|▲ Multi Cultural Supporters participating in 2023 Gyeongnam Multicultural Education Fair (Source : Waagle)|
Multi Cultural Supporters from CWNU’s Multicultural Promotion Agency participated in the ‘2023 Gyeongnam Multicultural Education Fair (GMEF2023)’ from October 6- 7. The event was held at the Gimhae National Museum. More than 80 booths participated in the fair which were based on five themes, providing various experiences to citizens who visited the fair. Our school ran a ‘Let's Do It Together, CWNU’ booth and promoted the school's major projects such as the textbook ‘Tasks Viewed in Korean,’ the National University Development Project, and the Social Integration Program. Students from our school also participated in the fair. Language support scholarship students, and, "Multi Cultural Supporters," with Korean and international students helped the operation of booths and promoted major projects in various languages. We met a member of, "Supporters Together," Pyun Jang- won who participated in the project, majoring in Business Administration and talked about the supporters' activities together.
Q. What kind of event is the ‘2023 Gyeongnam Multicultural Education Fair,’ and why did the supporters decide to participate?
Pyun: Currently, South Gyeongsang Province has the second largest number of foreign workers in the country, and the number of multicultural families in the region is increasing accordingly. The GMEF2023 was held to promote mutual cultural exchanges, improve multicultural awareness, and foster community in order for the rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and local residents to coexist together. The organizers aimed to raise social awareness of multiculturalism by improving local people's multicultural sensitivity, establishing an educational support system to foster global talent, and creating a network with foreigners by providing booths for multicultural education and various experiences and exhibitions. Our supporters decided to participate in this regional fair in order to increase multicultural acceptance not only in Gimhae, but also in the region as a whole.
Q. What role did the supporters play in the promotional activities at the 'GMEF2023’?
Pyun: Our supporters explained the need for various multicultural education and guided foreign students, along with the explanation of the subject textbooks produced by CWNU’s Multicultural Promotion Agency at the exhibition site. Depending on the situation, explanations were conducted in various languages with the help of language support scholars, including English, Mongolian, Thai, and Chinese. In the process of preparing to participate, the members of the supporters produced our own pamphlets to be used to promote the booth of the Multicultural Promotion Agency, and even produced versions that were translated into various languages, not just Korean versions.
Q. There were not only support members, but also language support scholarship students who were selected separately, who had joined for the promotion event for the first time. Were there any difficulties when working with students from various backgrounds?
Pyun: At first, it was awkward to work with language support scholars, but we quickly became close to each other. During our spare time, we went to the experience booth together, tried on traditional costumes from various countries, enjoyed play activities, and participated in multicultural quiz programs using the metaverse to gain a variety of experiences. After the fair activities, we had more pleasant memories than difficulties, such as going to nearby festivals with the students and having dinner together.
Q. What kind of activities are the supporters planning to do in the future?
Pyun: Our supporters' vision is to realize a diverse and harmonious coexistence within society. Therefore, we are preparing for programs to improve multicultural understanding by visiting companies, or educational volunteer activities such as the ‘Visiting Korean Classroom,’ which provides teaching in Korean in connection with the local community. The Visiting Korean Classroom will be held in Jungang- dong in November, and I am also participating in the program.
"There is still a tendency in Korean society for people to be rejected or discriminated against because they are foreigners," said Jangwon, concluding the interview. "That's why I think multicultural education is important to form a society that recognizes and embraces cultural diversity. Through this, students will also be able to learn how to interact with different cultures and improve their understanding of them.” With the advent of the global era, mutual communication and understanding capabilities between different cultures are becoming important. We hope that there will be an atmosphere in which youths from multicultural backgrounds and migrants can coexist in our region.
By Kim So-ha, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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