Crown Prince Court. The Korean Pavilion included a photo booth of the Korean Cultural Center and an arts and crafts presentation delivered by the Korean Tourism Organization and Calligraphy and Caricature Art sessions.
The festival concluded with artistic performance, held in Sheikha Fatima Hall, at the University's conference center, presented by Emirati folk groups affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, and the Korean music band "Badi" presented by the Korean Cultural Center in Abu Dhabi.