ASEAN Culture House (ACH), which is operated by the Korea Foundation, will be hosting “2019 Easy Access ASEAN” starting in March.

The program, which will run for 10 months from March until December, will spotlight one ASEAN member country each month (in alphabetical order). Various educational and cultural events will be held, in which participants can engage in in-depth learning and experiences of the societies and cultures of ASEAN countries.

ASEAN is the acronym of “Association of Southeast Asian Nations,” which is comprised of 10 countries: Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

In addition to existing ASEAN hands-on learning programs (e.g. traditional games and cuisine of ASEAN), 2019 Easy Access ASEAN will be newly featuring a “Travel Workshop” for each of the ASEAN member countries. Through these workshops, participants will be able to broaden their understanding of the cultures and societies of the diverse countries that make up ASEAN.

The first country to be introduced by 2019 Easy Access ASEAN series was Brunei Darussalam on March 14-17 in cooperation with the Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Korea, with the “ASEAN Travel Workshop – Brunei Darussalam” held on March 14.

Jihyung Chai, a travel writer whose published works include Workaholic on Earth and Travel Writer, Starting from Today, gave a talk on cultural etiquette when traveling in Brunei Darussalam and essential sites to visit in order to understand Brunei Darussalam. Chai also presented other cultural aspects and stories on the country together with students from Brunei Darussalam currently residing in Korea.

On March 16 and 17, a range of cultural experience programs for children and adults were offered, including “Decorating Safety Umbrellas with Symbols of Brunei Darussalam” for children and a Brunei cooking class for adults. Both weekend programs were preceded by an introductory class on the language and culture of Brunei Darussalam, which was taught by Bruneian students studying in Korea participating as “one-day lecturers.”

Later on in the series, “Cambodian Cultural Day” will be hosted in April in cooperation with the Embassy of Cambodia in Korea. There will also be a lecture on Indonesian batik in May and a special event with a Malaysian children’s book author in July. The diverse cultures of the 10 ASEAN member states will be presented through special programs tailored to the characteristic features of each country.

More details on 2019 Easy Access ASEAN, including a full itinerary, program content, and explanation on how to apply to participate, will be soon made available on the ACH homepage (www.ach.or.kr). All programs are free of charge. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to 2019 Easy Access ASEAN, the ACH works to enhance the Korean public’s understanding of and interest in ASEAN countries while increasing interaction between Korea and ASEAN. To this end, it carries out various activities and events related to culture and education, such as exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures, and festivals.

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