Translated by Soyeon Lee
To extend the understanding of Korean culture for primary teachers in Massachusetts, the 2nd annual Korean Studies Workshop was conducted for 3 days starting on June 24th at the Aloft Hotel.
The workshop was sponsored by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the Korean Interchange Foundation and it provided American primary teachers an opportunity to learn about the Korean history, culture, and economy.
The workshop included presentations from various notable speakers.
The main speakers included: James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers and Imperial Cruise; Suk-Ryul Choi, author of Year of Impossible Goodbye; professors, Dr. Patricia Pontain and Dr. Min-Jung Kim from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell; Tufts University's Professor Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee, and East Asian studies Harvard Professor Dr. David McCain.
In addition, Hyun-Ah Park, who has studied under Korea’s top choreography Meung-GyunBae, showed off her Korean traditional dance moves, MIT’s Pungmul group, “WooRi” played Korean traditional percussion music, and Shila Jang led a lecture on Korean Orgamy for the guests.
Dr. Agnes Ahn, who has played an essential role in developing the Korean Studies Workshop by bearing own personal finance, lectured on the Korean-American perspective of Korea at the workshop.
For the Korean Studies Workshop to be where it is today, Dr. Agnes Ahn, Shila Jang, and University of Massachusetts- Lowell Professor Dr. Min-Jung Kim played the crucial roles.
Dr. Agnes Ahn and Shila Jang, who have stirred an argument about the So Far from the Bamboo Grove that was one of the Massachusetts’ required reading list, realized the lack of American teachers understanding of the Korean culture after discussing the book. They decided that the best way to educate these teachers was to establish a Korean Studies Workshop.
Dr. Agnes Ahn and Shila Jang’s work spread quickly throughout the Korean community. Following their footsteps, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell’ professor, Min-Jung Kim decided to reinforce the Korean Studies Workshop by acquiring the support of her University and the Korean Interchange Foundation.
This year’s much refined 3-day workshop ended successfully leaving American primary teachers with deep impressions about the Korean culture.
After the workshop, Dr. Anges Ahn seemed very satisfied with the workshop’s result. She mentioned that “the participated teachers gave very good reviews about the workshop and many teachers showed interest in ‘exchange program’ that would give teachers a chance to personally visit Korea.” Because of a place selection, the workshop was able to hold only 27 teachers. But according to Dr. Ahn, they are planning on “bringing in close to 50 teachers to participate at the upcoming workshop in November.”