The Leader of Protecting Our Heritage
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The Leader of Protecting Our Heritage
  • GLOBE
  • 승인 2015.09.09 10:35
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-Professor, Lee Chong-min

How much interest do you have in Korean culture? How much effort do you put in in order to preserve our cultural heritage? There is a person who has been continuously making his contribution to preserve and sustain the traditional cultural heritage of the region. The CBNU Globe met Professor Lee Chong-min, a leader in preserving our heritage.

● Is there any special reason for being interested in traditional culture?
Despite the small size in a geographic aspect, our country has abundant tradition and culture, which is also rich in history. As a scholar who majors in English Language & Literature, I often fall into chaos when it comes to my cultural identity. It has been a kind of dilemma for me. Each country has its own unique culture and tradition, and when people talk about Jeonju, they say it is the most Korean city. Therefore, I have raised more interest and put more effort into it.

● What do you think is the most important thing in maintaining traditional culture?
I think it is most important to decide the order. By order I mean what has to be first or second. Of course, people nowadays focus on economic and commercial value. But if we seek only commercial things and forget our essence, our culture will not last longer. So the order we select as first should be a path of academic things. Commercial things are second. My opinion is that the relentless pursuit of economic gain leads to the extinction of traditional culture.

● Recently, Jeonju’s Hanok Village has become popular for non-local people. What do you think of this?
I'm so pleased to hear the Jeonju Hanok Village is getting popular among the non-local population. However, lately I have been wondering how long it would last. Perhaps, I think the visitors’ purpose is maybe to stay in a Hanok- style house instead of eating the famous food. We must remember that the purpose of the Hanok Village is to present the beauty of hanoks to visitors. Therefore, it is necessary to build a plan to deliver to the visitor the various traditional cultural experiences.

● You are the author of some books. The books are full of references to music. Is there a special reason to handle music?
I like music. I would like to share my favorite music with my friends. Since 2000, I have shared lyrics that introduce my favorite music to my friends through the internet. Their response was good. That is why I wrote some books.

● What do you think university students can do for traditional culture?
These days, we are losing the uniqueness that comes from our tradition because of lack of experience in our traditional culture. What is important is to have our students get in touch with our traditional culture such as pansori, which is a Korean traditional style of music. This will allow the students to discover the beauty of our tradition.

● What is your future dream?
Of course, teaching my students in my best ability will be the most important. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, I am planning to expand my area of expertise and interest into the traditional music and writing. In addition, I will give my best effort to further nourish our local traditional cultural aspects in Jeonju. I will continue to set my course ahead to create the variety and the balance between Korean tradition and culture for Jeonju, and, moreover, for Korea.

With effort and passion, he continuously has been making an incredible effort to preserve Korean cultural traditions. Nowadays, there are many students who don't know the country’s history and the region's history. From now on, why don't we show concern for local culture?


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