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Korea's Cultural Diplomats Promote Nation to Tunisia

2010/11/03 Source

A group of young Korean musicians and b-boys have gathered in this small theater in Tunisia for a very special collaboration.
Despite the fact that many of them have just met ahead of the 3rd Korea-Arab Friendship Caravan's opening ceremony, held on Tuesday local time, they share the common goal of spurring interest in Korea's traditional and modern culture in North Africa and the Middle East.

[Interview : Park Ji-hoon, Member of Gambler Crew] "I'm not very familiar with Tunisia as a country, although I have heard of the name. And if there are people like me in Korea, I'm sure many Tunisians are not very familiar with Korea. This event will likely serve as their first impression of Korea, so we need to put in extra effort".

Tunisia has been selected as one of the two venues for the opening of the Korea-Arab Society's annual festival this year, following Korea and Tunisia's 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2009.
Korean conglomerates like Samsung and LG Electronics have already established a niche for their mobile phones and other products in the North African country, while other companies in railway, shipbuilding and plant construction have also won bids for various projects.
And Korean television dramas and films have also garnered quite a fan base here.

[Interview : Borhene Chouikha, Ardent fan of Korea] "I like the movie "My Sassy Girl", and the drama with Rain and Song Hye-kyo 'Full House'. And I'm also interested in many Korean singers like BoA and Baby Vox".

At the celebrations of the two country's diplomatic ties, the audience roared and screamed, as a group of world champion b-boys and the traditional music quartet Samulnori set fire to the stage.
And officials say there is a clear link between the sharing of culture and expansion of business activities and bilateral trade.

[Interview : Song Bong-heon, Korean Ambassador to Tunisia] "If Tunisians are able to have a good image of Korea through cultural exchange, that will certainly help our businesses make inroads into this region and also boost product sales".

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "It seems that similarities in social values like respecting the elderly and strong family relationships have drawn the Arab world to Korea. And such mutual interests are expected to further enhance relations between the two sides.

Choi You-sun, Arirang News, Tunis".

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