The Institute of Oriental Studies is doing its best to familiarize the University community with the rich and diverse culture of the East Asian countries. Evidence of this can be seen in the establishment of the Centre for Korean Studies or the Korean Corner, headed by Sergei Kurbanov, Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Languages and Language Pedagogy The Korean Corner is a wonderful place to find materials for learning the Korean language, to immerse yourself in the culture of the Republic of Korea and, most of all, to spend time in the company of those who share your interest in both. It is important to mention that the Korean Corner is open to the public – to all the residents and guests of St Petersburg.
Kwon Dong Seok, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in St Petersburg, addressed the first guests of the centre during the opening ceremony:. “I sincerely congratulate Herzen University on the opening of the Korean Corner. This will undoubtedly make Korean language instruction more systematic and thorough. I am very pleased to see that the Korean Corner has been furnished with warmth and love and that it has such a cozy atmosphere.”
Yulia Komarova, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, joined in welcoming the guests and conveyed congratulations on behalf of Rector Sergei Bogdanov:, “I am very happy to be present at the opening of such a wonderful centre. Crossing the threshold, you immediately feel immersed in Korean culture, and this is what makes it unique.”
Vyacheslav Kalganov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St Petersburg, was also among the guests at the opening ceremony. He donated a number of books on Orthodox culture, which had been translated into Korean, to the Corner. In his words: “The government of St. Petersburg views the development of relations with the Republic of Korea as a very significant issue. We express our gratitude to the Consulate General, the Korea Foundation and Herzen University for their tremendous efforts, which have made this project a reality.”
Welcoming speeches were also delivered by Andrei Vassoevich, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Boris Grumbkov, Director General of the Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti newspaper and Lim Cheol Woo, Director of the Korea Foundation (Moscow office) who joined the opening ceremony via video conference call.
At the end of the ceremony, students from the Department of Oriental Languages and Language Pedagogy showed their performing skills, singing Korean songs and demonstrating a Korean folk dance.
A video of the opening ceremony is available on the university’s YouTube channel HerzenLive.