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Global association for Hallyu studies to form

The term Hallyu was first coined by the China Youth Daily in 1999 to describe the growing popularity of Korean entertainment and popular culture in China. Now, its meaning extends to include the phenomenon of Korean culture rolling out with its cultural productions.

With an aim to conduct further and deeper studies on Hallyu, a group of scholars and practitioners officially launched the World Association for Hallyu Studies (WAHS). On January 28, an inaugural meeting was held at Daewoo Foundation Building in Seoul with more than 100 domestic and foreign attendees working in cultural sectors.

Domestic and foreign attendees of the World Association for Hallyu Studies pay attention to a presentation during seminar session (photo: Yonhap News).

“Our scholarly collaboration aims to survey the latest theoretical and phenomenal understanding of Hallyu and to draw the world one step closer through its practices,” said Park Gil-sung, chairman of the WAHS.

In order to integrate research on Hallyu, experts from diverse quarters decided to team up together. Among them are Song Hyang-geun, president of the International Korean Language Foundation and Kim Young-min, CEO of SM Entertainment.

Also, foreign branches of the organization would be established in several countries including Israel, Sweden, Indonesia, the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, and Japan where international scholars would proceed to study everything about Korea from K-pop, drama, and fashion, to government policy, medical treatment, and food.

As part of the inaugural ceremony, an international seminar took place providing a chance for participants to mull over the global meaning of Hallyu.

“Hallyu plays a role in forming a public image of Korea as the hub of vigorous culture and arts,” said Nissim Otmazgin, professor at the Department of East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during his presentation on Hallyu in the Middle East. “It especially helps young people to raise interest in Korean studies and the Korean language.”

Discussion ranged widely during the seminar. Christine Yoo, CEO of GoGo Entertainment, gave a presentation on the American reaction to Psy and Professor Oh In-gyu of Hanshin University spoke on comparative perspectives of Hallyu, while Professor Millie Creighton of the University of British Columbia lectured on Hallyu in Japan and Canada.

By Lee Seung-ah

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