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"Month of South Africa — Africa's Gem, South Africa"
S. African Envoy Promotes Its Culture for Locals
Amb. Schoeman Hosts Opening Ceremony for Event
South African Ambassador to Seoul Stefanus J. Schoeman

South African Ambassador to Seoul Stefanus J. Schoeman and his wife Mrs. Judith Schoeman hosted a reception in celebration of the 15th anniversary of South Africa's Democracy at the Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchange (MIZY Center) in Yejang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul on April 27 (Monday), 2009.

The reception was held also to mark the opening of MIZY Center's cultural exchange project called "South African Month — Africa's Gem, South Africa."

The project was designed to promote South Africa particularly among South Korean youths on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of South Africa's Democracy, according to MIZY Center's Executive Director Choi Hyung-Kun.

S. African Amb. Stefanus J. Schoeman (5th from left) and his wife Mrs. Judith Schoeman (to his right) pose for The Seoul Times with major guests at the opening ceremony of the African country's cultural exchange program held at the Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchange (MIZY Center) in Yejang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul on April 27 (Monday), 2009.

"This event was at aimed at promoting an understanding for youth and other cultures of South Africa," Choi said. "Africa has been an unfamiliar continent to Korea until now. But there is a growing interest in South Africa due to the upcoming 2010 World Cup and both of our nation's efforts to develop a democratic system."

As part of the project Prof. Van Der Walt from University of South Africa and Dr. Felicite Fairer-Wessels from the University of Pretoria will give lectures to the local youths on South Africa's culture and the history of its democracy.

During month-long project a variety of cultural events await Korean youths. They include Gumboot dance, exhibition of artifacts, traditional South African costumes, music performance, and photo exhibition of 2010 South African World Cup.

A group of S. Africans singing at the opening ceremony

At MIZY Center (on the second floor), which is the venue of the reception, there were a wall of fame with photos of former South African presidents, South African style bead accessories and clothes on sale, and presentation on South African climate, culture, cuisine, education, and history.

Choi said that MIZY Center is a specialized youth center for cultural exchanges, established by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and operated by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO.

As a center of youth cultural activities and exchanges, MIZY Center aims to promote an understanding for youth and other cultures and ultimately create global leaders, he added.

The reception, which started at 6 p.m. on the day lasted about two hours, attracted scores of both local and foreign guests.

S. African Amb. Stefanus J. Schoeman (center) poses with Dr. Lee Ji-Wone (left) and Ms. Koo Hee-Jin (right). Dr. Lee and Ms. Koo serve as curator of 2009 Seoul International Book Arts Fair.

From the diplomatic community came such diplomats as Economic Counsellor Mamadou Mansour LY of Embassy of Senegal, Third Secretary Helen Rosa M. Kagwanja of Embassy of Kenya, and Counsellor Kamal Bashir M. Khair of Embassy of Sudan.

Korean guests included Chief Editor Lucia Choi of a local wine magazine "Winies," Dr. Lee Ji-Wone, curator of 2009 Seoul International Book Arts Fair, Ms. Koo Hee-Jin, curator of 2009 Seoul International Book Arts Fair.

Prof. Van Der Walt from University of South Africa and Dr. Felicite Fairer-Wessels from the University of Pretoria, were also on hand, mingling with other guests.

In the opening remark Amb. Schoeman said that he was pleased to celebrate the freedom of Democracy of South Africa and was honored to introduce Prof. Walt and Dr. Fairer-Wessels.

For details or inquiries call the South African Embassy in Seoul at 792-4855 or leave Email at general@southafrica-embassy.or.kr




 

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