CK-1 is an organization to promote Korean culture around the world and interact with other countries. It is organized by the Korean Wave Center at CBNU. Its program includes new Korean Wave festivals, lectures at local universities and field trips. As a student at the Korean Wave Center, I went to Greece for a month since July 4th.
After a long flight, our team arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece. We stayed in Thessaloniki for three weeks and completed the Greek lesson at Aristotle University. The Greek alphabet and words were quite different from English words, so it was hard to learn. But during the last lessons, I was able to do simple conversations. Also, our teacher from Aristotle University taught us well. We usually went on field trips after our Greek lessons. We went to museums, theme parks, historical sites and beaches.
During our one month in Greece, we were scheduled to have two festivals in Athens, in different locations. We held one festival, but the second one was unexpectedly canceled.
On July 19th we held our festival, ‘Korea in Agora’ at Aristotle Square, Thessaloniki. ‘Korea in Agora’ means that we like to share different ideas and thoughts with other people. So our festivals include experience programs. Experience programs were composed of activities to enjoy together. After experience programs, there was a concert. We have been dedicated to this concert for the last three month.
When the festival started, a lot of people came to join because of the promotion on Facebook and Instagram. All of the activities drew big crowds and we couldn’t have any time to rest. I was so tired, but I was happy that many people participated in our festival and learned more about Korean culture. After the experience program, we began the concert. We performed contemporary pan-sori, which is hybridized to modern tastes, and k-pop like ‘MIC Drop’, ‘DNA’, ‘Baepsae’, ‘BBoom BBoom’. The concert was a big success and it was concluded with a picture-taking time together.
As mentioned earlier, we had planned a second festival for July 26th at Syntagma Square. However, on July 24th there was a large wildfire near Athens. This tragedy caused dozens of deaths, injuries, and people to go missing. In its aftermath, the Greek government declared a 3-day period of national mourning for those lost in the wildfires. In this situation, we decided to cancel our Korea in Agora festival and instead organized a memorial event to pray for Greece. Our team also participated for half a day in volunteer activities for the wildfire victims. I was really surprised to learn our volunteer work had been broadcast on the local news in Greece as well as on the news back in Korea.
At the end of the day in Greece, I realized I had done a lot of things. I had completed the Greek culture and language course, visited many sites in Greece, successfully hosted our Korea in Agora festival, and volunteered to help the victims during the emergency situation in Greece. Through CK-1, I was able to do a lot of things I might not have opportunity to do again.