Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Buddhist temples, 'seowon' to go global

Seoul, South Korea -- President Lee Myung-bak called for overseas promotions of traditional Buddhist temples and “seowon,” the most common educational institutions during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), Friday, to help foreigners better understand the country’s culture and customs.

“We must find effective communication tools from our rich cultural heritage. Foreigners can experience the essence of our culture at traditional temples and seowon,” Lee said during a meeting of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding at Cheong Wa Dae.

“Temples demonstrate the country’s Buddhist culture while the seowon show Confucian values. We need to share such cultural assets with foreigners and make more efforts to preserve them.”

The council plans to launch diverse programs to promote the seowon abroad, according to its Chairwoman Lee Bae-yong, a history professor.
Seowon were private institutions that combined the functions of a Confucian shrine and a preparatory school.

Read the full article from The Korea Times

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