"Many Koreans still hold antipathy toward the Japanese because of the past atrocities they committed against our nation. Now it is time for us to mend our historical wounds and envision a better future through our past experience," said Kim Tae-kyoung, the secretary-general of SFP.
"What I remember the most is the warmth I felt in our interaction as we shared a bowl of soup, something I had never experienced before, " said Nakamura Ahnri (24), a Japanese student studying Korean in Japan who came to Korea specifically to take part in this camp.
Cultural exchange, represented by the letters CGL (Culture, Game, and Leisure) proved worthy of its name. Games such as "Rock Scissor Paper," penalty dancing, shouting "Ya!" and human train played inside the Convention Hall eradicated the cultural barriers that were seemingly present before the event took place.
Music played and sung by an underground band got them jumping to the beat. People were then led to their respective rooms, where they formed into small groups and talked to each other late into the night. Koreans speaking Japanese mixed with Korean, the Japanese doing the same, plus the incessant gestures replacing incommunicable words, created a familiar feeling of a sleepover.
"I"ve learned that interaction and exchange is not something attained by extravagance. Farming and playing together with our Japanese friends were certainly new and delightful experiences, " said Park Ji-eun (Division of Arts and Design, 1).
For the finale of the Korea-Japan Friendship Festival, a buddy system was made where each Japanese student was paired with a Korean student. Both sides signed a certificate that officially named them buddies.
"Once you know, you"ll see, and once you see, you"ll get to love." The words of the chairperson danced up into the sky, warm as the summer breeze and hopeful as the expectations for the newly established friendships.