Harvard and Ewha students share thoughts on importance of reunification and Korean culture
Harvard and Ewha students share thoughts on importance of reunification and Korean culture
  • Hong Ki-yeon
  • 승인 2016.03.28 11:22
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The Office of International Affairs and the Ewha Excellence Center held EWHA-HCAP Seoul Conference under the title of “Equality, Tolerance and Freedom: The Effect of Culture and Policy on a Globalized World” from March 13 to 19. As part of the Harvard College Asian Program (HCAP), 15 Ewha students and 12 Harvard students participated in the conference. The conference comprised of various programs including a tour of the Ewha campus, a lecture on North Korean society, and a field trip to historic Korean palaces.
HCAP was established by students in Harvard with the aim of training leaders in the fields of politics, economics and science with a deep understanding of the relationship between the United States and Asia. Ewha, as the only partner in Korea to take part in this program, has continued to engage in HCAP since 2007. For the EWHA-HCAP Seoul Conference, Ewha students planned academic activities along with cultural exchange programs.
During the conference, participants had a chance to attend lectures about North Korea. Two such lectures were held on March 14, each under the title of “Korean Culture” and “North Korea and Unification, Life of Residents in North Korea.” The first lecture included cultural activities such as trying on hanbok, Korean traditional dress, and eating traditional Korean food.
“Thanks to these lectures, I was able to think more deeply about unification even if it belongs to the distant future.” said Kim Ji-won, a junior majoring in Communication & Media who is the head of the Ewha HCAP Public Relations Team.
It was not only Ewha students who have learned lessons from the lectures. Juan Bedoya, a senior majoring in Neurobiology in Harvard, also shared his thoughts.
“The second lecture was very informative about the actual struggles that North Koreans  are facing,” Bedoya said.
Apart from the lectures, the participants enjoyed a variety of other programs. One of those programs was a two-day trip to Andong where Ewha and Harvard students enjoyed a tour of Andong Hahoe Folk Town and Dosan Seowon.
“From compliments and obervations offered by Harvard counterparts, I was able to appreciate my nation’s unique position from different perspectives,” Kim said.
Bedoya also had a memorable time during these trips. He revealed that he enjoyed the trip to Dosan Seowon the most.
“The trip to Dosan Seowon showed me how peaceful and beautiful Korea is,” Bedoya said. 
David Jeong, a junior majoring in Computer Science in Harvard, also expressed his satisfaction.
“I love how each and every Korean traditional building and artifact never has a single part to it that is designed simply for decorative intricacy,” Jeong said. “All these designs either have scientific intentions or deep metaphorical purposes behind them, which shows thoughtfulness and high degree of meticulous work ethics in the traditional Korean society.”
The week-long program wrapped up with a closing ceremony and a farewell party on March 19.
“HCAP was undoubtedly a life-changing experience,” Jeong said. “It allowed me to delve into the academic topics of equality, tolerance and freedom, and also gave me the opportunity to explore the traditional and modern cultures of Korea.”
For Choi Seung-un, a sophomore majoring in Politics at Ewha who is a member of the HCAP Board of Presidents and Planning Team, the conference has also been a meaningful experience.
“I learned a lot while working together with people whose talents and traits are so different from one another’s,” Choi said. “Also, I was able to broaden my viewpoint by sharing various ideas on cultures with Harvard students.”

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