I feel that Korea needs no introduction. Friends who have visited say their stay could only be equated to that of being in outer space. It is remarkably extraordinary. I look forward to proving the veracity of the statement once I visit in the near future. However with my limited knowledge, the Korea I know is one resilient and self-driven nation. It has gone through thick and thin to emerge as the 12th largest trading nation and its influence is vast and far reaching.
In recent years, we have seen Korea emerge not only as an influential nation but as a world super-power. To qualify as a member of the G-20 is no mean fit. In 2010 we witnessed the country host the G-20 summit where the leaders of the twenty most powerful nations converged in Seoul to discuss the future of the world economy. The country hosted the Summer Olympics of 1988, the 2002 World Cup tournament and is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Introduction of Korean studies in educational institutions in our country I believe is long overdue. With the continuing influence of the East in Kenya and the rest of the continent, introduction of Korean studies is vital and will play a key role in various sectors.
Students enrolling for Korean studies will have an opportunity to learn the Korean language including the famous 24 consonant and vowel alphabet – Hangul. The course will give students a glimpse into Korean culture through its literature, music and art. In 2012, we saw Psy’s song – Gangnam Style ruling the airwaves and everybody was dancing to the tune from Presidents like Barack Obama to Prime Ministers like James Cameron. Not to be left behind, fellow country man Ban Ki-moon the U.N Secretary General also danced to it. The brainchild behind this hit was a South Korean.
In expressing how Korea is infiltrating world affairs, President Obama said that Psy’s Gangnam style showed how Korean culture was taking the world by storm. U.N Secretary General– Ban Ki-moon said that through Psy's wide fan base; he could act as a force of world peace. It’s not every day that a country gets such massive attention. This without a shadow of doubt shows Korea is making its bold mark in the world. The olive branch of cooperation through student exchange programs Korea is offering should be exciting to young Kenyans as we are among the first in Africa.
Back to Korean Studies, Africans who study the course will go into the past and study the history of Korea and an important aspect of that history is how the North and South came to existence. Finally, it will entail the economics of the country and how it is governed – that is its politics, leadership and governance. This especially is of great importance to us since this country has historically suffered from mediocre leadership. Our so called leaders have lacked vision and many are the times they have missed seeing the bigger picture. Learning from Korea how leadership directly affects the development of a country can be of great value if we...