From July 26 to July 28, students from Nara in Japan, Ningbo in China and Jeju met at the East Asia Youth Culture Camp.
As an activity organized for the East Asia Culture City event, it was held with the aim of bringing together and sharing the cultures of the three cities.
At the camp, the students took part in many different cultural activities including photography, calligraphy, and tours of local areas of interest.
A spokesperson for the event explained that it was important for students to meet people from other cultures early on in life.
She explained that “as the students are the future, if they can make friends and gain an understanding of each other’s culture from an early age, it can help them throughout life.”
The program was highly inclusive and was attended by students from middle school all the way up to those in their final year of University.
Application to the camp was open call and run through each city’s website, applicants simply had to show enthusiasm for learning about other cultures in their application.This meant that everyone at the camp was passionate about learning from other cultures.
Each activity the students took part in was carefully selected for its cultural significance to each country.
Calligraphy was chosen as it is an important cultural activity that each country shares. This allowed the participants to see the types of thing they have in common.
Meanwhile, photography not only allowed the students to make the most of Jeju’s beautiful scenery, it is also a global activity which is becoming more and more popular with people in their age group.
Furthermore, the students were able to take the pictures home which will continue as a long lasting reminder of the memories and experiences they gained at the camp.
The camp didn’t come without its challenges though, specifically the fact that neither of the three countries shares a common language.
However, the students didn’t seem to find this a problem as they used body language, smartphone applications and smatterings of English to communicate.
This was something the students found especially rewarding, with many of them commenting that learning how to communicate with people from other countries was one of the most important and rewarding things about the camp.
The East Asia City of Culture program promotes cultural exchanges between Korea, Japan and China. Each year one city is chosen from each country and a series of events are held in order to share the culture of each city.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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