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ROK Official: Chinese Classic Culture Shown in Modern ROK

China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) share great similarities in cultural background and some Chinese classic culture can be found intact in modern ROK, said Bae Jhong-shin, vice minister of culture and tourism of the ROK.

He made the remarks here on Saturday at the ongoing 7th Asia Art Festival, which opened on Friday in Foshan, south China's Guangdong Province.

The ROK culture has exerted much impact on the Chinese youth who tend to imitate the hairstyles, dressing styles and even life styles from imported ROK TV series. Some Chinese media called this phenomenon "the blowing of a strong Korean wind" in China.

Chinese traditional virtues like benevolence, loyalty in marriage and respect for the older generations are also shown in the ROK society today, said Bae.

He said in history the ROK conducted many cultural exchange activities with its close neighbor China, and both countries share similar values. The ROK has also been deeply influenced by Chinese classic culture, and some of the elements can be neatly shown in the current ROK society, he added.

The ROK people began to import books, Confucius thoughts and advanced technologies from China some two thousand years ago, and gradually the two countries have reached consensus in many aspects of culture. Bae said that the ROK people attach great importance to teenage education on filial piety, which means to respect the older generations. Teenage education on traditional values is also one of the measures they are taking to combat cultural westernization, which most Asian countries are faced with.

"Most countries are faced with heated global competition of culture and arts," Bae said. "How to integrate into cultural globalization while preserving local arts is the problem we are trying to resolve."

Bae said the ROK TV series have also absorbed some elite western culture and properly integrated them into the local life. "That's one of the reasons why our TV series are quite popular in China and some other Asian countries," explained Bae.

A total of 22 artistic troupes from 21 Asian countries will present their performance in the seven-day Asia Art Festival, while a forum is also held here for Asian cultural ministers to discuss prospective cultural cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2005)

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