How Can Culture Prosperity Be Realized
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How Can Culture Prosperity Be Realized
Rep.Kim stresses the promotion of cultural prosperity as one of the mission of the times

06(Wed), Mar, 2013


Rep. Kim Jang-sil sitting on the National 

Assembly, Culture, Sports, Tourism,

 Broadcasting and Communications Committee.


"How to compliment hallyu at the fullest lies at the globalization of Korea’s unique tradition and spiritual culture,” said Rep. Kim Jang-sil sitting on the National Assembly Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting and Communications Committee. Kim, a member of the ruling Saenuri Party, said, “I’m ready to establish a forum designed to promote the globalization and internalization of Korea’s spiritual culture in cooperation with the MCST and other related organizations.”

“Hallyu, which started with pop culture, needs to spill into the classic hallyu, such as literature and art, and climax with the so-called “lifestyle culture” hallyu, including traditional Korean culture and spiritual culture so that people from around the world can enjoy hallyu in their daily lives, not fizzling out with short-lived fads,” he said. The following are excerpts of an interview in which Rep. Kim spoke of the government’s policies on culture, sports, and tourism, and particularly on the proliferation of hallyu.

 

Question:  Will you introduce the plans for the promotion of cultural prosperity, one of the Park Geun-hye government’s top policy agendas?

 Answer:  President Park Geun-hye defined the 21st century as an age of culture serving as a national power and stressed the promotion of cultural prosperity as one of the missions of the times while delivering her inaugural speech on “ushering in a new era of hope” on Feb. 25.

President Park came up with three visions to achieve cultural prosperity: the globalizing of hallyu, well known as the Korean Wave, banking on 5,000 years of cultural heritage and spiritual culture; creating a society in which all people can lead a life replete with culture; and promoting a creative economy by nurturing the content industry combining culture and advanced technologies and creating new jobs.

The government aims at creating a social environment in which all people can enjoy a cultural happiness without being alienated by solving social conflicts and easing the cultural divide through the promoting of cultural values. Creativity arising from this cultural background and the combining of Korean cultural heritage and spiritual culture will likely advance the globalization of hallyu, which could lead to the expansion of the cultural industry and economic resurgence. The new government’s cultural prosperity means opening a new era of people’s happiness and economic resurgence by promoting cultural values.

 

Q:  Would you explain the correlation between creating the so-called creative economy and cultural prosperity?

A: The Korean economy is faced with such crises as a low birth rate, an aging population, low growth, and a high jobless rate, and the polarization of society is constantly increasing the demand for welfare.

A new economic policy paradigm is required to break through the crisis situation of the Korean economy and cope with surging welfare demand.

The Park Geun-hye government’s so-called creative economy is to employ economic policies to nurture new future growth engines and create new jobs by grafting imagination and creativity into science and technology.

The mainstay industries such as automobile, semiconductor, and shipbuilding still serve as buttresses of the national economy, but they are insufficient to overcome the crises of the national economy and make up for a rising welfare demand.

The cultural content industry, one of the key industries for promoting cultural prosperity, is a value-added sector with high potential for job creation in which individuals and society’s imaginations and creativity can be realized. The new government’s concentration on polishing the cultural content industry would have a tremendous effect on invigorating the national economy and creating jobs during President Park’s term.

 

Rep. Kim Jang-sil, of the National Assembly, Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting and

 Communications Committee, speaks at an interpellation of the government.


Q:  What legislative and other parliamentary activities have you been involved with so far?

A:  I’ve devoted myself to legislating and carrying out other parliamentary activities in such areas as culture/art, traditional culture, the sports industry, and broadcasting/communications. I have been a member of the National Assembly, Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting and Communi-cations  Committee.

I’d like to hear public complaints and grievances and redouble efforts to find solutions to the pending issues in sectors other than my specialized areas as a member of the parliamentary committee.

 

Q: What policy proposals do you suggest to usher in an era of attracting 20 million foreign tourists?

 A:  saw foreign arrivals surpassing the 10 million mark. This inspiring feat was owed to the influence of hallyu and policy efforts on the part of the MOCT and Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

But the national tourism industry is still haunted with such problems as foreign visitors’ concentration on the Seoul metropolitan area as well as repeatedly recurring complaints and grievances, including disputes involving refunds and product exchanges, optional tie-in sales, and a lack of direction boards, which have been on the top spots of tourism complaints report centers.

The boosting of the domestic tourism industry is made not just by the efforts of the government and the private sector, but also thanks to economic growth and other outside factors in neighboring countries.

Now is the time for the nation to set a new vision of achieving a new goal of attracting 20 million inbound arrivals. Departing from its overdependence on hallyu, the nation needs to diversify tourism portfolios to the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), medical tours, and performances and improve tourism acceptance by dramatically removing inconveniences and grievances foreign visitors experience.

 

Q:  What parliamentary activities do you want to carry out to promote hallyu?

A: Korea is at the crest of culture as hallyu, starting with such pop culture as K-Pop and dramas, is widening to tourism and cuisine at a fast pace and globally.

 The government and the private sector have made efforts to globalize hallyu, so pop culture is at a mature stage. Due to creativity, an axis of pop culture, it is desirable for the private sector to take a leadership role in promoting hallyu in the pop culture field.

The parliament and the government now have to turn to the next stage of ensuring the sustainable growth of hallyu. Hallyu, which started with pop culture, will spill into the “classic” hallyu, such as literature and art, and climax with the so-called lifestyle culture hallyu, including traditional Korean culture and spiritual culture, so that people from around the world can enjoy hallyu in their daily lives, not fizzling out with short-lived fads.

Hallyu is now not a phenomenon coming as a bolt from the blue. It is about Korea’s having a combination of 5,000 years of rich cultural heritage and western culture’s influences.

Accordingly, how to compliment hallyu at the fullest lies at the globalization of Korea’s unique tradition and spiritual culture. I’m ready for establishing a forum designed to promote the globalization and internalization of Korea’s spiritual culture in cooperation with the MCST and other related organizations.

 

Q: Will you comment your views on the promotion of people’s lifestyle sports?

A:   The government’s policies on sports are divided into specialized sports, well known as the so-called elite sports for nurturing national team athletes, and the general public’s lifestyle sports for the promotion of health and leisure activities.

A policy focus has been on the specialized sports for nurturing national team athletes and yielding good outcomes in world sports competitions to raise the nation’s standing and image.

Recognizing the importance of lifestyle sports, the Korea Council of Sports for All was established in 1991, but the reality is that the general public’s lifestyle sports takes a back seat to specialized sports.

Given the fact that policies on sports are meant to improve public health and the quality of people’s lives, the nation needs to shift its sports policy paradigm.

A report on the aging global population, released by the United Nations in 2009, showed that the arrival of an era of centenarians was not far away. A similar report in 2012 also indicated that Korea is no exception as Koreans’ longevity averaged 84 years for women and 77.3 years for men.

People are more concerned about living well than living long, so such changes as a tendency of balancing work and leisure are expected to occur in the areas of health, welfare, labor, leisure, and other parts of society as well as in the sports field.

We need to change the policy paradigm from specialized sports to lifestyle sports, as such advanced countries as Germany do. Efforts should be made to reinforce links between specialized and lifestyle sports and unify sports policies and correct the side effects of the functional division.  The government needs to implement polices to increase insufficient sporting facilities and refurbish dilapidated facilities as well as provide financial support in order to improve the quality of lifestyle sports.

Photots on courtesy of Rep. Kim Jang-sil’s Office

   
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