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Peking University students exchange with Korean counterparts on culture and international relations

MAY . 31 2021
Peking University, May 31, 2021: On May 21, an online student conference was jointly organized by Yuanpei College of Peking University and the College of Liberal Studies of Seoul National University (SNU). Nine PKU students and eight SNU students attended the conference and presented on various topics. The conference focused on cultural exchanges and international relations between China and South Korea. Specifically, the students explored topics on TV series, food, fashion, art and lifestyle. The event was hosted by Dr. Naejin Kwak of SNU. Associate Dean of Yuanpei College Sun Feiyu and SNU Assistant Professor Jun Hee Cho also attended the conference.

The opening of the conference

At the beginning of the event, Dr. So-Rim Lee of the University of Pennsylvania delivered a keynote speech on the development of Korean popular music (or K-pop) and the recently formed idol group Z-Pop in Asia. Dr. Lee noted that with the development of globalization and the popularity of Korean pop music around the world, many non-Koreans are included in new-emerging K-pop idol groups. As a result, K-Pop has also evolved into a form of transnational culture. Meanwhile, Dr. Lee also pointed out that with the rapid development of technology, South Korea’s entertainment industry will possibly gain even more opportunities around the world in the future. Through this speech, students develop a deeper understanding of the current and future trends of K-Pop and international popular culture.

Next, students were divided into groups to present on topics related to Chinese and Korean culture. Each group took turns to make a 20-minute presentation, followed by a 10-minute Q&A session.

The theme of the first group’s presentation was “How Tradition is Branded in Modern Korean Culture”. In this sharing session, four SNU students analyzed the embodiment of Korean traditional music, food and clothing in contemporary film and television programs, and pointed out how Korean traditional culture leveraged new media to gain public attention and recognition.

The presentation of the first group

In the second group’s presentation, students from PKU compared the food culture of China and South Korea and pointed out the similarities and differences between the two countries in food variations, dining etiquette and festival customs. Additionally, they also discussed the mutual influence of food culture between China and South Korea.

The presentation of the second group

The third group of students mainly discussed and compared the popular music, TV series and movies between China and South Korea. Their presentation focused on discussing their characteristics while making a comparison between the two countries.

The presentation of the third group

The fourth group of students analyzed and expounded the theme of “The Influence of Korean Culture on Chinese University Students”, and discussed how Korean dramas affected Chinese young people’s perspectives on fashion, food culture and the concept of love.

The presentation of the fourth group

This conference drew on the experiences of previous online student symposiums and provided students from the two universities with opportunities to interact and discuss. After the group presentation, students from China and South Korea had the chance to share with each other their takeaways from the cross-cultural exchanges. The students said they have gained a lot from this event and developed a deeper understanding of one another’s culture and views. Meanwhile, the third group of SNU won the Best Presentation Group Award.

At the closing ceremony, Dr. Kwak said it is important to build cross-cultural relations. She believes that the most powerful weapon against prejudice is interpersonal relations, and this online symposium was a good opportunity for Chinese and Korean students to have discussions and build friendships. Jun Hee Cho from SNU and Sun Feiyu from PKU also commented that the exchanges among students were very meaningful and necessary, and hope that students can gain a better understanding of each other’s culture through this discussion.

Written by: Shi Xinyao, Kuo Peiyu
Edited by: Fan Xueyuan
Source: PKU News (Chinese)