Government to push Korean Wave brands worldwideUpdated: 2014-02-17 PM 10:01:06 (KST)
The explosion of K-pop music and Korean dramas around the world has fueled surging interest among fans and students alike in learning the Korean language.
In order to meet the rise in demand, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism announced that it would expand its support of overseas language and cultural institutes.
The ministry said it would increase the total number of King Sejong Institutes throughout the world, with a goal of reaching 1-hundred-80 branches by 2017.
Named after the founding father of Hangul, the educational institutes were first launched by the government in 2005.
In addition, Korean Cultural Centers will get a funding boost so they can plant roots in more foreign locations over the next four years.
Meanwhile, the Hangul Museum, a national museum devoted to the Korean alphabet Hangul, will open in Yongsan, central Seoul this October.
"There is a great demand internationally to learn Korean. The waiting list for foreigners who want to learn Korean at cultural centers or King Sejong Institutes is usually three months. In some cases, it's so popular that some people have had to wait five months."
The ministry also plans to promote the traditional Korean folk song "Arirang," with a major festival dedicated to it this October.
Arirang became part of UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage in 2012.
Korean martial arts is another area of focus for the government.
The new "taekwondowon" park in Jeollabuk-do Province will be holding its grand opening ceremony on April 24th, with its vast facilities dedicated to the education, training and research of the popular sport.
The trifecta of Hangul, Arirang, and taekwondo is expected to build the foundation for the Korean Wave in 2014 as the country further invests in its cultural assets at home and abroad.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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