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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » August 26, 2010
Korea in Poland
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Korean Culture Center Beckons
August 26, 2010   
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The Korean Culture Center is a new vibrant cultural establishment in Warsaw.

The center’s opening in January was accompanied by a Korean Culture Week, an event that comprised a range of events introducing Korean culture to the people of Warsaw. Events such as a customary Korean costume (Hanbok) fashion show, a traditional Korean orchestra concert and Hanji paper workshops were open to everyone interested and attracted special guests including the Korean culture, sports and tourism minister, In Chon You, the Polish sports and tourism minister, Adam Giersz, and the secretary of state at the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Żuchowski, in addition to diplomats from all over the world residing in Warsaw.

The center opened to mark 20 years of Polish-Korean diplomatic relations and help promote Korean culture and lifestyle in Poland.

The Korean Culture Center in Warsaw is the first such establishment in Central and Eastern Europe. It occupies an area of 800 square meters and houses a well equipped multipurpose hall, three seminar rooms, a traditional Korean room (Sarangbang), and a library with over 2,500 books, CDs and DVDs in Korean, English and Polish.

The Korean Culture Center is a great place to visit for anyone who has an interest in Korea or just an open mind and curiosity about other cultures. The colorful permanent exhibition in the main hall introduces traditional Korean architecture, fashion, design and music as well as Korea’s original native alphabet Hangul in a fun and easy to digest way.

In addition, the Korean Culture Center offers a variety of professional courses in the Korean language (with five different groups), a Korean cuisine class, a calligraphy class for those artistically inclined, as well as a Taekwondo course and, starting this fall, and a Samulnori class dedicated to the energetic Korean percussion music. All these courses are free.

The Korean Culture Center organizes many special events, such as art exhibitions (so far these have included a traditional folk painting exhibition, celebrating the Year of the Tiger in 2010, and a two-part modern art exhibition called “Becoming,” with the second part scheduled for October), concerts, and movie screenings.

The center also offers space to anyone with a fresh idea for a Korea-related event. In addition, it offers a visiting program for cities all over Poland. The staff are happy to help organize and bring a Korean culture festival to any place in the country, not only Warsaw.

The Republic of Korea is currently the biggest East Asian investor in Poland, bigger than China or Japan. Diplomatic relations between Poland and Korea have continued for over 20 years now. Many Poles drive Korean cars and use Korean mobile phones. A growing number of people in Poland are interested in learning more about the rich, versatile and beautiful culture of Korea, a country that has increasingly stronger and long-lasting bonds with Poland.

Visit the Korean Culture Center and see for yourself the many faces of this rapidly developing Asian country.

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